Now here's an interesting piece of kit. Measuring just 6.5cm long, 2.5cm wide and 1cm deep, the Macally PowerLink 3-in-1 Battery Pack/Data Sync/Flash Drive packs a lot of functionality into its tiny form.
With a USB plug at one end and an iPod/iPhone dock connector at the other, it offers an emergency boost courtesy of its rechargeable lithium cell, the means to connect your iPhone or iPod to your computer for syncing or recharging, and lastly a flash drive of 2GB capacity.
In a flash
As a flash drive, PowerLink is plug and play, appearing on your Mac's Desktop as soon as you plug it in. In benchmark tests it averaged a write speed of almost 3MB per second with read speeds approaching 10MB per second. Not the fastest in town, but somewhere in the middle, which is entirely acceptable.
PowerLink also functions as an emergency battery booster for your iPhone. By plugging it into your phone's dock connector, you can give yourself an extra 25 minutes talktime. It doesn't charge the iPhone's battery, but supplies the extra juice direct from the PowerLink unit. It can bring a drained iPod back from the dead, too, though we wouldn't recommend using it to extend your music or video time.
It's ideal for retrieving a contact or checking a calendar entry in an emergency, though. If your battery is completely flat it can take a few minutes for the PowerLink to switch it on, so be patient. The PowerLink unit fully charges in around three hours, either through your computer's USB port or a dedicated USB power supply.
Finally, you can use the gadget to connect your iPod or iPhone to your computer for syncing and charging, just as you would with a USB cable. Macally PowerLink 3-in-1 is a versatile device with a lot to offer the iPhone user, although it's not really worth splashing out on if you only have an iPod. At £42 it's a little expensive too, so keep your eye out for a price drop.