It’s always a pain when travelling abroad. The UK might have invented the safest three-pin electrical plug standard in the world but it’s not easy on your luggage and is, perhaps, over-conservative. Europe and much of Asia, Africa and Latin America opt instead for a rather flimsier three-pin version, especially suitable to 140 volts power supplies. Usefully, for charging your devices you just need live and return so you just need a plug with two round pins, but by the time you’ve clipped on your UK plug and a its plug adapter the whole charging system just gets too heavy for ageing sockets: the adapter sags and the connection is lost.
Fear not. The good people at Anker have thought about this and come up two perfect solutions for solving your power problems while travelling abroad. There’s the PowerCore Lite 1000, storing enough power to charge your phone three times or a tablet twice. That means you don’t need to worry about plugging in to any foreign power supply: you can take good old British volts with you to keep you online. More interestingly they have also come up with a system to adapt their charging devices to have changeable plugs, meaning you can quickly flip out the UK plug and clip on the two-pin version for other countries. Which brings me to the PowerPort 4 Lite.
This is Anker’s new four-usb port fast charger, and it’s exactly what you need when travelling en famille. I was recently in Indonesia and had no end of problems. My phone wouldn’t charge at all with any of the cheap adapters I’d bought: sagging under the weight of a plug adapter they failed and failed to fill my S7. I had to buy a new adapter, at great expense at a branded Samsung shop, to get me through but this didn’t really solve my problem. There were four of us travelling, and the two children were competing for the trickle of volts the rickety sockets of cheap doss-houses in Indonesia could be persuaded to share.
What I needed then, and only have now, is the Anker PowerPort 4 Lite. It can run on UK or European plug sockets without adapters and power up four devices – fast – at the same time.
As ever with Anker products this comes beautifully packaged. Open the box and you find a sleek four-point charger fitted with a UK and a two-prong plug useful in most of the rest of the world. (America, Australia and the Philippines are a few of those who go their own flat-pin way but they will just have to suffer the consequences of me not going there).
It charges super-fast. Both phone and ipad charging together banged up to full charge quicker than they would on a standard charger. It’s absolutely silent (no hum like some other multi chargers) and didn’t break a sweat doing it: it didn’t even get warm. It’s listed as chucking out 2.4 amps at each port and that certainly seemed effective. Connections to the power supply are precise, thanks to the interchangeable plugs, and the USB leads fit snugly and precisely.
It’s already become the prime charger at home for all my family’s devices – and best of all it can just convert to the continental standard whenever we go abroad.
After that it’s slightly difficult to find anything new to say about the Anker PowerCore II 2000, beyond the obvious. It’s a sleek, substantial portable battery that works. A touch of a button lights up four LEDs to indicate it’s charge level and it can fast-charge phones, headphones, and other devices. Several times. It will charge an iphone almost seven times, Galaxy S8 four and an Ipad twice. On one charge. It’s far more reliable than many electricity supplies you get when travelling in the developing world and just does what you need it to, silently and well.
There are plenty more Anker products available. They do waterproof sports earphones, noise cancelling wireless headphones, and a range of leads with a reputation of quality manufacture and reliability. The Anker PowerPort 4 Lite and the Anker PowerCore 2000 simply add to this reputation for good electrical gear, made well, that performs.