Most helpful positive review
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Well worth buying despite slightly iffy build quality/poor instructions (update 2)
on 15 February 2012
I was reluctant to buy something no-one had reviewed yet, but I badly needed to extend the battery life of my phone and my laptop, so I took the plunge.
I bought this to power a 3 yr old Toshiba laptop (satellite pro L500) whose battery now lasts just 80 minutes a charge, and to let me emergency charge my phone when I forget to charge it overnight before a day of meetings. It charges the phone (a Samsung Omnia 7 with a 1500 mAh battery to support it's large OLED screen) nearly three times. It runs my laptop being used for office work (chrome, photoshop, MS office, Skype and Spotify all running continuously), for about two and half hours.
The actual unit is really nice, tactile and solid feeling with good ergonomics and clean lines, but it's let down slightly by a soft rubber dust cover for the USB port that doesn't fit and very cheaply finished adaptor heads for the power output cable. I actually wish they didn't try to issue everyone with a dozen adaptor heads and instead just gave you a code you could redeem against the head(s) you specifically need, posted out to you, but much better quality.
The instructions are extremely brief and pretty unclear, and I actually believed I had a faulty unit at first. The instructions are actually accurate, but only using the unit will clarify exactly what they mean. 'Press and hold the power button till the blue LEDs appear and stay on' so you click the button once, the lights come straight on, you let go, they seem to stay on and you move to the next stage: 'to select the voltage required, press the power button once until the fourth blue LED appears above the correct voltage' so you press the button again and all the lights go off(!?).
What's actually happening is that even though the instructions don't tell you this, pressing the power button once, briefly, shows you the charge state of the device for 3 seconds. So you've pressed the power button, the blue LEDs have seemed to appear and stay on, you've pressed the power button again, it's coincided approximately with the end of the three seconds that the LEDs display for and it looks like pressing the power button has toggled the device off. Actually what you need to do is press and hold the power button for 3 seconds (when it will appear like you've achieved nothing, because for all of those three seconds the LEDs won't show) and only then at the end of the 3 seconds will the LEDs come on permanently. Perhaps other people will be better at interpreting the instructions literally than I was, but really I wish they'd said 'press and hold the power button for three seconds, at the end of which the LEDs will illuminate and you'll be ready to power an external device'. The instructions would be better if the power button wasn't just a continuous part of the device's surface that makes a slight click as you put pressure on it, and was instead a conventional power button that registers operation with a decent click and is properly depressed when you press it.
Anyway, now that I've got the hang of it, I couldn't live with out. It's an absolute boon. I've never actually timed how long it takes to charge fully (I just plug it in at the end of the night and it switches itself off once it's charged and is ready and waiting in the morning). I will try to drain it down fully and time the charging in the near future and update this review. All in all a good buy, providing the charge capacity doesn't flag too quickly. Will keep an eye on that too and update in due course if it proves disappointing.
Quick update: seems I was right to be concerned about the adaptor head build quality. After a few weeks use, the pin broke off the adaptor head yesterday. It was possibly under a little bit of stress - I put my laptop in my bag (soft, significantly larger than my laptop) with the power lead plugged in, but I've done this hundreds of times with my Toshiba power supply, so it shouldn't really be an issue. Anway, having said I couldn't live without it, I'm going to have to, for a few days at least. I've filled out the contact form at the Veho website to see if I can get a replacement adaptor head. Hoping that buying British will mean that getting a replacement part in the UK is nice and straightforward. We'll see...
Update 2. By the time I'd finished typing the update above, Veho had emailed me to ask for a postal address so they could send me a replacement. The email actually arrived 9 minutes after the time stamp on my ticket acknowledgement, so brilliantly fast response time.
Update 3. Got the replacement adaptor head within 24 hrs of providing my address - great customer service. No issues since.