Programming Note: This site will be on break through the holidays and return in January. Be sure to subscribe or check back for updates!

Review: Griffin PowerDuo Universal

by on September 11, 2008

We’ve reviewed a number of Griffin products over the years, including the PowerJolt and the PowerBlock. With Apple not including an AC adapter with any iPods these days, this is often a necessary extra expense. Rather than get the small white box from everyone’s favorite fruit-themed computer company, Griffin offers a pair of power accessories for only $5 more.

Griffin PowerDuo Universal Griffin PowerDuo Universal Griffin PowerDuo Universal

As we’ve said many times, the iPod’s second home is the car. Since many things can drain an iPod’s battery, including remotes and FM transmitters, a cigarette lighter charger makes sense. An AC adapter makes it easier to charge your iPod at home without the need to use a computer. With the Griffin PowerDuo Universal, you get one of each for $35.

Why spend the extra money over the Apple-official AC adapter? Well, besides getting two products (a PowerJolt and PowerBlock Dual), the PowerBlock Dual features two USB ports for charging multiple things at the same time. The non-polarized plug blades fold flat, just like Apple’s AC adapter. This will work with any iPod that supports USB charging,.

Just like the prior PowerJolt and PowerBlock, the pair is entirely black. A small LED located next to the USB port informs you of the status on the PowerBlock Dual. An LED ring, similar to that on the AutoPilot indicates charging on the PowerJolt. It’s worth noting that the PowerBlock Dual can take voltages between 100V and 240V, so it’ll be a great addition to your travel bag. Speaking of power, the PowerDuo puts out half an amp of power per USB port, similar to traditional iPod chargers. Because of this, iPhone users are instructed to check out the PowerDuo for the iPhone instead. Traditional iPod power products usually put out 500mAh and while this isn’t a big deal, the iPhone is used to working with 1 amp chargers, so charging may take a bit longer, especially while performing various activities.

Overall, the PowerDuo Universal package works as advertised and is a better value than what Apple offers. Both devices are something that you wouldn’t necessarily think about, but they help keep things convenient. Also, please note that our rating applies to iPod users, as this is who this product is targeted towards, not iPhone users.

The One-Sentence Verdict™

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

Pros: Good build quality, dual USB ports on PowerBlock Dual
Cons: Lower power output for iPhone usage, no included cables

Rating: 9/10

The Facts

Product: PowerDuo Universal
Company: Griffin Technology
Platform: iPod (4G 5G classic mini nano shuffle touch)
Price: $34.99

This post has been filed in iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch, Mobile Devices, Reviews