Get the top-rated Anker Astro E5 mobile charger for $49.99
Did Santa bring you a new smartphone? Tablet? E-reader?
Bluetooth speaker? Gadgets like these need power, and it seems like
there's never enough--especially when you're traveling.
What's more, if you have an older mobile device, chances are
good its battery is starting to show signs of wear, meaning it
doesn't last nearly as long between charges.
All the more reason to pack a mobile charger. Ah, but which one?
There are literally hundreds of different makes and models out
there, all in different shapes and sizes, all promising to keep
your devices humming indefinitely.
My pick: just about anything from Anker's Astro series. And for
a limited time, you can get the top-end model for a song: the
Anker Astro E5 mobile charger for $49.99
. Regular price: $99.99.
What separates the E5 from dozens of similar-looking portable
power packs? A few things. For starters, it packs a massive
15,000mAh battery, making it one of the rare chargers that can
fully recharge a current-generation iPad. This despite its
very travel-friendly dimensions: 4.9 x 3 x 0.9 inches and 11.2
It also has dual USB outputs, meaning you can charge two devices
simultaneously. Four status LEDs tell you at-a-glance how much
power the Astro itself has left. There's even a built-in flashlight
so you can make your connections in the dark.
To really understand the appeal of the Astro E5, though, check
the user reviews. At last count there were over 800 of them, with
an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. That's almost unheard-of
for any such product, and it speaks volumes about how good these
My one and only complaint is the way the charger itself gets
charged: via an included microUSB cable, which must be plugged into
either a computer's USB port or the AC adapter that probably came
with your phone or tablet.
That gripe aside, this is about as good as it gets for a mobile
charger. I've used the Anker series myself, and they're exactly as
good as advertised. If you need extra juice for your gadgets, grab
this for your purse, carry-on bag, glove compartment, or the
like.Veteran technology writer Rick Broida
is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his
money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC