FastMac TruePower iV review

The FastMac TruePower iV is a battery backpack that cradles your iPhone and iPod touch to charge and extend their life. That said, its obvious appeal lies with iPhone owners, especially those power users who find the phone's limited battery life wanting, particularly when travelling.

The TruePower iV packs an impressive 3,100mAh battery cell, which tests suggest can keep a busy iPhone running without external charge for two days plus. Once the unit is externally charged an audible chirp informs you when you have successfully connected the iPhone to the TruePower iV for charging. A full iPhone charge should take 2 to 3 hours, says FastMac, although it recommends you charge your phone in 45 minute increments whenever a low battery warning appears. You can, of course, continue using your iPhone or iPod touch as normal while charging.

The pack also features a full-sized USB port, which is a useful addition if you have other gadgets to charge. A dazzlingly bright light is built into the pack, which adds vision to your iPhone camera's snaps while being a handy searchlight if you loose your keys in the dark.

The soft, rubberised design is attractive and adds to the quality feel of the product, although long-haul road warriors should invest in some equally soft storage to ensure all those connections don't get gunked up from the daily grind. While compact and lightweight by most standards, some may still take issue with the size - 2.4 x 5.3 x .05in - which does add a little bulk to your daily travels.

US sites list the TruePower iV for around $100, which makes the UK price of £99.95 plus VAT a big minus point. That's a pity because this award-winning way to add additional juice to your iPhone or iPod touch should have wide appeal, which that price may limit. One or two other niggles are the 6 hours it takes to fully charge and the possibility of accidently switching on the unit in transit. There currently doesn't appear to be a way to lock the TruePower iV controls when not in use.

(In the UK the FastMac TruePower iV is available from www.USABEST.co.uk)

OUR VERDICT

This is a well-designed charger that wins full marks on all but value for money. For those who depend on their iPhone for work and business, however, the TruePower iV should still prove to be money well spent.

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