Get out your Stradivarius! It’s not as easy as you might think when it comes to me carrying my groovy tech travel bag wherever I go in this world to comfort my hungry public. This world inside my luggage is getting ridiculous. Europe, Asia, the Americas: mobile charger, mobile router, mobile media hub, AC adapters, and on and on. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard snickering from TSA agents as I pass through security.
That’s why I’m very excited to offer up a shout about a new product that recently emerged on the funding site Indiegogo: The HooToo TripMate Elite is five travel gadgets in one. Should you decide to fund it, you’ll then be able to reserve one on the cheap, in advance. Kind of a dim name, I know, but… whatever!
Weighing just less than 7oz, the HooToo TripMate is a glossy black box (it will also come in white) that measures roughly three inches square and is just a fine inch thick. Petite as this baby is, it packs a 6,000mAh battery that will power both the TripMate itself and whatever devices you need to charge.
The HooToo TripMate Elite has two USB ports, a 1-amp and a 2.1-amp, the latter suitable for charging both tablets and larger phones. Better yet, the TripMate has built-in wall prongs, which means you don’t need to pack an extra cable and/or AC adapter just to recharge batteries. The TripMate also serves as a media hub, streaming music, movies, and other files from any connected USB flash drive or hard drive, which makes it a great tool for expanding the available storage for your smartphone or tablet, although you can also use it to wirelessly share files with a PC, too.
The TripMate additionally functions as a network access point. This is so-ooo cool! Atypically, let’s suppose you’re booked into a hotel room which offers Ethernet connectivity but not Wi-Fi, (or that charges for Wi-Fi and you’re cheap!), you can plug that cable directly into the TripMate’s Ethernet port. Barrabing! Barraboom! You’ve just become the temporary owner of a bouncing baby Wi-Fi hotspot!
You can also configure it for use as a traditional Wi-Fi router by simply plugging it into your DSL or cable modem. It can also be used as a bridge to set up an emergency secondary network for colleagues, friends or guests as well as your primary one.
Thus, one gizmo effectively takes the place of five: It’s a charger, media-hub, router, access point, and bridge.
Now, money-wise, the TripMate Elite should reach its funding goal of US$8,000. Last week on Friday, April 4, 2014 it was hovering at just over $1,300. Considering it will retail at a reasonable retail price of $59.99, I think I’ll shoot some craps when I get paid at the end of the month and throw in enough to buy one of them and see what’s what after that.
Those who take their chances early will be able to purchase one for just $46, with free shipping in the U.S. and Canada. It may not make you a millionaire, or get you laid by a woman whose nipples could stab you in the eyes, but the HooToo TripMate Elite is absolutely, 100%, the finest crowd-funded product I’ve encountered thus far. Get in line early for the Groove Bagg You Gotta Have!