This holiday season, we’ll be running a series of weekly features called “A few of our favorite things,” where we round up some gift suggestions based on the gear that has passed through our offices either for review purposes or through personal purchases. We’ll tell you what we think is the best gear out there, for a variety of product categories and budgets.
Shopping time is almost up for this year’s holiday season, but shipping deadlines have yet to elapse completely, and stores will still be plenty busy. In this week’s installment of our ongoing series, we’re looking at power accessories for Apple devices that could make great last-minute gifts and/or stocking stuffers.
Best backup battery: Just Mobile Gum Plus. There are a lot more solid options in this category than there were, say, a couple of years ago. But the Just Mobile Gum Plus wins for a number of reasons, including its high capacity (4400 mAh, enough for up to three charges for your iPhone), good looks and small, easily pocketable or stowable design. The Gum Plus is $69.95 plus shipping.
Best iPhone battery case: Mophie Juice Pack Plus. The iPhone battery case market is likewise crowded, but there are a few that have stood the test of time, and the Mophie Juice Pack Plus is one of them. Even considering the unfortunate recall that happened this year with its iPod touch model, the Juice Pack Plus is the best-in-class when you’re looking for something for your iPhone 4 or 4S extra battery life needs, because of its 2000 mAh capacity and pass through volume and sleep/wake controls. The Juice Pack Plus retails for $99.95.
Best charging adapter: PlugBug. The PlugBug from twelveSouth is a clever and invaluable add-on for people with a variety of Apple mobile devices. It’ll help convert your MacBook adapter so that it can also do double duty and charge your iPhone or iPad at the same time from the same outlet. Plus it can act as a standalone iPad charger and comes in an eye-catching red design that makes it harder to miss when you’re doing that final visual sweep of your hotel room. At the Apple store online, the PlugBus is $34.95
Best charging cable: The Magic Cable Duo. Innergie’s clever little cable with in-line, swappable 30-pin Apple dock connector and micro USB is able to charge pretty much any modern mobile device, including the above-mentioned Mophie Juice Pack Plus, as well as any Apple iOS gadget. The Magic Cable Trio adds mini USB to the mix, but we’re willing to bet that for most up-to-date gadget geeks out there, the Duo will cover all the necessary bases. The Magic Cable Duo sells for $19.99 on its own.
That’s our list, but feel free to argue our choices or voice your own suggestions in the comments.