Design and features
With its tapered maxi-beverage shape, the Targus' in-car power inverter (Auto Power Inverter Cupholder Style to give it its full name) should fit into all cupholders great and small. Although if your car only has shallow, moulded drink retainers, you may have to put up with a bit of rattling and wobbling. There's a handsomely small adapter that fits into a car's cigarette lighter port, the cable for which wraps itself around a gutter near the top of the unit. Pity then that the cable itself is rather on the short side.
Despite the blister packaging (ouch!), Targus proclaims proudly that it has three charging points, but for most people this product only has two that will be of use to them: a three-prong AC outlet and a USB port. The third socket is a proprietary outlet designed to work with another Targus mobile power adapter.
The Auto Power Inverter is rated to deliver 100W continuously and 150W at peak, which should be good for the majority of laptops. Should you need more juice, Targus also offers, at AU$145, the even more tortuously named Auto/Air Power Inverter Slimline Style unit that provides 150W continuously and 200W at peak. Using the USB port we were able to charge all manner of Walkmans, iPods and iPhones with little fuss (cable clutter aside). The AC outlet supplied sufficient quantities of electron juice to power phone chargers and laptops alike. One anomaly though, despite it working flawlessly with our Dell XPS M1330, whenever we paired our MSI Wind U100 with the inverter, trackpad reactions would become slow and stilted when we tried making small, precise movements.
At AU$110, Targus' Auto Power Inverter is a worthwhile investment, especially if you're a road warrior or tradesman whose main office is the car.