Enercell 2-in-1 Battery and AC Adapter Review

Radio Shack’s Enercell #23-1113 2-in-1 Battery and AC Adapter is a handy little rig for your gadget bag. It combines a USB/AC adapter with a rechargeable USB battery power pack, with a bonus 2nd USB port and a small built-in LED light!

It uses a 1700mAh Lithium-Ion battery pack and can work on dual voltage, so can be used pretty much world wide (always a handy feature for a travel accessory.)  The compact unit is 3.5x2x.75″, and the power plugs fold into the body to make it easier to carry.

What you see in the photo on top is what you get- 2 USB ports on the lower edge, along with a single LED light, about as bright as most cheap keyring LED lights. Two unlabeled LEDs on the top indicate charge status and power. The single button toggles between LED, LED and USB, USB, and off. Some reviewers claim that it only stays on for 10 minutes at a time- mine did not do this, maybe it does it when the unit’s charge is low?

 

Charging lights on the EVO and Enercell, and the 'flashlight' on.

I wanted something like this to toss in my gear bag to help with the battery of my HTC EVO smartphone. My battery use is generally OK but there have been a couple of times I have been unpleasantly surprised by a low battery, so a battery-powered charger seemed a good choice. This particular model was available at my local Shack, although I was hoping to score an iGo model I will touch on a bit later.

When my EVO was blinking a red ‘recharge now’ message, I hooked it up with a retractable USB to micro-USB cord (from eBay) and was happy to see that it was taking the charge nicely. About 15 minutes later, it was at about a 60% charge- not bad at all. When I was at a wall outlet, I was able to just plug the unit in and it charged the EVO and charger up nicely.

I do like this unit, but the iGo Charge Anywhere is a bit smaller with an 1800mAh battery. It has the same base price, but is often on sale, and is available through the Shack as well- Since Enercell is a Shack store brand, this is odd, but that’s the way the Shack does things.

Ever since going to a good smart phone, I find myself using the laptop or netbook less and less with the result that my gearbag is getting smaller and lighter. A unit like this, with the proper retractable USB cord, is a smart addition to my kit.

 

Product Information

Price:$49.95
Manufacturer:Radio Shack
Pros:
  • Compact
  • Works as advertised
Cons:
  • iGo unit may be better value
Posted in: Gear, Travel Gear

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Rick Swift August 18, 2010, 1:16 pm

    Why do you feel the iGo is a better value? I went to the site and frankly dont see any difference except the iGo isn’t retractable.

    1
  • aluco August 18, 2010, 1:22 pm

    phillips sells something similar, tho with only one usb port.

    2
  • Mark Adkins August 18, 2010, 7:09 pm

    @Rick- The iGo has an 1800mHa battery to the Enercell’s 1700, and is often on sale- only $29.95 I believe right now. The Enercell also does not come with any cords- as mentioned, mine came from eBay.

    Not a big difference, but a real one.

    @aluco- Thanks! I bet there are others as well.

    3
  • Mystech August 18, 2010, 7:52 pm

    1700mAh (or even 1800mAh) seems a bit anemic to me at this price point. I’ve been looking at the Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800, several bucks cheaper (at Amazon), nice form factor/size and a whopping 4000mAh.

    4
  • Mark Adkins August 18, 2010, 8:26 pm

    @Mystech- Nice choice as well. Probably heavier (more mHa in a given size usually means more weight). My choice of the Enercell was driven by availability more than other options but it is great to see other possibilities.

    5
  • Mark Adkins March 15, 2011, 10:28 pm

    FOLLOW-UP: This is still my ‘go to’ charger in my gear bag, although if I got a good deal on one with a larger battery but not much more size, I’d probably upgrade.

    6
  • Dave Bovee October 18, 2011, 4:32 pm

    This is just another total failure. bought at RS last spring, $25 clearance, it’s gone back and forth with me, on planes and in a cameria bag, to backup my mini Android. Unused since, May, I got it out to check and charge it and nothing except the light works. It’s been on for 10 hours now; I hope to completely discharge it, then recharge. But it’s a bust, a lemon! the indicator lights do nothing but flash weakly, the adaptor/charger does nothing, with a Samsung MP3, a SE Android, or an LG Tracfone. NO unit’s charging indicator even turns on, whether this garbage is plugged in or solo. Ripoff! It never got wet, dropped, never in anything but 110. Garbage. A $25 rechargable nightlight with a long battery life. As I recall, it worked for about 3 or 4 months. I’d like to hear more about the ones that functioned, but thanks for telling me that this crap is RS branded; now I know who to yell at.

    7
  • Tanya spalding December 27, 2011, 11:57 pm

    Got this for Christmas, have used it twice, and so far it only charges my iPhone half way! Not what I need at all!

    8
  • Mark Adkins December 28, 2011, 2:01 am

    A couple of recent comments on battery life/power prompted this reply.

    One issue with some newish battery technology, like LiIons is that they start to lose effectiveness from the moment they are made and last roughly 2 years from that date. I wonder when some of these unsatisfactory battery packs were made?

    9
  • Gwendolyn Seymour October 26, 2013, 6:18 am

    This stop working I need to how replace it .I would to call the company

    10

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