ReVive PowerUp 3P car charger juices phones, tablets without blocking your outlet
A 12-volt car charger may be just a car charger, but the ReVive PowerUp 3P boasts a clever design and useful features.
Accessory Power's ReVive Series PowerUp 3P is a 12-volt car charger for your USB devices. These things are usually pretty simple affairs: power goes into one end, gets converted to a usable level, and comes out of the USB port at other end. The PowerUp 3P is no exception to this formula, but does feature a few clever design elements that make it worth a small spot in your car's center console.
At one end of the ReVive Series PowerUp 3P, you'll find a standard automotive 12-volt power plug that connects to your car's power point, aka the cigarette lighter. This plug sits at the end of a short (approximately 2-inch) arm that has a bit of articulation at a hinge where it meets the body. The arm can be swung through 180 degrees of rotation, allowing the 3P to stretch out, bend around some corners, and fold up into a more compact package for storage when not in use.
Remove the tip of the power connector and you'll find a replaceable fuse, which protects you car and your accessories from overload.
It's safe to assume that the "3P" at the end of the PowerUp 3P's moniker refers to the three ports at the business end of the device: two USB ports and a standard automotive 12-volt power point that makes it possible to connect other accessories, such as a radar detector or FM transmitter.
The powered USB ports have a combined output of 2 amps, which most likely works out to about 1 amp per port when two devices are plugged in at the same time. It's not always just simple mathematics with these sort of devices and the documentation doesn't go into detail about how those 2 amps are split between the two ports. So while the most obvious configuration is 2 x 1A, I was unable to discern whether the 3P was capable of redistributing its maximum output to just one of the two ports so as to, for example, fast-charge a tablet.
Whatever the actual output, the PowerUp 3P provided more than enough power to charge any two smartphones that I plugged into it. I even plugged in my Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and Google Nexus 7 tablet and both devices happily got charged with the power supplied by the PowerUp 3P -- although the Nexus 7 seemed to be charging just a bit more slowly than normal, its available battery percentage did steadily increase.
The ReVive Series PowerUp 3P isn't as small as my favorite dual-USB car charger, the grossly overpowered Qmadix USB Twin Tablet Charging Kit 4.2, but it does have a few advantages. The 12-volt power pass-through means that you won't have to sacrifice your other 12-volt accessories when on the go. Perhaps the biggest advantage that the PowerUp 3P has is its price. The MSRP may be $29.99, but the street price hovers somewhere around the $17 mark -- significantly cheaper than the Qmadix unit.
So, if you need to fast-charge dual iPads in your car, check out the Qmadix charger. But for users who want a slightly more flexible car charger that can keep a pair of phones topped off on a road trip and won't take up a lot of space in the glove box when not in use, the ReVive Series PowerUp 3P is a safe bet and the price is right.