Review: Griffin PowerJolt (Second Revision)

by on June 7, 2006

Since our last review of the Griffin PowerJolt, a lot has changed. It’s now $5 cheaper, comes in black only, and includes two USB cables. Hardware-wise, the device is much like its predecessor, so most of our old review applies.

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 updated PowerJolt. The PowerJolt works with all iPods that support USB port charging.

PowerJolt
PowerJolt + Cables

PowerJolt
PowerJolt + Cables (Side View)

The first included cable 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, and it’s black. 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, which is incompatible with their iPods.

The other included cable is a USB-to-mini USB cable, similar to that included with most digital cameras. This allows the PowerJolt to charge an iPod that has an iTrip nano or regular Dock Connector-mounted iTrip attached. This cable also actually works as a USB-to-mini USB cable, allowing you to download photos off of your camera or possibly charge certain cell phones (although we haven’t tried this).

As mentioned before, the PowerJolt is entirely black, something that is sure to blend in well with most car interiors. A small LED located next to the USB port informs you of the status. Just like running the iPod in an AC charger, the PowerJolt charges your battery, or keeps a full battery charged.

The only downside is that the PowerJolt does not provide a line-level output from the Dock Connector, as some car adapters do. However, since it does have iTrips or other solutions in mind, we can overlook this minor shortcoming.

Overall, the new PowerJolt works as advertised, is a bit cheaper, and includes more with it. The new design also improves it aesthetically, and doesn’t make it noticeable when used it the car.


The One-Sentence Verdict™

The updated PowerJolt is everything we could ask for in a sequel.

Pros: Good build quality, USB-to-Dock Connector cable included, USB-to-mini USB cable included, cheaper than predecessor

Cons: No audio out

The Facts

5/5Product: PowerJolt
Company: Griffin Technology
Platform: iPod (4 5 M N S)
Price: $19.99

This post has been filed in iDevices and Reviews