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Portable Charging Options Growing

5/05/2013 08:00:00 PM Eastern

NEW YORK — As mobile devices have dominated industry sales for the past year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, myriad portable power and charging solutions were introduced recently to meet different consumer needs.

For instance, China-based Powerocks has introduced the Tarot, a credit-card-sized rechargeable power bank for mobile devices that can be kept in a wallet or pocket.

The Tarot is intended as a portable emergency source of charging power for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Available in black, silver, or pink, the Tarot is about the same size as a credit card, but slightly thicker at 0.28 inches. It weighs just 1.79 ounces and delivers 1,500 mAh of power to completely recharge most smartphones and partially charge most tablets. Its MicroUSB connector also works with the majority of e-readers, Bluetooth headsets, cameras and GPS devices on the market. It also works with a USB adapter to charge iOS devices.

The Tarot’s four blue LED lights indicate how much power is remaining.

The Powerocks Tarot is shipping now with a suggested retail of $34.99.

Powerocks will show the Tarot, as well as its complete line of portable power banks, with capacities up to 12,000 mAh, at this month’s CTIA Show in Las Vegas.

New York-based Monster Watts has added a portable paper-thin wireless charging kit for the Samsung Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2.

The WiQiQi wireless charger’s thin receivers fit under the phone’s back covers without adding to the phone’s profile or weight, unlike Samsung’s own wireless charging accessory kit for the S4, which adds a thicker, bulkier replacement back cover to the phone. The WiQiQi receiver weighs a fifth of an ounce despite using brass battery contact studs for more efficient power conduction.

The WiQiQi chargers for the S4 will be available in mid-June. Kits for the S3 and Note 2 became available in April. The charging pads will be forward-compatible with future Qi-standard wireless charging enabled phones.

Monster Watts is also offering those with an S3 phone who purchase an S3 WiQiQi charger from an authorized dealer a future trade-in option. Monster Watts will accept the WiQiQi S3 wireless receiver for trade-in toward the cost of a new WiQiQi S4 wireless receiver when the S3 user upgrades to an S4.

The WiQiQi kits retail for $78 to $88. Recent Boston-based startup Felix is offering via Kickstarter campaign its new MonkeyOh charging dock and cord wrap for the iPhone and most Android phones.

The MonkeyOh can be used as a desk or nightstand dock. The phone’s power adapter slides through the MonkeyOh’s “backpack” slot, and the USB end of the power cord is inserted into the monkey’s mouth; the cord can then wrapped around the backpack to avoid tangles. The phone slides into the MonkeyOh’s flexible arms for hands-free multimedia viewing. The MonkeyOh can accommodate a smartphone in portrait or landscape orientation.

The MonkeyOh, made from polycarbonate, weighs less than 2 ounces and has a 3.5-inch by 3.5-inch by 3-inch footprint. It comes in black or white.

The dock is expected to begin shipping in July. It is compatible with all iPhone and iPod versions with or without a case and most Android devices, Felix said.

Finally, Syosset, N.Y.-based iWalk will be at CTIA to show its complete line of docking chargers, charging cases and universal Lightning connector chargers.

New products on display will include the Link 1000i5, the company’s thinnest and smallest rechargeable docking backup battery for iPhone 5. Packing an extra 1,000 mAh hours than the iPhone 5 needs, it features passthrough charging that allows the backup battery and the phone to charge simultaneously.

Also for the iPhone 5, the Chameleon Racer is a high-capacity power case for iPhone 5 with 2,000 mAh of power delivery, passthrough charging technology and an on/off switch to prevent constant charging. It ships with four colorful interchangeable face places.

Also new from iWalk is the Extreme 10000 Duo, a universal 10,000 mAh backup battery capable of rapidly charging two 2.1-amp tablet devices at the same time. Features include an integrated LED flashlight and an LED power-level indicator.