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Review: Griffin & Porta-Charge iPod mains chargers

by Bob Crabtree on 24 April 2007, 08:34

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Day-tripper John Hill wants to be able to charge his iPod when away from the home - or without having to switch on his PC when back at base - and investigates a couple of the options

There was a time when makers of personal stereos that ran off proprietary rechargeable batteries felt obliged to include some form of mains charger even if the product cost less than £50.

Apple obviously feels no such obligation with its fifth-generation 30GB iPods, despite the fact that these players cost nearly £200.

This seems like quite unnecessary penny-pinching, with environmental consequences that are highly unwanted.

What you get instead with the iPod – in addition to earphones, instructions and a cloth pouch – is a USB lead so that you can charge the player from a computer.

The company obviously assumes you'll always be near a PC that's switched on or that the claimed battery life (up to 14 hours of music playback) will be enough to see you through to the next time you are.

I've yet to get into double figures with the battery life on a new 30GB iPod, but that's probably what happens when you don't use the player in laboratory conditions and do listen to music at a volume that's actually audible to the human ear - of which I have a pair.

Don't get me wrong. There's a lot to love about the 30GB iPod. It's a superb product that performs well and looks stunning. But for anyone who's often away from a computer for days at a time, the omission of a mains charger is a real nuisance.

And that brings us to the point of this piece – after-market iPod mains chargers…