RichardSolo 1800 backup battery

photo courtesy of cnet.comThe biggest problem I've had with my iPod Touch is that I don't use it very often, so I don't realize the battery has run out until I want to use it, and then it's usually inconvenient to plug into an outlet or computer -- I want to use it right away!  Fortunately, there's a gadget for just this situation: a backup battery.  The one I have is a RichardSolo 1800, pictured at right.  It lets me use the iPod right away, and if I leave it plugged in it will take the iPod battery all the way to full charge.  Then I can plug the battery into a wall or USB port at my convenience.

It does join to the iPod a little precariously, reminiscent of insects mating -- I wouldn't want to disturb them much while they're joined lest something break off.  Fortunately the company has realized this is a liability and sells the current model with a cable for connecting to the iPod as well as one for charging the battery.   The two buttons on the battery are an LED flashlight and a laser pointer, providing two more good reasons to carry it around with you wherever you go!

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<p>Ben Stallings is a Web Developer for <em>Smartphone Magazine</em> and <em>iPhone Life</em>. He also does freelance Web development, specializing in the Drupal content-management system, under the name Interdependent Web. He lives in Emporia, Kansas.</p>