Backup Power: Choix Power Fort 5.5Whrs

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power_fort_5.5whrsFollowing the release of the Power Fort 10Whrs, Choix are soon to release a smaller, even more portable, version, the Choix Power Fort 5.5Whrs, which we were really lucky to be able to get our hands on.  As the name might suggest, this version offers roughly half the backup power of its' bigger brother, which still gives it the ability to provide extended usage times of around 6 hours for PDA and GPS units, 8 hours for handheld game devices (Nintendo DS etc.), up to 8 hours for mobile phones and smartphones, 48 hours for the average mp3 player or Ipod and a massive 60 hours of extra use for bluetooth headsets and similar.

Sizewise the device is only 9.8 (length) x 4.8 (width) x 1.2 (height) at its thickest and is finished with stylish silver gloss upper surface (or black gloss depending on your choice) and rubber coated base to prevent damage to the unit.  Weight-wise the entire unit only weighs 58g making it ideal for anything from handbags to laptop sleeves with small pockets.  Included with the unit are two USB cables, one with a micro tip for connection to a compatible smartphone or mobile (HTC, Nokia etc.) and one mini USB used for using to charge the device (any USB slot with power can be used from a spare port on your laptop or PC to a dedicated USB wall socket).  This smaller Power Fort has also lost the LED torch, which whilst it may possibly come in handy in a power shortage is probably not going to get much use by the average user.  Also included is a soft microfibre-like coth bag for storing the Power Fort and cables.

Initial setup of the Choix Power Fort 5.5Whrs merely requires an 8 hour charge (further recharges take far less time, ~2-3 hours) which is indicated by a single red LED that extinguishes when the battery of the Power Fort is fully charged. To charge a device from the Power Fort is equally simple, requiring that the device to be charged is connected by USB via the output port.  A simple push of the button and the attached device starts to be charged which is indicated by the LED turning to green.  Both of these functions can be done simultaneously with the Power Fort charging its own internal battery whilst charging an attached device.

The LED can also be used to determine the power state of the internal battery when not in use at the push of the power button, with a red LED indicating less than 90% capacity and a green indicating between 90-95% remaining.  The internal battery is 1500mAH Lithium-Polymer which provides  a robust rechargeable platform for multiple charge/discharge events and the device is able to output 5V at 1A.  Additionally the Choix Power Fort provides peace of mind with over charging protection, over discharging protection, over current protection as well as short circuit protection in order to protect both the user and any attached devices.

As with the Choix Power For 10Whrs the Choix Power Fort 5 .5Whrs is a great little battery backup device and as with other Choix products we have reviewed gives the impression and delivers solid performance (we tested the device with a range of smartphones and an iPod) across the board.  Due to be released at the beginning of November at a price of €29.99, it compares well to other battery backup devices we have reviewed in both function and price and certainly receives the thumbs up from us!