Belkin – AC Anywhere Power Inverter review

mobile power - run your notebook from your car
Photo of Belkin – AC Anywhere Power Inverter

Losing power while you’re on the move can be a real pain. Batteries in mobile phones and notebook computers still don’t last particularly long and have a habit of dying at just the wrong moment. But if you’re travelling by car, there’s a ready source of power under the bonnet and this device from Belkin is designed to let you use it. It converts the 12 volts DC from your car’s battery to 230 volts AC that can be used to power mains equipment.

The unit is quite small – small enough to be stored in a glove box – and reasonably light. There’s a cable at one end which plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter, while at the other end is a three-pin mains socket, along with an on/off switch and ‘power’ LED. To use it, you simply plug in your battery charger or notebook’s mains adapter and switch on.

The unit we’ve reviewed here has a peak power rating of 300W but a sustained rating of 140W. That’s not a huge amount, but since many notebooks can survive on a power draw of under 100W, it should be sufficient. Check the rating of your computer first, though. Even if you can’t power your notebook directly, you’ll certainly be able to recharge its battery while you’re driving and the AC Anywhere can be used for recharging mobile phones too. There’s a standard blade fuse to (with one extra supplied) protect against surges and automatic thermal and low battery voltage cut-outs.

Company: Belkin

Contact: 01604 678300

This is not, strictly speaking, a piece of IT equipment. In fact you can buy similar adapters in electrical shops and from electronics companies such as Maplin and RS. But Belkin is packaging the AC Anywhere as being 'perfect for portable computers, mobile phones, CD players...' so it's worth a mention. It does the job well enough but you may find similar items elsewhere at a lower cost.