Admittedly, the Cellink I Mobile Charger and Card Reader doesn't look like much when you see it in its packaging. In fact, if you saw it in a store, I wouldn't be surprised if you confused it with a standard USB key and kept walking.
In this case, though, I'd encourage you to stop and take a closer look. Indeed, it can store data for transfer to another device, but the Cellink I also serves as a backup battery and a data transfer conduit between your phone and computer. So while it doesn't do anything that other products can't do, it wraps them up in one convenient tool. At $54.95, however, that tool isn't cheap.
Though the Cellink I's design is hardly inspiring, that's nothing to hold against it. And really, what would you expect? At 2.96 inches long by 1.14 inches wide by 0.59 inch deep, it's easily portable and fits comfortably in a pocket. The sliver case is made of plastic, but it safely protects the Cellink I's ports from damage. I wouldn't advise stepping on it with your heel, but you shouldn't have a problem if you drop it on a hard surface.
You'll have to tug a bit to remove the Cellink I from its case, but I appreciate the secure fit. On one end is a standard USB plug (USB 1.1- and USB 2.0-compatible) while the other end has a connection for your phone. Manufacturer Egen makes devices with an iPad/iPad connector or a Micro-USB plug. I used the former, but the features are the same for both products.
Along one side are three tiny status lights and a microSD card slot. Note that you'll need a microSD card if you want to use the Cellink for data storage. That would be fine if it came with a card in the box, but instead you'll have to spend extra cash to use one of the product's most vital features. That's disappointing, particularly considering the product's sticker price.
In my first test with an
Once I had a connection, though, my laptop recognized my iPhone and iTunes kicked into gear for syncing. The recognition process took a few seconds longer than normal, but it wasn't a bother. My iPhone also appeared in Windows Explorer, though the Windows Scanner and Camera Wizard didn't activate automatically. Though that's a bit inconvenient, I've also had that problem even when using a cable, so I won't fault the Cellink I. While connected, it delivers a charge to your handset, as well.