Mobile Charger Review: Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter Review
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 5
What's Hot: Easy to use, charges up to 5 devices at the same time, fast charging.
What's Not: Gets hot in small cup holders.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
The Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter is a DC to AC power inverter that can connect to your vehicle's 12 volt outlet and charge your laptop, smartphone and tablet while you're driving. The charger offers 4 USB charging ports as well as an AC outlet (North American style) and comes with two cables to draw power from your car and has built-in thermal fan to prevent overheating. The size of the charger ensures that it'll fit in most cup holders.
The Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter comes in a 3" x 3.33" x 3.26" form and it's small enough to fit in a cup holder in most cars. The cup style charger has easy-to-access ports on top that includes 4 USB ports and a three-pronged AC charging port. There is an LED light that turns blue when the DC connector is plugged in and drawing power. The DC power inlet lives on the side near the top and the heavy-duty cable that connects the cup inverter to the cigarette lighter is 2 feet long. The Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter also comes with thinner and shorter mini battery jumper cables that have alligator clips for your boat's or RV's battery posts.
Most real estate on the casing is dedicated to fan grills that work together with the built-in thermal fan to keep the charger cool while inverting power and charging your devices. Be sure to not block these vents. The Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter weighs 7 ounces.
The Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter outputs 180W continuous power with 360W peak power. This means it can charge your notebook, your smartphone as well as your tablet in a reasonably good speed. The AC adapter on the cup inverter outputs 120V/60Hz and the 4 USB ports outputs total of 2.1A. This means you can charge multiple mobile devices at the same time. We tested using the Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter to charge a MacBook Air via the AC port, an iPad 4 and an iPhone 5 via the USB ports all at the same time, and found the inverter handled charging easily. The DC plug is heavy-duty just like the cable, and it takes strong pressure to push it into the cigarette lighter as it's a very tight fit. It's obviously better for the car battery level if you're driving and charging the battery, but if you're working in the field or out camping and need to charge your devices using the car's battery, it's recommended that you start your car every hour or two to keep the car battery charged. If the car battery level drops too low, the Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter will turn off power output.
The Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter offers safety features that include overload protection, high voltage input protection and output short circuit protection for your mobile devices. The inverter will shutdown automatically when DC power is below 10.5V+-0.5V or higher than 15.5V+-0.3V to protect your car's battery as well as the inverter. It'll also shut itself down if the unit is overheating. So be sure to not block the air vents on the unit or put it in a tightly fit cup holder that prevents air circulation. Also if it's 40 degrees (Celsius) out, don't keep the inverter plugged in while the car's air conditioning isn't running.
The Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter outputs modified sine wave which isn't designed to charge small appliances such as some electric shavers, rechargeable flashlights and rechargeable hand power tools.
If you're on the road driving a lot or taking long boat trips or camping without AC outlets nearby, the Energizer 180 Watt Cup Inverter can turn your car, boat or RV into power source for your laptop, smartphone and tablet. For workforce that might give presentations in the field where power outlets are readily available for their laptops or tablets, this is a must-have accessory. The inverter is designed to charge most mobile devices including portable gaming consoles, cameras, portable DVD players and more, and it can charge several devices at the same time.
AC output voltage: 120VAC/60Hz Cont. AC output power: 180W Peak output power: 360W AC output wave form: Modified sine wave AC output frequency: 60 +/- 3Hz USB Charging Ports: 4 ports - 2.1 Amp (Shared) Inverter Weight: 0.44 lbs Dimensions (in): 3.00(H) x 3.33(L) x 3.26(W)