Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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May 31, 2011 • Reviews

iPad Accessory Review: The Joy Factory’s PowerBullet-X

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My brother-in-law Robert recently ordered an iPad. I never thought I would see the day when that would happen but order he did. The same goes for my friend Michael. He too finally hit the “Order” button and came into the new post-pc era.

I predict that Robert and Michael will find themselves using their iPads even more than they expect. That means they’ll need some key accessories. Chief among them, a way to charge the iPad in the car. As you are likely aware, the iPad requires a 10W power source. That means you cannot use many, or all of the car adapters you might already own. That’s where The Joy Factory’s PowerBullet-X comes into play. I was not previously familiar with the company but will be reviewing a number of their products in the next days. (Spoiler: one fo their iPad 2 cases just became my favorite and is now my “daily driver”.)

Here’s a quick look at a tiny accessory.

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From the Company:

Don’t risk running out of power. Charge up your iPad, iPhone, iPod or any tablet and mobile devices safely and fast with the PowerBullet-X car charger from The Joy Factory. Sleek and compact, the PowerBullet-X sports a low profile, and stays in your cigarette socket without blocking the ashtray cover or getting in the way of you and your console. Just plug in your device and 10W (2.1A) of power delivers the fastest charging possible. The PowerBullet-X automatic Intellifuse™ surge protection and resume feature regulate the current traveling to your device, so there’s no risk and no disruption in charging. You’ll love the illuminated power indicator that helps you see which end to plug in at night. With the PowerBullet-X, you’ll never have to worry about your device running out of power while you’re on the road.

• 10W (2.1A) power for fast device charging.

• Low-profile design—stays in your cigarette socket.

• Won’t block access to ashtray lid or console controls.

• Automatic Intellifuse™ surge protection keeps your devices safe.

• Auto resume feature keeps charging stable.

• Works with any USB cable, and makes any USB cable car-charger ready.

• Illuminated power indicator makes it easier to plug in your device at night.

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There isn’t all that much to say about the PowerBuller-X except for the fact that it features is “smart” and “low profile”. That combination makes it worth considering.

Smart:

The PowerBuller-X is fast-charging and includes surge protection so that your device won’t be damaged if the electrical system goes wonky. For most of you that might not be a consideration but my Subaru has had some electrical system issues in the past and I just don’t trust it to be stable and not have surges in the flow of electrons. Having a safety mechanism built-in gives me piece of mind.

Low Profile:

The PowerBullet-X is small. In fact, in most power plugs/cigarette plugs the BowerBullet-X acts as a plug and does not protrude into the car at all. That’s a great thing for cars like mine that have the shifter right in front of the lighter where, at times, it has gotten in the way.

Finally, the glowing power indicator makes it easy to find the USB plug at night, although you should not be fiddling with devices while driving to begin with and you could just as easily turn on the overhead light.

The PowerBullet-X has an MSRP of $17.95. That might seem like a lot for something as small and simple as this but do you want to trust your iPad to a cheap discount charger? I sure don’t.

The PowerBuller-X is simple, does what it promises and does so unnoticed once it is in place. Small details matter and this is a good example of something small that is well-thought-out and made with quality. That works for me!

MSRP: $17.95

What I Like: Smart and Low-Profile; built-in safety system to protect your device; doesn’t take up a lot of room.

What Needs Improvement: Some may see the price tag as high

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