PowerchimpHot on the heels of the highly rated Powermonkey eXplorer, Powertraveller has now released a smaller sibling – the Powerchimp.  So how does the Powerchimp rate compared to its larger sibling?  Powertraveller and their very accomodating Australian distributor Soundstuff has thrown some Chimps in the DigitalReviews camp. 



First Impressions

The Powerchimp is without a doubt the smaller genus to the Powermonkey.  Powertraveller has kept a similar look and feel but in a smaller package with somewhat reduced functionality.  Visually the key differences are the removal of the LCD status screen and a multi-function button on the Powerchimp to control the status indicator, LED torch and charge/recharge.

Chimp and Monkey side by sideIn terms of size difference, the Chimp is actually marginally longer than the Powermonkey, but slightly slimmer and narrower.

Family Traits
Being part of the same primate family, the Chimp shares some fundamental features with the Monkey.  Firstly the connector tips are interchangeable between the two genus and secondly, the Solar Slave is also compatible.  This common platform makes having multiple units an awfully attractive proposition especially for group trips.

Gene Diversity

Unique to the Powerchimp is the integrated LED light for those fumble in the dark moments.  The Powerchimp’s engine is a pair of rechargeable AA batteries which are removeable, making it possible to use utilise a different set of batteries, or better yet, recharge a set of AAs directly.

The Powerchimp has a "port for one, one for all" design with a detachable lead to link the unit with the connector tips.  This is a departure from the Powermonkey’s design where there is a dedicated recharging and discharging ports.

Chimp in Action
Just like the older sibling, the Powerchimp’s battery comes with partial charge ready to go.  Recharging is done via the included retractable USB cable and takes 5 hours to fully charge.  No doubt it would be possible to use the wall charger from Powermonkey and get the job done quicker.

During a gadget charging process, a green LED flashes periodically to indicate that it is discharging.  The indicator turns red as it runs low on charge.  The Powerchimp is rated for two full recharges of most mobile phones before requiring its own recharge.

Powerchimp kitKit includes:
* 1 x Powerchimp in one of four colours
* 2 x AA Ni-MH 1800 mAh rechargeable batteries
* 1 x Black carry pouch
* connectors for Nokia & Mini-Nokia, Samsung, Siemens, Sony Ericcson, Motorola, and Mini USB for Motorola Razor V series, Blackberry and Bluetooth headsets
* 1 x retractable USB recharging cable

Dimensions: 95 x 35 x 20 mm, LxWxD (3.7" x 1.4" x 0.8")
Weight: 69 grams (2.4 oz)

The Powerchimp fills a niche for portable power.  The small form factor is perfect to throw into a handbag, backpack or glovebox for those little modern day emergencies.  Whilst the included package only provides for recharging via USB, it is possible to obtain a wall charger to suit.  Personally I think a cigarette lighter adapter wouldn’t go astray either.  But if you are in a pinch, the Powerchimp happily takes on off the shelf AA batteries – just remember not to try and recharge those!

The PowerChimp can be purchased here.  Pricing is approximately USD$50 for the PowerChimp in four colours just like the PowerMonkey.  For readers in Australia it is available at PowerTraveller or David Jones for AUD$60.