Berlin premiere for Eton BoostTurbine and BoostBloc battery packs
By Paul Ridden
September 2, 2012
Eton came to IFA 2012 to show off its Rukus portable Bluetooth sound system and FRX Series of preparedness radios to Europe's green technology lovers but also treated us to a surprise unveiling of its new Power Boost USB battery packs. As the name suggests, the BoostTurbine sports a hand crank to keep the conversation going even when its own juice is drained. Meanwhile, the largest capacity BoostBloc portable power pack is claimed to be capable of simultaneously charging two smartphones.
When Eton Corporation reveals new product lines, we can generally expect them to feature either PV panels or a hand turbine. Yet one of the two new ranges outed in Berlin this week is without either. The BoostBloc USB battery packs are charged up from the mains via a mini-USB port, and then provide juice to mobile devices connected to full size USB ports.
Eton says that the 6600 mAh Li-ion battery of the BoostBloc 6600 provides 300 percent dump charge to a single smartphone when fully charged. It has dual USB output ports for simultaneous charging of two smartphones and features an LED status indicator that's activated by giving the 1.7 x 1.7 x 2.8-inch (43.18 x 43.18 x 71.12 mm), 0.41 pounds (0.18 kg) unit a bit of a shake.
The BoostBloc is available in two other shapes and battery capacities. The 4000 unit is so called due to its 4000 mAh Li-ion battery and is probably the most travel-, pocket- or bag-friendly shape of the three. It has one USB output port and Eton says its capable of providing a 200 percent dump charge when fully juiced up. It's not such a difficult calculation to work out that the BoostBloc 2000 contains a 2000 mAh Li-ion battery that's capable of fully charging a smartphone battery via its single USB output port.
Hand crank devotees haven't been forgotten by Eton and get treated to two units in the new Boost Turbine series. Both models have the same 5 x 2.2 x 1-inch (127 x 56 x 25.4 mm) dimensions and benefit from a hand turbine that folds away flush within the light but strong aluminum housing when not in use. To the top there's a micro-USB port to charge the batteries using smartphone chargers, with an LED battery status indicator next door and a full-size USB out port after that.
The BoostTurbine 2000 has a 2000 mAh Lithium-ion battery pack for a 100 percent dump charge to a connected device when fully charged, and the BoostTurbine 1000 model has a smaller 1000 mAh battery for a 50 percent dump charge.
The hand turbine is used to provide emergency power to a smartphone or other mobile device. Company representative Oliver Candiani told us that the crank will provide power as soon as you start winding the mechanism.
"With approximately one minute of cranking you have a couple of minutes power output on the USB socket," he said. "This enables you to make a phone call, send a few texts or activate your digicam or GPS in an emergency. Theoretically you could juice up the Boost Turbine to 100 percent but this will take a couple of hours. But again, in an emergency and if really needed you could of course do it."
The new BoostBloc and BoostTurbine units will be available from October, but at the time of writing there's no official word on pricing.
Source: Eton Corporation