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Monday, June 17, 2019

MyCharge AdventureUltra Portable Wall Outlet Review

One of my early blog reviews was for a Rayovac 2-Hour Power Mobile Charger. Instead of plugging the mobile powerbank into the wall to recharge its internal battery so you could recharge your phone, it took a Lithium CR123a battery. When that battery wore out, you recharged the battery for its next usage, most typically by plugging it in, or carrying a few spares.

Fast forward six years and powerbanks are still evolving. Normally, you hear about a powerbank which has increased its mAh or milliampere hour to provide portal power longer. Now, with MyCharge's AdventureUltra Portable Wall Outlet, well, you get a standard 3-pronged plug in addition to USB recharging.

The AdventureUltra offers four different ports for output: two USB-A ports, charging the phones in the picture above, one USB-C port, unused in picture, and one three-prong plug, that the laptop is plugged into. It is that last plug that makes this powerbank special. No longer are you limited to the usagetime limitations of your laptop's internal battery. Instead, you can recharge the laptop right from the AdventureUltra. Or, if you need to power anything else that runs off a standard plug... that too can be powered up. The one limitation is it has a maximum power output of 45 watts. So... recharging a drone is okay. Recharging a laptop, should be okay, unless yours requires lots of power. You'll need to check your machine's documentation (or online specs or if you can read the text on the power adapter) to make sure you won't run into troubles. And... that 45 watts is a total output.
The way you control what gets power is with the two power buttons. To help you understand the current status of the ports/outlet, you can visually see what is powered up from the screeen. To turn on the USB ports, you press the left power button, with the universal symbol for power on/off. You'll see the left side of the display switch between off and on over a square with USB in the middle. To turn on the plug you press the right power button, with the picture of the plug on it. This has the right side of the screen switch between off and on and back again. That on/off status is over the picture of the three-pronged plug.

On the opposite side of the three pronged plug is where you recharge the powerbank. In the middle of the display is where you see the current charge level. The powerbank holds 13400 mAh worth of power. Either through observation or documentation reading, you'll learn how much power each of your devices use/need in order to recharge.

Don't think of the AdventureUltra as just an easy way to recharge your laptop when you're on the road. You can use it for many other things. Travelling to Europe from the US? Take the AdventureUltra with you and you won't have to worry about the 110V vs 220V outlet power differences. Just plug into the powerbank. Out camping? You can even bring your LCD TV from home and not miss the big game. The TV would run for upwards of three hours before the powerbank ran out of juice. There are endless usages for the AdventureUltra between the available USB ports and the three-pronged plug.

I'm surprised it took this long for powerbanks to accept three pronged plugged. Previously, I had tried a DC to AC 120v converter that plugged into your car's cigarette lighter / any 12-volt DC power plug in your vehicle. While my laptop did recharge from the converter, the current didn't seem to be coming at a steady enough level for the screen to not flash a bit strangely. So I considered that test a failure, shut things down, and never really used the inverter again, except for less power hungry applications.

If you find yourself running out of power frequently, and not just your phone, the MyCharge AdventureUltra is a great item to keep handy. I don't use it as my primary powerbank as it is a bit bulky. There needs to be enough space for the plug to be inserted. But, whenever I'm out and about with my laptop for an extended period of time, I'm sure to pack the powerbank to come along. You just never know when you'll need it.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions stated are my own and may differ from yours. See my disclosure policy for more information.