There's no shortage of portable chargers with internal batteries to give your mobile phone a top-up on the move. Many have enough juice to give your phone a full recharge, while there are the others that can recharge a laptop and then some.
The USB TurboCharger 7000 from Proporta sits somewhere in between, offering a good balance between power and portability. At 178g, it's certainly not heavy enough to pose any inconvenience when chucked in your bag.
It's also rugged enough to look like it will withstand being carried about as much as the gadgets it has to charge.
The battery pack has a 7,000mAh battery inside, along with two USB outputs and an industry standard micro-USB socket that allows you to charge it up. Out of the box, it comes approximately 75 per cent charged to get you going straight away.
A single button on the front needs nothing more than a quick tap to start the power flowing on one or both USB ports, with a series of blue LEDs showing the charge remaining for a few seconds (one light representing 25 per cent).
At a retail price of £54.95 it's not the cheapest, but considering it can charge just about anything you're getting something pretty future proof.
Both USB outputs can be used at the same time, too, which is another big benefit. However, only one is marked as offering a high output (2.1 Amps), providing a higher current to larger devices, like the iPad.
The high output wasn't enough to charge an HP TouchPad, and given that an iPad could be charged from either port it would seem that the outputs are most likely the same.
Tips and tricks
The TurboCharger comes with a range of tips to charge a range of devices, and a retractable USB cable. You can of course use any standard USB cable to charge your phone, tablet, digital camera, or portable satnav, as long as it doesn't require anything higher than the 5V 2.1A supply.
With most smartphones packing batteries of 1,500mAh or less, the TurboCharger 7000 will give at least four full charges and possibly more. If you're going away for a long weekend, there should be no need to worry about finding a place to charge your phone.
Buying a second battery isn't a particularly cost-effective alternative, either. Not least the fact that many devices have sealed batteries. For those that don't, there's the issue of how to charge the second battery (most likely through the phone, which means swapping repeatedly) and how to store the extra battery to avoid damage or short-circuiting.
If the retail price seems a little steep, there are lower capacity models. However, a charger that needs charging after just one or maybe two uses can become frustrating - effectively becoming a dead weight in no time.
What's in a name?
There's one problem with the TurboCharger, and it's nothing to do with the hardware. The issue is with the same charger being available from other suppliers under different names. We found the same model (but in white) for just £27 on Tecknet, for example.
Proporta may put it in a nicer box, and include a bag to keep the TurboCharger free of scratches, but is it worth twice as much? It's pretty hard to say "yes".
Hopefully, Proporta will bring the price down to make it a little more competitive, as the USB TurboCharger 7000 (and its variants) is something that anyone with a power-hungry smartphone or tablet really can't live without.