Sunday, August 23, 2015

iGo Mains, Car and Aircraft Laptop Power Adapter

The power adapter for my laptop stopped working so I purchased an iGo Slim Universal Laptop Power Adapter from Kogan. In addition to the 240 volt mains plug (to suite Australia) it also has an EmPower plug to run a laptop from in an aircraft or car cigarette lighter receptacle. The adapter also has a USB socket for charging.

The adapter came with interchangeable plugs for a large range of laptops. It took quite a bit of time to work out exactly which one would fit my laptop (as may look the same but are slightly different sizes). The plugs fit firmly on the adapter and are unlikely to fall off (and be lost). One problem is because of the need for interchangeability, the plugs are large and it is not easy to fit the Ethernet plug next to it on my laptop.

The brief but readable manual for the iGO makes much of its energy saving features. But in practice I found these make the unit harder to use.

The adapter will switch off when it detects the laptop is fully charged and then wake up every 15 minutes to check if more charging is needed. This sounds a good idea, saving the "phantom power" adapters normally consume. But several times the adapter has failed to switch back on, resulting in my laptop battery completely discharging.

Also the designers of this device have failed to realize that people don't just use the adapter to recharge batteries but also to power a laptop for stationary use. When the adapter shuts off power, my laptop switches to low power mode, which is annoying when I am using it at a desk.

In addition, the adapter has not proved very useful for charging USB devices. My phone beeps briefly when changed. So when plugged into the iGO it beeps every fifteen minutes (when the iGO wakes up and briefly charges the phone). This is very annoying.

The adapter would not power my wireless router via the USB socket. The router would start up, but then power would be lost after a few seconds.

Also the iGO came with another set of adapter cables which I can't find a socket on the adapter they fit into.

The iGO would be more useful if there was a way to switch off the power saving feature of the iGO. But the inclusion of an aircraft plug makes up for this inconvenience.

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