Anyone with a dream and a few bucks can get a kickstarter to make a battery pack these days. And even if they surpass the seemingly insurmountable odds, chances are something like a battery pack isn’t going to stand out amongst the sea of other, very similar battery packs. But HooToo (ironically funded via crowdsourcing), has something that might do just that. You see, it’s not just a battery charger. It is a dual USB wall charger, personal cloud, travel router, external battery, and hotspot all wrapped into one, small black square(ish) case.
This part is pretty easy – it’s a battery pack. You plug things into it and it charges them. It’s 1+ amp charging, too, so it’ll be relatively quick. The addition of wall plugs for direct connections to AC power are also a plus, meaning recharging the TripMate itself will be far faster than if you tried to charge it over USB only.
Ever find a hotel that provides wired internet inside their rooms and either no Wifi (where is this place?!) or charges an arm and a leg? Simply plug the TripMate into the landline and you’ll have your own handy 802.11n router ready and waiting. Setup can be done with handy Android (here) and iOS (here) apps. Mind you, they’re a bit dated in the design department. But overall, they get the job done. We’ll touch on the apps more in a bit.
The HooToo is rated for ~17 hours of battery life when pulling router duties. And in our testing, doing normal work-ish activites (browsing the internet, writing articles and some YouTube here and there) always got us past at 10 hours worth of run time, after which we’d plug it in in preparation for the next day. For almost anyone out there, the battery life in router mode is going to be more than adequate for one super long session or several small ones.
Easy, Portable Network Storage
Those USB ports on the TripMate don’t just act as a means to charge things. Plug in a flash drive or hard drive (via adapter of course) and you’ve instantly got quick network storage that can be easily accessed via anything connected to the TripMate’s hotspot/network. Besides the network devices attached to the TripMate like normal computers, file browsing can be done inside the TripMate app on both Android and iOS.
As mentioned (and linked to) above, there are accompanying Android and iOS apps that allow you to control the TripMate in its entirety, including network settings and browsing cloud files plus uploading/downloading files to and from it. For something as seemingly simple as a “smart” battery pack, the apps for Android and iOS are actually both fairly feature filled.
Jack of all trades
The TripMate might not be the most capacious battery, the smallest charger or the fastest router. But the fact that it’s pretty damn good at all of the above, fits in a pocket/bag and is only $59.99 makes it quite a steal, dare we say a geek’s swiss army knife. If you’re looking for a charger and happen to the be type that travels a lot where some sort of personal cloud and/or hotspot functionality is needed, we’re hard pressed to find something more fitting. For the same price as just a typical battery pack you’re also getting an easy hotspot and network storage device.
More: HooToo – TripMate Elite