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Tue 28, Oct 2008

powergorilla in The Independent

"Ever wanted a portable charger for your laptop?  The powergorilla will give you an extra 2-5 hours of power, depending on your laptop's specification and over 20 hours of power for various other electronic devices.  Powergorilla will work with devices up to 24volts - so from your laptop, right the way down to your mobile phone or iPod.  You can even daisy-chain, so whilst the powergorilla is charging your laptop, you can charge the powergorilla from the mains power supply or you can charge your laptop and your phone simultaneously!

The solargorilla is a portable solar charger designed to recharge the powergorilla directly from the power of the sun!Its 20volt and 5volt USB socket makes it the ultimate renewable power station for your powergorilla, laptop, mobile phone, iPod and many more devices.  The two PV (photovoltaic) solar panels generate electric current when they ar exposed to light and the green LED on the solargorilla indicates the strength of charge. 

Use solargorilla and powergorilla together and you have a completely portable power station for al your devices.  With a total combined weight of just 1350g, both are totally robust - ready for you to ROAM WILD."

Tue 28, Oct 2008

Queensland's Courier Mail reviews powergorilla & solargorilla

 

"THE new generation of smartphones is giving travellers more connectivity, but no gadget is more useful on the road than the laptop.  Whether you want to keep up with email, write about your adventures, upload photos or talk to loved ones via Skype, the laptop can do it all. It has just one demand and one downfall: power and more power.

Queensland-based company SoundStuff recently imported a green solution to this bugbear. The company’s latest charger not only stores enough energy to power your laptop twice over or more but, when combined with a solar-friendly partner, can extract energy from the sun. Did someone say ‘‘hi-tech camping’’?

The two products are the PowerGorilla, which stores the energy, and the SolarGorilla, which picks up the sun’s rays to deliver it. Both are sold separately (the panels can be plugged into gadgets directly), but Connect tested them together.  The PowerGorilla unit is a handy, brickshaped device that is 22cm long, 13cm wide and weighs 700g (as much as some netbooks). It is also rugged, with rubber sides for easy grip, and is well equipped to be used in all kinds of outdoor conditions.  The useful gadget is essentially a giant lithium polymer battery. You can charge it by plugging it into a wall socket (it takes up to three hours for a full charge) or you can plug it into the SolarGorilla panels.  These oversized panels are similarly rugged and fold out to pick up a fair area of sunlight. Using these to charge the Powergorilla brick could not be simpler. We picked the right adaptor, connected them via a cord and simply walked outside. As soon as the SolarGorilla found enough sunlight to make electricity, the PowerGorilla turned itself on and started charging.

Our only complaints were that the SolarGorilla did not work in dappled light, and that it took a while to charge gadgets and the power brick (for impatient gadgeteers, anyway).  Though both gadgets complement each other, they are useful separately too. Both come with an extensive range of connections that can be used to charge iPods, PSPs and mobile phones as well as laptops.  Most laptop makes are covered with these connections, including those from ASUS, Acer, Toshiba, Dell, Fujitsu, NEC, Samsung and Sony.

The SolarGorilla also comes with a 2m cord, so you don’t have to leave your precious gadgets baking in the sun.  Connect tested the PowerGorilla with laptops from Dell and Fujitsu to great effect.  Though we were worried early on, when the laptop did not recognise the power source, it soon became clear that the giant battery does not top up your battery’s power — it simply stops it from dipping further. A battery at 40 per cent charge, for example, will stay there while the PowerGorilla is connected. Users will therefore have to ensure that their power does not dip too low before reaching for the brick.  It is also worth noting that the Powergorilla can output 5, 16, 19 or 24 volts, depending on your requirements, features protection against short circuits, overheating and overcharging, and will not work with Macs without an additional adaptor.

Both the PowerGorilla and the SolarGorilla are undeniably handy, however, and should appeal to outdoor adventurers and indoor laptop lovers alike. While carrying both will weigh you down at 1.4kg, packing one as a power back-up is bound to pay off."

 - This review was organised by our Australian distributor, SoundStuff.

Mon 27, Oct 2008

Powergorilla reviewed by computer-takeaway.co.uk!

"When I originally heard that Powertraveller were going to extend their range to include a laptop backup power device I have to admit I was dubious as to whether it would have any benefits over simply purchasing a long-life battery for a laptop (even though I was very impressed with the Powertraveller powermonkey-eXplorer).  Yet again, however, I was suitably impressed with the Powertraveller product to highly recommend it, despite the cost.

