The TripMate is the tech-traveler’s perfect companion. It’s as simple as that.
What is it?
This small device hides three ‘very different but powerful features’, as HooToo themselves put it. So what are these features?
- Its a PowerBank – it will charge your devices on the go.
- Its a NAS – Network attached storage
- Its a Router – Connect it to any wired connection and produce Wifi.
As is the norm with this company the device is beautifully designed. For starters it fits the box it comes in perfectly; no rattling or shaking devices. Inside the box you will find a very well written manual and Micro-USB to USB cable. The TripMate itself is quite small, but relatively heavy – which is understandable considering its internal battery.
On the top there is one multi-function button – press it momentarily and the LEDs show the battery status, press and hold it and the Wi-Fi features are powered.
On the sides are two flaps which cover an Ethernet port and Reset pin hole on one side and a USB socket and Micro-USB charging port on the other. The rubber used for the flaps seems sturdy and is one continuous strip surrounding the top part of the device – so unless the adhesive fails, this ‘hinge’ should remain sound.
The TravelMate comes with an in-built 10400 mah Li-Ion battery that should charge most smart phones 3 – 4 times, with a maximum output current of 2.1A, which is enough to charge larger devices like tablets.
It weighs just under 500g and it measures 45mm x 45mm x 95mm.
External Battery Pack
Starting from the simplest. Connect your phone’s USB charging cable to the TripMate’s USB port and voila your phone is being charged.
NAS – Network Attached Storage
This is most probably the most important feature for tech-travelers. This feature lets you connect any USB storage media (Pen Drive, Portable HDD, USB to SD card adapter) and allows you to browse, save, manage and playback any media saved through an App Store / Play Store application. This way you do not need to drag your laptop with you on holiday to manage all those photos you take – all you need is your Pen Drive and the HooToo TripMate.
This is also an effective feature, but one which most users might not find useful nowadays. The Tripmate has an in-built Ethernet port that can take any wired network and make it wireless. This would be useful if you’re staying in a hotel with bad wi-fi coverage but with a wired Ethernet connection in the room.
External battery Pack
I drained my phone (iPhone 4S) and charged it using only the tripmate. It gave me 4 full charges plus a bit of juice left. Keep in mind that the other features require this same battery power to function!
I connected a 32GB Sandisk Extreme USB 3.0 pen drive into the USB port, powered on the NAS function (long press of power button) and connected to the newly created wi-fi network using the password ‘11111111’ from my iPad. I launched the TripMate App and within a matter of seconds I was browsing the contents. I decided to ‘stream’ a 1080p movie and it played flawlessly, scrubbing through the movie worked seamlessly also – on the whole I was honestly quite impressed.
Access Point / Router / Bridge Modes
Powering on the Tripmate with a long hold of the power button and connecting an Ethernet cable which is already linked to another network will automatically create a wireless access point on the same network.
Once connected to the device’s wi-fi network you can input it’s IP address (10.10.10.254) into your preferred browser to access the setup. Here you can select Router Mode or Bridge mode. These modes require some setting up, I would suggest reading the manual since it has a step-by-step guide with screenshots to aid the setup.
HooToo mention the following points:
- It Cannot be used for IP camera FTP path
- It Cannot work as a proxy server
- The Ethernet port can only be used as a WAN input port
- No app exists for Windows Phone yet
- It supports NTFS/FAT16/FAT32 formatted disk.
I’m glad I own this device and I am going to be putting it to good use in a couple of months time when I’ll be travelling for a few weeks. I hope my review will help you make up your mind on whether or not you should buy one for yourself.