Review: Griffin PowerJolt
In many cases, the iPod’s second home is the car. With plenty of FM transmitters, tape adapters, and other ways of harnessing the audio, the battery is often ignored, until a few hours go by. There are plenty of cigarette lighter adapters on the market, and we had the opportunity to try Griffin’s new PowerJolt.
The PowerJolts looks a lot like Griffin’s previous car charger, the PowerPod. Unlike the PowerPod, the PowerJolt costs $25 and utilizes USB, rather than FireWire. This means that it only works with the newest iPods, so users of third-generation iPods should look elsewhere.
PowerJolt & Cable
Included with the PowerJolt is a USB-to-Dock Connector cable. The cable looks and acts like the Apple one, with the only difference being a Griffin logo on the dock connector. iPod shuffle users will find this a useless addition, but anyone else will enjoy the convenience of having a spare. Third-generation iPod owners could use the USB cable to synchronize, but the key component of this package is the charger.
Also, the PowerJolt doesn’t look like many other car chargers—it’s dark grey, with only a bit of white. A red LED lets you know that it’s receiving power, but there’s know way of knowing if your iPod is charged or not without having to glance at the screen (or LED in the case of the shuffle). Just like running the iPod in an AC charger, the PowerJolt charges your battery, or keeps a full battery charged.
It is a bit on the expensive side, especially for shuffle users who won’t need the Dock Connector cable, but this inclusion is handy for anyone with a regular iPod or iPod mini. At this price, we would’ve liked to see the inclusion of a line-level audio output, but a PocketDock Line Out USB will take care of that, but add $30 to the price.
To summarize, the PowerJolt isn’t a bad product by any standards, but it’s also a bit bland, and for a few bucks less, you can get similar products, especially if you bring your own cable. We were surprised that Griffin didn’t choose to reinvent the wheel, like they had with so many other products.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The PowerJolt is a competent AC adapter, even if it is bit on the expensive side.
Pros: Good build quality, USB-to-Dock Connector included
Cons: A bit expensive, plain LED, no audio out