Black and Decker PowerToGo 20W Review


Portable Power?

I don’t travel much these days.  Not since my youth when we would take trips from Tennessee to Florida or on long rides across the country in my friend’s brother’s eighteen-wheeler.  Those trips consisted of endless hours of listening to whatever FM radio station was available in whatever Podunk town we happened to be going through.  Portable CD players were brand new and therefore only the more pampered kids had one.  MP3 players… WTF were those?  Travel today is much more entertaining.  In-dash DVD players, screens anywhere and everywhere, laptop computers built into your new Hummer H2.  People WANT to go on trips these days in the car.  The longer the better.

And do you know why we would rather ride around in a car than take a much shorter trip on an airplane?  Because 99% of planes don’t have a place to plug stuff in.  Want to charge your iPod?  Not on this plane, pal.  WiFi?  Yeah, if you want to pay $9.99 per minute to use the slowest connection since dial up.  No thanks, I’ll just watch a video on my PSP.  What’s that?  This is a 12-hour flight and you don’t have a place to plug in my PSP for a recharge?  Well, you know what American Airlines?  You can blow my n…  Eh.. Never mind that.

You know what you do when you don’t have a place to get some juice for your gear?  You get portable power.  Black and Decker created this nifty little contraption called the PowerToGo.  You can get it in 3 flavors, 10w, 20w, and 100w.  I opted for the 20w because I didn’t figure I would need much more than that to power my PSP and cell phone, and because the 2Ah battery that comes with it is half the weight of the 4Ah battery inside the 100w version.  Weight is an issue when traveling.  Here’s a few details on it:

  • Input – 8.4 VDC, 5.0A
  • Output – 115V AC 60Hz-20W for 5 minutes, 16W continuous
  • Battery – 2Ah, NiMH
  • USB – 5V DC (350 mA)
  • Piano black finish
  • Durable plastic enclosure