- Created on 18 October 2010
Recently we reviewed the Cooler Master Ultra Slim Notebook Adaptor (USNA) 95 which up until now has to be our favourite universal power supply, however the latest power supply we have been sent to review may have just pipped it at the post. Manufactured by Innergie, the mCube Pro universal laptop adaptor is truly universal as it can charge laptops from most manufacturers and additionally has adaptors for use with 12V supplies such as found in cars (the old cigarette lighter socket) and aircraft.
The main casing of the power supply is finished in white gloss with a silver band that creates the join between two detachable components, the so called subunit and main units. The main unit houses the transformer for mains voltage and is connected via the included power cable to an available wall socket and when used in this format, the subunit connects to the main unit to provide power to the laptop. Power is indicated by an LED on the subunit (blue for power outputs between 18V-21V and green for outputs between 15V-17V depending on the requirements of the connected laptop or notebook) and a further included cable is then used to connect to the laptop via a power tip. In addition, as with the Cooler Master USNA 95 there is a USB port for powering or charging of any small electronics device such as a smartphone (iPhone, HTC etc.) or MP3 player (iPod etc.) or even portable gaming device (PSP, Nintendo DS etc.).
Despite the enhanced functions of the mCube Pro, the dimensions remain conservative and the main unit measures only 128.8 x 70 x 23.6 mm and weighs in at only 199g. Safety-wise the unit has a series of built-in protections for connected devices (Over Current Protection, Over Voltage Protection, Over Temperature Protection, Over Power Protection, and Short Circuit Protection) and has a continuous maximum output of 75W.
Ten power tips are included with the device catering for most laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, Gateway, HP/ Compaq, IBM Lenovo, LG, MSI and Panasonic, although uniquely if a corresponding power tip for your model is not available, Innergie will send you one if you one for free if you pay for shipping. Since we tested the Innergie mCube Pro with an Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG we didn't need to test this free service, however we have no doubt that the promise would be honored.
If you travel a lot the ability to use this universal laptop adaptor in any form of transport is what really impressed us. If the subunit is detached from the main unit, the DC input cable can then be connected via the car or aeroplane adaptors to provide power whilst on the move, certainly something that surpasses the functions of any OEM power adaptor or indeed most universal adaptors.
The overall build quality is excellent and both the cables and unit itself both feel solid and durable. With any composite device where parts have to be taken apart and reassembled there is the chance that with continued use, but connectors fit firmly and the clips between the main unit and subunit are sprung meaning that they should last as long as the unit itself does.
The Innergie mCube Pro is available online for a price of ~£90 (at the time of writing) which is somewhat more expensive than other universal laptop power adaptors, but taking in to account the build quality, the extend uses of the adaptor (car and aeroplane) and the relatively small size of the device, we feel that this offers good value for money especially for those that travel a great deal and need access at all times to their data.