Maxboost USB Smart Port Charger scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. The Maxboost car charger will charge a large n umber of mobile devices including iPad, iPhone, iPod, MP3 players of all kinds, digital cameras, mobile phones and more. The intelligent circuit this charger features protects it from over-currents, short circuiting, over-charging and other common problems. With this charger all charging stops once the battery is fully charged.
Car Charger Buying Guide
There are many reasons purchasing a car charger can be beneficial for you. We have listed a few of the benefits you would have by getting one, below.
Great for Emergencies – If you are out running errands, on a day trip, or even traveling long distance the ability to have communication while on the road in the event of an emergency. This is a reassuring thing to have on hand if you get a flat tire, your vehicle breaks down or you are in an accident, or even if you become sick while you are driving. Being able to pull over and call someone is extremely important especially if you have children.
Convenience – If you spend a lot of time commuting, traveling, or running the kids from one activity to another it can be really convenient to be able to fully charge your mobile devices while you are driving around. This is also great for when you forget to charge something the night before and need a quick charge before dropping the kids off at school or before you get to work. Most car chargers feature quick charge technology that works fast to get your devices charged.
Makes long trips more enjoyable – A car charger is a lot like having a power outlet in your car. If you’re taking a trip or going on vacation you may be using your phone as a GPS and using the iPod for music, etc. these items will need to be charged at some point. With a car charger on hand you’ll be able to charge them while you’re driving instead of waiting until you stop and hope that the place you have stopped has an outlet you can use. If you have kids on the trip their devices will run low on charge too. Keeping the kids entertained is crucial for a peaceful trip.
Types of Car Chargers
There are two main types of car chargers you can choose from: wireless and wired.
Wireless – A more modern version of the traditional wired car charger is the wireless one. They are designed for a number of different electrical devices and are not restricted by a wire. If you have a variety of electronic devices to charge whenever you are in the vehicle you will want to opt for a wireless car charger.
Wired – This traditional, older style of car charger dates back to when cell phones were the main thing to charge. Chargers were wired and ran from the cigarette lighter to the cell phone itself. If all you have to charge is one cell phone these older, wired chargers will still work but most people have a lot more than that now which makes this car charger more inconvenient than helpful.
Features to Look for in a Car Charger
There are several things you will want to look for when you start sorting through all of the different car chargers available.
Ports – You want to choose a car charger with multiple ports since most people have the need to charge more than one device at a time. Dual ports should be the minimum you consider but there are some models that offer more ports than that as well. There are some car chargers that have as many as 4 ports for charging with the amps to back it up. The more ports you have, especially for a large family, the better and happier everyone will be.
Lighted Ports – Aside from looking really cool, light up ports are much easier to find in the dark if you need to charge a device while you are traveling at night. Fumbling around trying to find the tiny plug in port can be distracting and downright dangerous for the driver to do. Lighted ports enable you to see exactly where you need to plug the device in.
Amps – You need power to charge several devices at one time. Look for car chargers that are below 2.4 amps. More is preferable which will support multiple devices charging at the same time without negatively affecting the charger or taking forever.
Construction Material – Metal usb car chargers are going to be a little more expensive than all plastic chargers but you get some additional benefits from metal that you don’t get from plastic chargers. They are usually scratch resistant and tougher which means they should last longer. Secondly the metal of the charger handles the heat buildup that can occur when charging multiple devices much better than the plastic chargers.
Detachable Cable – USB cables that are permanently attached can be a real inconvenience. You will not be able to switch out the cables to allow for charging different types of devices, attach a longer cable if needed, or have any control really over the kind of connections available. The other main problem with attached cables is the fact that if the cable fails, as they can often do, you will have to get a new car charger. Choosing one with a detachable cable will provide flexibility and freedom that you want to have.
Reasonable Price – There are many different price options available when it comes to car chargers. If you have a specific budget you are shooting for you will more than likely be able to find some great car chargers that will fit that budget. There are higher priced items as well but what is more important than the price is the brand reputation and the features the car charger has. Make sure that the charger has USB-IF compliance program and has been certified by the USB Implementers Forum.
Charger Size – There is not always a lot of room around the cigarette lighter in a vehicle so keep the size of the car charger in mind when you are searching. It is best to know what kind of room you have to work with before choosing one that might be bigger physically or you may not have the clearance you need. If the charger only comes out an inch or so you can avoid bumping it. A lot of bumps and knocks can cause problems eventually and may affect the connection your car charger gets.
Indicator Light – An indicator light is not a big deal when it comes to the performance of a car charger but it is convenient to have this light to let you know with a glance that the car charger is charging your devices. This light can also let you know when charging is complete without you having to turn on the device. This is especially helpful when you are driving. Make sure the indicator light is not so bright that it interferes with your driving. Red is a better color for the indicator light than blue or white which can be too distracting.
Car chargers are an important piece of equipment that can keep your electronic devices charged when you are on the road. Having this capability is critical for those who travel a lot; take long trips, and who spend a lot of time in their vehicles. This guide and the three top-rated car charger reviews we have included are designed to help eliminate the guesswork of choosing the right car charger for your needs.
All three of the top-rated car chargers above are dual port chargers that can quickly charge any number of electronic devices that need charging such a phones, tablets, battery packs, MP3 players, and even larger items like Macbooks and cameras. Keeping these items charged when you are traveling allows the kids to stay entertained and keeps a means of communication open should there be an emergency.
The information in the buying guide has given you the things to look for when you are sorting through the different models available and helps you understand what are important features for a car charger to have and which ones are not that important. This information makes narrowing the choices much easier so you will be able to make a confident decision on the right car charger for your electronic devices and lifestyle.