The Powertraveller powergorilla as it sounds is the big brother to the powermonkey range.  Whereas a powermonkey is capable of powering and charging a range of small electronics and handheld devices, the powergorilla is capable of powering a laptop for up to 2-5 hours extra.  Not only that, but it also has all the additional capabilities of the powermonkey as well and can therefore power both a laptop as well as charging a mobile phone or handheld gaming device at the same time!  I had imagined taht this would therefore be a bulky and unwieldy piece of kit, much larger than simply a long life battery, but yet again I am amazed at the fact that the powergorilla has a footprint of only a third of my laptop (220 x 130 x 15mm), which itself is very small and weighs only 631g.  The overall look of the powergorilla is modern and solid, with a grey metal finish and rubber side grips.  There is a small illuminated display for showing overall charge of the device, voltage and connection type.

Connection to a laptop is a doddle, with a selection of "Gorilla Nuts" (power tips for laptops) to suit most laptops available and as we saw for the powermonkey, there are enough "monkey nuts" (small electronics power tips) to connect up nearly any available mobile phone, MP3 player, camera or gaming device.  This means that  it is unlikely that you will have to go out and purchase additional power tips, a small blessing if you are likely to use a range of equipment and regularly purchase new devices.

As the powergorilla is effectively a large rechargeable battery (lithium polymer), there comes a time when it itself will need recharging.  Again, a lot of thought has been put into this and the powergorilla comes with a power lead with interchangeable heads that will allow the powergorilla to be recharged virtually anywhere in the world.  We found in our testing (as we wrote the review) that there was absolutely no visible sign of discharging of the powergorilla when we had it as the only source of power for the laptop (over 2 hours) and we could easily anticipate the powergorilla outlasting the standard Dell battery supplied with our Dell D420.

In summary, although the powergorilla is relatively expensive (£150), if you spend a lot of time travelling and use a laptop for business or conferences, where there is generally either no time or provision for charging laptops, the powergorilla provides the ultimate convenience.  Add to that it won't cost you as much as a long-life battery, and is transferrable between laptops and also charges additional handheld electronics, the Powertraveller powergorilla is a winner in our book.

Fri 24, Oct 2008

Personal Computer World review the powergorilla!

"The powergorilla is a portable, rechargeable battery unit that can give your laptop up to five extra hours of charge, or around 20 hours of playback from devices such as MP3 players.

The aluminium-encased unit is smart and rugged.  It's also thin enough to fit into a laptop bag without bulking it out inconveniently.  It comes in its own pouch, with space to house the selection of cables and adaptors supplied with it.  These adaptors allow you to connect a variety of chargeable devices using voltages from 5V up to 24V.  They also allow the powergorilla to be charged up in 150 countries around the globe.  Two packs of connectors are supplied, with many more available separately from Powertraveller.  Check the Powertraveller website for compatibility with your own devices before purchase.  A single on/off button accompanies an LCD panel with a cool blue backlight, which displays the amount of charge left in the device, as well as the currently selected voltage.

Three connectors are provided along the top edge of the device.  The input connector is for charging up the powergorilla, while the output socket is for hooking up your laptop.  When powering your laptop, you select the correct voltage by pressing  the power button repeatedly until the desired voltage appears on the display.  The third connector is a USB socket that will provide a standard 5V power source from which you can power most handheld gadgets.

For even longer battery life away from home, you can team up the device with Powertraveller's solargorilla (£140), which will keep it topped up when there is no mains power available.

The powergorilla is well made.  Crucially, it's neither bulky nor unsightly.  In fact, it's about the closest a battery can get to being stylish."

Thu 23, Oct 2008

CRN review of powergorilla!

"With a name as good as the Powergorilla users would expect nothing more than a monster performance, and the Gorilla does deliver.

There are not many portable devices on the market that can power a user’s laptop on the move with any great effect, but this not only does that, but it can also power a mobile phone, iPod and handheld games console at the same time.  The device comes with its own A/C adaptor which works in over 150 countries, with interchangeable heads for the UK, US/Japan/China, Australia and Europe – meaning it really is a handy tool for the mobile executive.

As expected with a device of this kind it is not exactly the most sexy looking object, but it does what it says on the tin. It can give an extra two to five hours of power to the average notebook and around 20 hours of power to other devices.
Not only that but if the charger feels it is getting too hot through over use or heat exposure it will simply shut itself off.

We tested the Powergorilla while on a business trip and it really did power four devices at once, which saves having to bulk up luggage with all the different plugs and adapters usually needed when working on the move.  The device comes with a handy protective case and is also ruggedised with rubber strips, so it can take some knocks.  Great portable power device for the business traveller with the added bonus of being able to charge other portable devices."

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