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Computerized Investing > April 7, 2012

Bracketron Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

Compared to an iPhone or an Ultrabook, it might be difficult to get too excited about a portable charger. Plug it into an outlet, plug device into charger, charge device, unplug, and repeat. Bracketron has attempted to make the plain old charger a little more electrifying (sorry, couldn’t help it) with its Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger. I was given one to test, and although it isn’t as handy as the Monster Cable Power Strip I reviewed previously, its compact design does make it a nice option for someone looking for a USB changer.

Design

True to its name, the charger resembles a small white mushroom with a green rubber cap. Its dimensions are roughly equivalent to those of the standard Apple USB power adapter, but the Mushroom GreenZero is definitely more of an eye-catcher.

The rubber cap serves a twofold purpose: cable management and power management. The rubber cap is connected by a thin stem and is very pliable. You can wrap your USB cable around the stem—a feature not available with the Apple power adapter. Pressing down on the green button starts the charging. One downside is that it is easy to forget to tap the button to start charging. This is quite different from other chargers that automatically begin charging once you plug in a device and plug the charger into an outlet. As a reminder, when a device is connected and charging, an LED indicator light on the side of the charger lights up.

The plug also folds into the body for storage and transport, just like the Apple power adapter.

Eco-Friendly

The Mushroom GreenZero sports green technology with zero standby energy consumption. When a device is fully charged or unplugged, the charger automatically shuts off, thereby saving energy and your device’s battery.

Models

I tested the USB version of the Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger. There are also models compatible with micro USN and 30-pin Apple dock.

Price

The USB model I reviewed costs $27.95 from the Bracketron website. By comparison, the Apple USB power adapter costs $29 from the Apple Store.

Final Verdict

If you are truly environmentally conscious, the Bracketron Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger is a good choice. Its GreenZero technology eliminates “vampire draw” and preserves your device’s battery. Beyond that, having the integrated cord winder is another nice touch. These two features differentiate it from the Apple power adapter, yet they are priced very closely.

As I said at the outset, it is hard to get excited about a portable charger. But the Bracketron Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger offers a few interesting features that make it worth your time and money.

Pros:

  • Integrated cord winder
  • Automatic shutoff eliminates “vampire draw”
  • AC plug folds in for storage or transport

Cons:

  • Need to push button on top to start charging

Bracketron Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger

http://www.bracketron.com/products/mushroom-greenzero-wall-travel-charger
$27.95

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is the author of “Gadget Corner.” All reviews are based on firsthand experience of the product or service. No third-party compensation is received for opinions on products, services, websites or topics. However, sometimes the author is not required by the manufacturer or their PR firm to return the product under review. In such instances, it is our policy to convey this within the review. The views and opinions expressed in these reviews are strictly those of the author. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA is a vice president and senior financial analyst at AAII and editor of Computerized Investing. Follow him on Twitter at @WayneTAAII.


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