My Two Favorite Gadget Accessories at CES

Mari Silbey —  January 8, 2014

Going to ShowStoppers at CES is a bit like attending a carnival. The press event has gadget makers hawking their wares alongside display after display of brightly colored signage and geeky gear. It’s always tough to pick out the useful demos from the ones that only attract your eye because they’re shiny (more on that in a different post), but I did find two gadget accessories that are now on my must-have list.

Anker Astro 2

First up is the new Anker Astro external battery. I got an earlier version of the product for Christmas 2012, and it sustained me through my CES travels of last year. Since then, however, Anker has seriously stepped up its game on the style front. While I adore my original Anker for its functionality, the new models are smooth, soft, and much smaller in the hand. And even the smallest model still holds enough charging capacity to power up an iPhone three times over. I’m definitely upgrading soon.

FINsix laptop charger

The second product I want isn’t out yet, but when it arrives it should be an easy sell for anyone who travels with a laptop. The company, FINsix, is a technology spin-off from MIT, and it offers a super-small laptop adapter for wall and USB charging. The power brick I carry around today is enough to make me cry whenever I’ve been lugging my laptop too long. The new charging adapter from FinSIX is about the size of a cigarette lighter. A spokesperson said the company will bring the product to market with tips for different laptops, but that it’s also working directly with laptop manufacturers to create device-specific models. I can’t wait.


6 responses to My Two Favorite Gadget Accessories at CES

  1. The Anker 2nd Gen Astro2 units are half price or better right now at Amazon. I just ordered the 9000mAh version for $37.
    The 6000mAh version is only $30.
    The 12000mAh verison is only $50.

  2. I bought the Astro2 9000 version a few weeks back. Larger than I expected, but the dual USB charging ports will come in handy. And like Mari said, not only do they perform well, they’re quite nice in the style department.

  3. How does the size of the Anker Astro 6000 compare with their Astro Slim3 6000? I’m debating between the two right now.

  4. How much is it? I’ve been using a RAVPower 5600mAh, it works great. If this is with a similar price, I may try it out.

  5. @aaronwt – thanks for the head’s up.. Just ordered a 12000mAh.

  6. I’ve had their old 5600mAh Astro for a few years… First gen I think? The glossy ones that were actually reflective on one side, with the built in LED flashlight. It’s held up amazingly well. I’m upgrading to the Slim3 for one reason, the built in micro USB cable. Tired of stuffing my 3″ Startech cable into my pocket along with the battery pack, not having to grab both things whenever I’m scrambling plus the thinner phone-shaped profile of the Astro Slim makes it about as perfect for a pocket as you can get IMO.