Review: Richard Solo Smart Backup Battery for iPod

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My kingdom for a dead-ass simple way to squeeze a little more juice out of my iPod Touch while I’m gallivanting across the globe living the life of a high-profile technology blogger. I need all the battery life I can get while I’m flying in fancy airplanes to conventions in such exotic locales as Las Vegas, Las Vegas and, of course, Las Vegas.

So does the Richard Solo (made by Sharper Image founder Richard Thalheimer) make for an easy-to-use, no nonsense backup battery? In my best impression of Marv Albert to date; “YESSS!!!”

Overview and Features

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The Richard Solo is a rechargeable lithium ion battery that comes with a retractable USB zip cord and a wall plug. You can charge the battery via the wall or your computer. What’s more, you can plug the battery into the bottom of your iPod and charge BOTH devices at the same time (see below). The iPod will fully charge first, then the battery.

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The battery works with any iPod with a 30-pin connector (basically everything but the Shuffle) and provides “up to double the battery time,” according to the manufacturer.

Pros

This thing is great. I especially like it because my iPod Touch didn’t come with a wall charger so this thing basically provides me with that functionality PLUS it works well as an external backup battery. It’s solidly built, too. It’s made of really hard plastic (I think). It almost feels metallic.

It takes maybe an hour or so to charge the Richard Solo battery, and then once hooked up to a completely-drained Touch, it replenishes the device’s battery in about an hour and a half. Plus, you can use the Touch while it’s being recharged so it’s almost like having an instant second battery with you at all times. This thing is PERFECT for weekend trips. You don’t have to bring your laptop and iPod cable to recharge your device. Just snap this little guy on and you’re good to go.

Cons

It adds a little bulk, of course, and the $50 price point might seem a little high depending upon what kind of iPod you have. If I had an iPhone, though, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’d have one of these in the car (if I had a car) and one of them in the office (if I had an office). This thing would make for a killer phone charger.

See what I’ve done? I turned the cons section back into pros. It’s that good.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best way to pretty much double the life of your iPod and the $50 price tag doesn’t scare you off, I can wholeheartedly recommend that you buy one of these. If you’re an iPhone owner, you should have one of these no matter what.

Richard Solo Smart Backup Battery for iPod [Product Page]

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