Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Gear Closet: Travel Tech From iClever

As someone who travels frequently for his job, I'm always on the look out for new items that can help make my life on the road more convenient and enjoyable. That often takes the form of some new tech gadget that is designed specifically with travelers in mind. Recently, I received a number of products from a company called iClever that definitely meet that description, delivering some great features at prices that are very affordable. Here's some thoughts on what I tested.

USB Wall Chargers (Prices Vary)
When traveling these days we usually carry a variety of tech gear with us. Everything from smartphones to tablets to digital cameras, not to mention portable game systems, e-readers, GPS devices, and host of other items. While each of them are wonderful for helping us to stay informed and entertained while on long flights or spending time in a tent, those gadgets are only useful as long as they can hold a charge. Fortunately, practically everything these days is charged using USB cables, and iClever offers some excellent wall chargers to help keep your technology up and running.

I received the 4-port BoostCube and 2-Port BoostCube, both of which function pretty much identically, other than the number of gadgets they can charge at the same time. Both of the chargers have SmartID technology that automatically detects the fastest speed your device can be charged, and adjusts the wattage provided accordingly. They both also have the ability to provide 2.4 amps per port, which means your gadgets will be powered up as quickly as possible. Similar devices from competitors often split the power between ports, increasing charge times as a result.


Both models of the BoostCube offer great build quality and feel great in your hand. They're also durable and include foldout power plugs for inserting them into wall outlets. They are also priced perfectly, with the 4-port model selling for $17.99 while the 2-port version is just $10.99.

Additionally, iClever also has a single port version called the BoostCube Quick Charge, which has the ability to power up a device up to four times faster than regard chargers. It uses a special process that is safe for your gadgets, and can power them up to 80% of their full charge in as little as 35 minutes. When you need to get your phone up and running as quickly as possible, this is the charger you'll want. And at $16.99, it is affordable too.

All of the chargers come with a full year warranty and work great. In fact, I've gotten to the point where I leave my devices' OEM chargers at home and just carry iClever's versions with me instead. Because they are small, compact, and easy to use, they make great travel accessories for sure.

Tri-Folding Bluetooth Keyboard ($54.99)
As a travel writer who routinely finds himself in a remote destination, I'm always looking for ways to cut weight from my bags. For instance, I often like to leave my laptop at home and just take my iPad along with me instead. The problem is, the onscreen keyboard isn't always the best for getting serious work done. That's where the iClever Folding Bluetooth Keyboard comes in handy.

This product is lightweight, yet very durable. So much so, that I wouldn't hesitate to take it with me anywhere I'm going. The keyboard is cleverly designed to fold up into a surprisingly small footprint, but when it is opened it transforms into a full-sized keyboard. The device actually allows me to easily get work done, using productivity apps on my tablet to write stories and articles, take notes, even compose emails.

The keyboard comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that takes about 4 hours to fully power up, but can provide up to 80 hours of actual wireless use. It can also be connected to your laptop or desktop computer via USB to serve as a standard keyboard for those devices too. It even has a fantastic backlight mode (with three different colors) that makes it easier to use in the dark. But the backlighting eats into the battery life, so I tend to work with it off.

iClever sells the keyboard for $54.99 and ships it with a soft carrying case, making it even easier to take with you on the road.

Outdoor Wireless Speaker ($29.99)
These days, Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen, with plenty of good options for consumers to choose from. But iClever's Outdoor Wireless Speaker offers a few nice features that help set it apart from the competition and make it a good option for travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. For instance, it is lightweight, compact in size, and offers IP65 water resistance. That's enough protection from moisture that you can even use it in the shower if you'd like.

The speaker comes equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can power it for up to 10 hours. It offers solid performance with clear playback of music across the full audio spectrum, even at higher lives of volume. And since it is built to survive in the outdoors, you can take it with you to the beach, a remote campsite, or for use around a hotel room without fear of damaging it.

What I like most about this speaker is that it isn't overly large or heavy, which means you can toss it into your pack without really realizing that its there. And while it offers solid battery life, I wouldn't mind getting more hours out of it so I don't have to worry about it running out of juice while in the backcountry. But the price is great and the performance is very good too, making it a great travel buddy for sure.

Find out more about all of these products and more at iClever.com.

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