I first encountered the MyCharge Peak 6000 at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Since then it has become my most prized travel accessory. I literally never leave home (for a trip) without it.
Why am I so enamored with something as basic as a mobile charger? Simple: the Peak 6000 does right what every other mobile charger does wrong.
For starters, it packs a 6,000mAh battery, which can recharge an average smartphone three to four times. Even better, you recharge the Peak's battery by plugging the entire unit right into an AC outlet. Its fold-up wall prongs tuck neatly out of the way when charging is complete.
How do you know when that happens? A voice tells you. In fact, it tells you all kinds of things, like "Apple device connected" and "battery is full." That's in addition to the five-LED power indicator that lights up with a press of the status button. Don't like the voice? You can switch over to tone-based notifications. No hablo Ingles? The Peak also speaks Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Thankfully, there's also a silent mode if you'd prefer it to just pipe down already.
Those are neat little amenities, to be sure, but the key reason I love the Peak is that, unlike the vast majority of mobile chargers, it doesn't require me to travel with a bunch of tips or cords. That's because it has three built-in connectors, all cleverly engineered onto fold-out arms: Apple 30-pin, Micro-USB, and standard USB.
The Apple 30-pin connector works with all legacy Apple devices, including iPads. (Third-gen and later iPads can recharge only to about 50 percent, as they have mammoth 11,560mAh batteries.)
If you have a device with a Lightning port, you will need to bring along your sync cable, which can plug into the Peak's USB port. (Indeed, that's how it insures compatibility with pretty much every mobile device there is.) I have older iStuff, so I'm good with the 30-pin plug.
The Micro-USB connector handles most Android stuff (again, tablets included). And if you have multiple devices, the Peak can charge them all simultaneously. (One Apple, one microUSB, and one whatever plugged into the USB port.)
The USB arm allows the Peak to recharge via, say, your laptop's USB port (handy if there's no spare AC outlet available), but also lets you sync your arm-connected phone or tablet. To sum it all up another way, this thing does everything you could possibly want a mobile charger to do, all in a compact, no-accessories-required package.
Well, maybe "compact" is stretching it a bit. The Peak is a little bulky, though not as heavy as you might think. Thus, it's a no-brainer to toss in any travel bag. Mine has earned a permanent home there.
My only real complaint with the accessory is its $99.99 price tag. Worth it, yes, but ouch. Thankfully, the MyCharge Peak 6000 is currently on sale at Amazon for $78.76 shipped. (It was $79 just last night, so the price may continue to jump around a bit.) Best Buy is also selling it at $79.99 shipped, though you'll likely be on the hook for sales tax as well.
It may seem silly to gush about a travel charger, but I just flippin' love this thing. And although it's still a little pricey, I'm happy to see it's finally on sale. Get one.