Actually, backup power comes in handy in all kinds of situations -- like, say, when you need to show your electronic boarding pass at the gate and your phone just ran out of juice.
Most mobile charges are flat, black, and ugly. Not so this CNET Exclusive: Through tomorrow, Nov. 1, you can get the Powerocks Magicstick backup battery charger for $21 shipped. It's available in your choice of colors, and it sells elsewhere for $37.99.
Those color options include black, red, purple, and blue. Whatever you choose, you'll get 2,600mAh of mobile power in the form of a sexy, shiny tube that's about the same size as a glue stick.
The self-contained little battery pack works like this: Using the included USB-to-microUSB cable, you charge it via a laptop or desktop USB port. Then you flip that cable around and plug the microUSB end into your Android phone, Kindle, or other small device. You can also use any USB charging cable for, say, iDevices and other gadgets with non-standard connectors.
Having to pack along any kind of cables adds a bit of hassle to your travels, but my bigger complaint is the Magicstick doesn't appear to have any charge-status LEDs. Thus, you can't tell when it's fully charged or how much juice it has left.
Of course, this is half the price of other mobile chargers, and twice as sexy, so you'll have to decide if the trade-offs are worthwhile. My two cents: At 22 bucks out the door, this is hard to pass up. Great stocking stuffer!
October 31, 2012