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Charge Dr. promises fast mobile power-ups (hands-on)

The demure Charger Dr. may be small, but the tiny gadget is built to push all the power your laptop can muster to phones and tablets.

The Charge Dr. charges phones with full laptop power. Brian Bennett/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- Here at CTIA 2013, I caught sight of a Digital Innovations Charge Dr., which may be small but sure makes big promises. The tiny gadget is touted to push the full charging capabilities of laptop computers to power-hungry smartphones and tablets.

A rectangular device that's compact enough to fit in the palm of my hand, the Charge Dr. is essentially a portable electrical conduit. According to its creators at Digital Innovations, it links to standard USB power cords on one end and computer USB ports on the other.

So what's the big deal? Lots if you've ever tried to power up a particularly thirsty handset or tablet. Many of these products, especially today's behemoths tricked out with quad-core processing, have demanding energy requirements. Unless connected to their official AC adapters, they'll take much longer to charge (if at all). The Charge Dr. negotiates with laptops to supply connected mobile devices all the power they would typically receive through a wall plug.

CTIA 2013
The Charge Dr. uses USB ports to charge mobile devices. Brian Bennett/CNET

Interested in trying out a Charge Dr. for yourself? The product is expected to ship by June 2013 for $29.99.

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