Sometimes it’s the simple gadgets that turn out to be the most useful. A good case in point is the Ventev Powerdash R900 car charger. Simple looking little device, but my wife loves this thing.
The Ventev Powerdash R900 looks like a typical smartphone recharger meant for a vehicle’s 12V outlet. It’s tiny, cylindrical and sports a single USB port with an LED indicator. It sports an attractive dark gray and orange color scheme but nothing fancy. At $39.99 (under $29 on Amazon), it’s inexpensive. It’s rated for 2.1A output, so recharging a smartphone is quick. It has short circuit and temperature protection circuitry. However, the Powerdash R900 is concealing an integrated 900 mAh rechargeable battery.
That’s not nearly enough to fully recharge a smartphone (and it’s slower since battery operation is reduced to 1A), but it is enough to get another two to three hours of use in an emergency. We’ve had an assortment of phone and device chargers in our vehicles over the years, but my wife really likes this one because it’s compact and doesn’t get in the way, because it doesn’t stick out or block anything and it doesn’t look expensive enough to attract thieves. She leaves it plugged in so it’s always there to combat range anxiety when she’s commuting and the integrated battery is always fully charged. If she’s worried about iPhone battery life during a long day, the Powerdash R900 is compact enough to slip in her purse or coat pocket for a top up. It’s easier than having a car charger and also carrying around a portable battery pack.
Her iPhone occasionally pitches a fit and shows zero battery when in fact it has a 50 percent charge, but it needs to be plugged into a recharger for the error to clear — having the Powerdash R900 handy as portable recharger can mean the difference between a dead phone when running errands and one that’s fully functioning.
A microUSB cable is included, but fit you use an iOS device, you’ll need to a Lightning cable. Ventev makes some pretty primo-looking Lightning cables, including braided, coloured, extended length and flat cord versions.
Disclosure: Ventev supplied a Powerdash R900 for review purposes.