PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 April, 2007, 12:00am

What is it? A miniature universal mains charger that provides portable power while you are travelling.

How does it work? This gadget packs a powerful punch thanks to a rechargeable battery that holds an extended charge for up to a year. It comes with interchangeable mains adapters so it can be used in more than 150 countries. Simply plug it into a regular wall socket to charge. The best feature is its ability to connect to most mobile phones, cameras and hand-held devices (such as iPods and Sony PSPs). There is also a connector for USB-capable devices. Adapters for products such as BlackBerries or Bluetooth headsets can be bought separately.

Anything else? The sleek charger is a surprisingly light 70 grams and measures 88mm x 39mm x 37mm, the size and shape of a fat cigar. According to the designers, a fully charged unit provides 96 hours of standby power for a mobile telephone, 40 hours of play for an iPod, six hours for a Sony PSP and two full charges for a PDA. It also provides enough power to take up to 1,600 pictures on a digital camera. It is suitable for 110- and 240-volt appliances.

Why do I need one? So you don't run out of power just as the perfect, once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity unfolds in front of you. The PowerMonkey also offers freedom from the confusing array of cables and adapters usually needed for all your gadgets.

Where can I find one? The PowerMonkey costs GBP34.99 (HK$540) and is available at www.powertraveller.com, through which delivery to Hong Kong can be arranged.