All mobile chargers are created equal, right?
Wrong. They come in lots of different shapes and sizes, of course, with different battery capacities that determine how much juice you can wring out for your mobile devices. And the vast majority are standalone power bricks, requiring cables not just for charging your phone, tablet, or whatever, but also for charging the charger itself. Hassle-tastic!
That's why I've long been a fan of self-contained chargers. RAVPower just introduced me to my new favorite -- and offered Cheapskate readers a deal.
For a limited time, you can get the RAVPower Savior (microUSB) for $39.99 shipped with coupon code CNETRAVM, or the RAVPower Savior (Lightning) for $44.99 shipped with coupon code CNETRAVL. That's a $5 savings on both -- not a ton, I admit, but it's a discount you won't find elsewhere.
Update: Apparently these codes have not yet been activated. Sorry for the confusion. Stay tuned! I'm checking with the vendor about getting them activated asap.
Update No. 2: Codes are now working!
The Savior houses a 9,000mAh battery, yet measures a compact 4.4 x 2.7 x 1.1 inches and weighs roughly half a pound. My previous favorite charger, the myCharge Peak, weighed the same but was a bit larger, despite having only a 6,000mAh battery.
In case you haven't guessed by now, the real highlights here are the built-in wall prongs and charging cable. To recharge the Savior, you just plug it into a wall outlet. LEDs indicate when charging is complete (though they're inconveniently located on one side, instead of facing out at the rear).
What's more, depending on the model you get, there's a built-in microUSB or Lightning cable that tucks neatly away when not in use. This is so convenient, it makes me angry at other mobile chargers. Oh, and just in case you're a cross-platform user, there's a capped USB port at the bottom so you can charge anything else in your mobile arsenal.
So how much juice can you reasonably expect from it? It depends on what you're charging, of course. You should be able to fully recharge any smartphone at least twice, and at this very moment I'm topping off an iPad Air. (So, yes, it works with tablets.)
Unsurprisingly, user reviews for both versions are off the charts (4.9 stars out of 5 from over 120 buyers, which is simply unheard-of). And I concur: From a convenience standpoint alone, this is the best charger you can get.
Bonus deal: There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who haven't tried Bluetooth speakers, and those who have fallen in love with them and want one in every room. Whatever category you're in, here's some good news: Luzy's Storage Place (via Amazon) has the Coosh CBT791B portable Bluetooth speaker for $29.97 shipped when you apply coupon code ZDUPZF7T at checkout.
It's a pretty cool-looking brick, in my humble opinion, with ruggedized black accents and a silver control strip along the top. Plus, it supports both Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, the latter great for one-tap pairing with any NFC-equipped phone or tablet. Battery life isn't fabulous, but if you're looking for a compact portable speaker with big sound and lots of features, I still consider this a solid deal.
Bonus deal No. 2: You know the old saying: people don't plan to fail, they fail to plan. And if you don't have a personal will, a living will or a power-of-attorney directive and all that, well, you've failed to plan. Fortunately, here's a cheap fix: Today only, Individual Software (via BitsDuJour) has Quicken WillMaker Plus 2015 for $24.99, the lowest price I've seen anywhere. It's a solid way to get your estate-planning ducks in a row, and it normally sells for $50.