By Rob Beschizza at 12:00 pm Wed, Jun 3, 2009
Assuming your car has a mug holder, it's an unexpectedly clever and useful design. But it is also $30. [Thinkgeek]
I can’t begin to think of how many times I wish I had an AC jack in my car. Maybe I haven’t looked around too much, but this seems like a pretty cheap and slick solution to the problem.
this is brilliantly functional.
And if you nest it in a real, stained coffee cup, no one will smash you windows to steal it either.
This will work great, right up until the morning that I sit in the driver’s seat, try to take a sip out of this, and drool a little into one of the outlets.
*not a morning person*
Is that a USB slot? Hmm, all of a sudden damn tempting.
It’d be really cool if it brewed coffee.
Posts are always better when they begin with “BEHOLD!”
Much like the Aqua Teens….
Actually $30 isn’t that bad. I’ve seen just usb car adapters that were that much.
$30 isn’t much for an inverter at all.
The determining factor in price is how much load they can handle.
The cheap ones will choke if you plug anything really power-hungry into them. I’m guessing this is one of those.
For $50, here’s a model that can handle twice the wattage, and sounds more reliable than your average unit:
Doesn’t have the cute cupholder form factor, but cuteness only goes so far, without functionality to back it up.
$30 is a good price for an inverter, provided that it has sufficient wattage to power your devices.
I’m going to guess that this one is good for a cell phone charger, but lousy for a laptop. Therefore, it’s worth spending the extra $10-30 to get one that will power anything.
For the same price, you can get similar inverters that plug directly into the 12v outlet most cars have. Just a little box jutting from the outlet, I mean.
A more involved solution would be to buy a standard-size inverter (the smallest ones are about 400w, usually, and the biggest one I’ve seen recently was 3000w). A professional can permanently install it for you.
I bought this from Amazon and I really like it. I use it to charge my mp3 player (via USB) and my cell phone (via the outlet). The only thing I don’t like about it is that the cord isn’t quite long enough for me because it doesn’t actually fit in my cupholder – I have a mini, and apparently the cupholders are mini as well 🙁
SEANJJORDAN, you don’t need to guess how much power this thing will put out. You can follow the link, and find out that it’s 200W continuous, which is more than enough for a laptop.
Dammit, ours cost $100 (Aus) so that my husband could use it on his laptop. of course, it’s been hogging the cup holder since and he’s NEVER used it 😛
This isn’t the first power inverter designed to fit in a cup holder I’ve seen (I bought one for my dad a few years ago), but it is the prettiest. And at 200 continuous watts, it should be powerful enough for your laptop with some to spare.
That said, I’m happy with my set up. I’ve got a splitter with a USB adapter in one and a small (but powerful at 175 continuous watt) inverter. Of course, it’s not nearly as pretty.
Check out the Cobra Power Inverters; they include a USB charging port as well.
They have one that mimics a coffee cup, but why occupy the cup holder? It’s not that difficult to wire up a direct line to your car’s battery and keep the inverter under your seat.
The 12 Volt has a guide explaining what gauge copper wire you need for how many amps / watts. (Everything in your car is 12vDC… well, 13.8vDC technically.)
Hardware stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ace, usually don’t carry high strand copper cable suitable for this. But if there’s an AirGas or other welding supply store, welding cable is just high strand copper cable. Or try eBay, but watch out for scammers selling (cheaper) aluminum cable or copper-coated aluminum (CCA).
$30 isn’t that good for only 200 watts.
I was pricing converters at truck stops over the weekend, and I saw 240 watts for this price, and 350-400 for $35.
Plus some of us actually *use* our cup holders.
I frankly thinks it sucks.
1. Where does your cup go when you have a passenger and you drive a stick?
2. How much of the radio player/temp controls will it block?
3. Can you insert a plug one handedly or does the whole thing just pop out and you swerve to avoid a oncoming car.
4. How much coffee spilt from the next cup over before the thing fries?
There are plenty of low cost inverters that aren’t going to clutter your cockpit 😉
Now I can plug in my air conditioner and mount it in the window!
Here’s the thing about every inverter I’ve tried so far…the damn whiney fan. It’s like having a mosquito in your ear.
The best solution is to have a long cord and tuck the inverter under one of the seats where the sound is muffled…and hopefully it doesn’t overheat.
BEHOLD worship of disposable culture!
Similar to my cup-shaped MP3 player concept:
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