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FSP Ion mobile power bank

FSP Ion mobile power bank

The USB cord is very short, but this is all you need to do to charge the Ion

The USB cord is very short, but this is all you need to do to charge the Ion

Traveling with a power-hungry mobile device can be a nerve wracking experience. Even practicing conservative power usage by powering down during non-use times, reducing screen brightness, or switching off unnecessary services, you can still find yourself running dangerously low on power during a time when you may need your mobile device most. Depending on where you’re going, chances to charge may be few and far between.

I’ll use my own experience of covering a trade show with my T-Mobile G1. The G1 is a very capable device, but it uses quite a bit of power if you have it going full-bore all the time. I flew from Detroit to Denver, and then from Denver to LA. While in the air, I had my phone in airplane mode, and combined time on the ground at airports was about five hours. Once I got to LAX, I had to coordinate with another friend to arrange pickup, and my phone was starting to get a bit low. It’s a good thing, then, that I had a fully charged FSP Ion with me.

The FSP Ion is about the size of a deck of playing cards, but a half of the thickness. It has a black rubberized coating, a tiny port for the business end of things, and a very short USB connector that snaps in to be flush with the chassis so that it’s out of the way. You charge the Ion by plugging it into a PC (or any device that can provide +5V to the USB ports). Once it is charged, it’s basically a reserve tank for your mobile device. The Ion comes with two adapters: one for iPod devices (iTouch, iPhone, etc.) and one with a female USB jack so that you can adapt it to whatever 5v charging connector you need.

The Ion takes about 3 hours to fully charge from empty. You are presented with a bank of blue lights on the front, and when they fill up, the top one turns green to indicate that the Ion is fully charged.

With the Ion, I was able to get two days’ worth of charge for my G1, while covering E3. I was at the conference center for the bulk of each day, and at no point did I need to plug in my regular charging cord; I just hooked it up to the Ion while I was walking the show floor, or to and from the hotel, or while I ate. I tried to make sure that at any point I wasn’t using my phone it was plugged in to the Ion. Using this method, I was able to have a fully charged phone for the entire week.

When I was hanging out in the press lounge, I was charging my G1

When I was hanging out in the press lounge, I was charging my G1

At one point, one of my travelling companions (who also has a G1) said: “I’m jealous.”

There is really no mystery to the Ion; it is a battery pack, plain and simple. However, if you travel it can be a very important piece of your kit. The fact that it is small, sleek, attractive, and unobtrusive makes it all the more appealing.

The Ion is available from Amazon for $34.99. It is also available directly from directly from FSP.


  1. chrisWhite
    chrisWhite $30 bucks? Holy crap, that's awesome! This will make SIGGRAPH way more easy to keep a charge at. Last year I was literally walking around with my laptop propped just open enough to keep it on and charging in my bag over my shoulder with the USB cord connected to my iPhone. Pain in the rear.

    Speaking of which, how does it hold up charging your laptop?
  2. Gate28
    Gate28 How much does it weigh?
  3. GnomeWizardd
    GnomeWizardd NICe I am going to travel to FL in dec for vacation, Now ill have music the whole way!
  4. GnomeWizardd
    GnomeWizardd also gate it says 8oz on the product description
  5. primesuspect
    primesuspect It can't charge a laptop. It can only charge 5v devices

    You use the laptop to charge the Ion.
  6. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx Still jealous.

    I'm probably going to buy one before SIGGRAPH, it would make me MUCH less paranoid about using it during the show. I'm kind of surpirsed at the price point, I was expecting it to be a little higher. For the use you got out of it in LA, $30 is totally worth it.
  7. Bustedbyfeds Wow! sounds like a killer deal i plan on going to Florida as well and i know my ipod could use the juice as well as my phone and with a price tag of thirty bucks sounds like sweet deal.
  8. chrisWhite
    chrisWhite Yeah $30 really caught my eye as well, there are several similar iPhone units and they're all in the $80-100 range. One or two of them actually fit on the iPhone as a larger case though.
  9. MachineDog
    MachineDog I purchased myself one and I'd like to note that while it is amazing, the device now no longer works because the USB cable that comes out of the back of the device is fairly fragile. In 2 months of use the cable has managed to pull itself out of the USB plug enough that it will no longer charge.

    Time to go figure out how to use the warranty.

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