By Nate Adcock on Fri, 03/26/2010
Ben briefly reviewed this device last year, but the PR company was nice enough to send me a trial unit of a newer version, and since I'm on an extended trip, I gave it a go. It's small, light, carries an 1800mAh battery charge, and it has a laser on one end. What more could you want from a add-on travel battery?
RichardSolo is the current effort started by Richard Thalheimer--as you may or may not know was the founder behind the Sharper Image--which used to sell gadgety stuff via SkyMall and even brick and morter stores before closing up shop last year. I admit to having purchased more than a few of their products or getting them as presents and generally liking them. I still felt some of the stuff was a little pricey for the durability and quality, but they did fill a certain niche when it came to travel-related goodies.
The 1800 is a bit like those other products I have from Sharper Image. It has clever features, is perfect for travel, but seems a little light in it's construction. When I travel for extended periods, I go with a lot of tech gear, and my trips sometimes include modes of travel (say a cargo plane) that I need a bit more rugged stuff that can stand getting banged around. This battery does not seem as sturdy as my trusty Power2Go (from Black and Decker), but it is lighter and smaller (see my travel charge options below). Of course, I also pack along a Yogen Charger... The Yogen is great for recharging my gear (even my add-on batteries) without having any external power source at all (just pull on the cord for several minutes). You get a workout, and can power up as well... You never know when you might need some manually powered juice while on the go.
Some of the improved aspects are in adding a mini-USB dongle and cable to the original 1800. The RichardSolo 1800 is not too over the top pricey at $69 (you can find other add-on batteries for more and less), but does sport unique features and a small footprint. The unit comes with car charger, standard outlet plug (with USB port), and cable for iPhone/iPod. You can use it to charge up your iPod or iPhone (worked with my touch and Nano), or shine a light into dark places (like a night flight down under). You can also charge your unit whilst having it plugged in (it charges up your iPhone, then charges itself). Check it out here...