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hootoo tripmate eliteEver been travelling and looked at how many device accessories you needed to carry? Charger, cable, external battery, portable hot spot, etc. The list goes on. Well, check out this Indiegogo campaign for the HooToo Tripmate Elite. Looks like they are lagging in their funding right now, and that’s too bad because this is a nice device. They were kind enough to send me a pre-production model to review.

Here’s what it does, all in one package:

1. Personal Cloud Storage
2. Portable Travel Router
3. Wi-Fi Hotspot
4. 6,000mAh External Battery Charger
5. Built-in AC Adapter

Let’s start with that personal cloud storage. We go camping several times a year (in a travel trailer, not a tent), and one of the things we like to do is get cozy in our bed and watch movies. (Yes, we do enjoy the nature part of camping too, but, hey! Movies!) My 16GB iPad is pretty full of work stuff, and I don’t have room on it for a week’s worth of movies. However, with a personal cloud? Easy. And if you want to be all business-like, it’s a pretty slick way to carry work files with you without relying on dodgy hotel or conference WiFi. I was able to stream video to my Nook HD easily enough.

Storage is not provided in the device. You’ll have to supply your own USB flash drive or portable hard drive.

Speaking of dodgy hotel WiFi, the HooToo can also turn wired internet access into wireless. It was the only feature of the device I couldn’t test since we had just tossed our rat’s nest of old Ethernet cables.

Plus it’ll charge your phone, tablet or the like. And act as an AC adapter, so you can leave your charging block at home.

So does it work as advertised? Yes, everything worked. Although, other than the charging, none of it was intuitive. Note to people sending out review devices. If your device requires a password, send it to the reviewer. The HooToo spent a day masquerading as just an external battery because I didn’t have the password or instructions on how to use any of the other features. The instructions were required, even after I downloaded the custom app to access the features.

The custom app allows you to access the files through the personal cloud storage. Downloading is straightforward. To access the WiFi hotspot feature requires authentication through your browser (and different login credentials). It would be nice to be able to change the passwords. Yes, it currently uses one of the top 25 most common passwords. (No, I’m not telling which one.) I’m hoping they will change that (or allow users to create their own) when the device is available for retail sale.

Portability is no problem. Every time I pick it up, I’m surprised at how light it is. It doesn’t feel cheap, though. Even the pre-production version is a solid, well constructed device. Browsing Amazon, it looks like this is an updated version of this device, which gets solid reviews (although reviewers note it’s not intuitive either).

I like it, and it’ll be a handy camping and travel companion this year. Head over and help fund this thing. It’s worth it.

 
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