Article and photos by Gary Cox
The FatCat mPower PowerBar 4200
The FatCat mPower PowerBar 4200, a battery charger for small devices, packs a lot of power into a small convenient package. With a lithium polymer battery that holds about twice the power of a smart phone (4200 mAh) and special circuitry designed to protect the devices it charges, this sleek 4 ounce package can keep the movies and music playing on a long flight, or keep a phone going at that critical moment. For day to day use, we find it much handier than keeping all the various wall chargers on hand when going out with phones, iPad and MiFi unit. It is comforting to know that even if the phone gets a lot of use, or does not get charged the night before, the PowerBar is there to make up the difference. Smaller than a deck of playing cards, the PowerBar 4200 has earned a slot in our laptop and tablet bags.
The PowerBar, priced at $69.95, arrived with a partial charge I was able to top up in four to seven hours plugged into a standard USB port. According to the manufacturer, the battery is good for 500 charge/discharge cycles with recommended topping of the charge at least every three months. The smooth case feels solid and there is a charge indicator on the front that shows a light for each 25 percent of charge the device is holding. We tested a black one on domestic travel. As of this writing the PowerBar is offered in five colors adding blue, red, orange and silver to the front of the case.
The accessory tips and cable came with a cloth bag
The package included a cloth drawstring pouch to hold the selection of tips and the cables. The tips included micro USB, mini USB, male and female USB, iPhone and DC 3.5×1.3. The website indicated less frequently used tips may be available. Most devices that will work with this charger will have a USB cable supplied that can be inserted into the female USB tip. So far all our USB devices have been compatible with the FatCat and the tips that were included. Made by Infora, the FatCat was designed in Sweden and manufactured in China. The company (Infora, 44 Amity Rd, Warwick, NY 10990, +1-845-258-9027, http://www.fatcatgear.com,firstname.lastname@example.org) website lists a two year warranty.