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Mobile Accessories

Save 20 percent on the mother of all mobile chargers

This 50,000mAh (!) cube can power everything from a phone to a laptop to a mini-fridge*. Plus: reading glasses that ride shotgun -- on your phone!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Twitter!


This power brick charges just about everything; it's a great item to bring camping, but not ideal for a carry-on.

iMuto

There are mobile chargers you toss in a pocket or purse, and then there are mobile chargers like the iMuto M5. It's the kind of thing you take on long car trips so everyone can have power. Or take camping to run small appliances. You know: a power brick that more closely resembles a car battery.

The cube-shaped M5 houses a 182Wh/50,000mAh (!) set of batteries that can easily handle phones, tablets and the like, along with laptops and -- if you add an optional AC inverter -- things that normally need a wall outlet.

It normally sells for $129.99, but for a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get the iMuto M5 portable power station for $103.99 shipped. That's after applying promo code ULDUKFFM at checkout. (Tested and verified.) Update: These are currently out of stock.

Granted, that probably still seems high for a mobile charger. But search for any power bank that can juice a laptop and you'll see prices starting at around $135, and units not anywhere near as versatile as the M5.

Right out of the box, the unit offers three 2.4A USB ports and one QuickCharge 3.0 USB port. It has two 12V/5A outputs for things like laptops, along with 10 adapter tips to accommodate most major brands. There's also a 19V/4A output if your laptop requires it.

Push a button and three extremely bright flashlight LEDs light up. A long press switches it into SOS mode, but unfortunately you can't cycle through different brightness settings; it's either on (and very bright) or flashing (again, very bright).

The M5 comes with a cigarette-lighter adapter for charging while driving. If you're going camping, iMuto also offers a folding solar charger ($100) that can top off the M5 during the day so it reliably lasts you the night. And speaking of camping, I already mentioned the AC inverter, which for $50 adds a three-prong AC outlet to the package.

The power station weighs just under three pounds -- yeah, a little heavy -- but comes with a leather carrying strap for easier toting. 

I like the design, even though it's not what I'd call carry on-friendly. Rather, it's something you set on the picnic table for everyone to use, or keep in the car for long drives.

Your thoughts?

thinoptics-attached-to-phone

ThinOptics

Bonus deal: If you're lucky enough to not need glasses full-time but do occasionally need magnification, consider a pair of "cheaters." You know: reading glasses, the kind you pull out only when necessary. Of course, unless you're willing to wear them on a chain around your neck, librarian-style, they'll never be at the ready.

Or maybe they will. ThinOptics puts a pair of super-thin reading glasses into a super-thin case that can stick just about anywhere -- including the back of your phone, which is where my dad keeps his.

Like the idea? For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the ThinOptics reading glasses for $12.99 shipped when you apply promo code CHPSKTEOPTICS2 at checkout. It's available in your choice of black or clear, each with three different magnification options (1.5, 2 and 2.5).

I've never tried these myself, so I can't speak to whether they really do stay put, "Matrix"-style. Reviewers vary on this point. But for $13? Probably worth finding out!