A number of different Lightning-based car charging solutions have been released over the past two months, but PureGear’s Car Charger with USB Port for iPhone 5 ($30) is intriguingly different because of its extra USB port and aggressive price. It’s primarily intended for iPhones and iPods, as the coiled Lightning cable and the USB port each put out 1-Amp of power — enough to charge an iPhone or iPod at full speed. While iPads and iPad minis can be plugged in, they’ll charge at reduced speeds.
Like Griffin’s PowerJolt SE with Lightning Connector and Belkin’s Car Charger with Lightning Connector, PureGear’s Car Charger with USB Port features a captured cord, which is to say that it’s permanently attached. Here it’s coiled, allowing for plenty of cable length as needed while requiring less space otherwise. The end that plugs into your car is plastic and feels hollow, but not cheap. Car Charger’s USB port is located on the other end, underneath a light that glows white when plugged in. This port is noticeably tight, requiring a little force when making cable connections, but works just fine. At the other end of the cable, the Lightning plug is just what we’d expect, with a sheathe that’s wider and taller than on Apple’s own cables, yet compatible with most cases.
While it’s not the most premium car charger on the market, PureGear’s Car Charger does just what it’s expected to do. For the most common scenario of providing juice to a pair of iPhones or iPods in a car, it’s a good option, and sells for $15 less than Belkin’s 2-Port Car Charger. However, Belkin’s accessory has dual 2.1A ports, and many dual chargers have at least one 2.1A port, so users who need to power an iPad or two on the road will find PureGear’s design to be comparatively less appealing. Given what the Car Charger with USB Port offers for the price, however, it earns a strong general recommendation. Many users will find that it offers the right mix of functionality and value.
Company and Price
Model: Car Charger with USB Port
Compatible: iPhone 5, iPod nano 7G, iPod touch 5G