We used the PowerMonkey Extreme to charge a variety of portable devices during the course of a wide range of research trips and photography trips to areas in which mains power is either unreliable or periodically non-existent, and on various fishing, camping and hiking trips where power was non-existent all the time, and in areas where we had decent cellular network signals but couldn't otherwise recharge any phones because we were very far from a vehicle or a hotel, and at a hotel, lodge or campsite where the only available outlet was already being used. Here's what we charged on a regular basis:
Older PowerMonkey models were good but not great. However, the Extreme is a tough little unit that keeps going and going and going, and sports a much better pair of solar panels (more efficient, tougher outer shell) than any previous models, and a higher capacity main storage unit that is wrapped in rubber and has a more informative readout, a touch-sensitive on/off pad, and very sturdy ports designed for many years of reliable service. It won't charge an ultrabook or full size laptop because it doesn't produce the necessary output voltage, but hundreds or thousands of other devices are fair game.
The Powertraveller PowerMonkey Extreme has helped me avoid several bits of aggravation, repeatedly, over the past couple of years, especially in locations around the world where mains power is unreliable or where power is simply turned off at certain times of day or night. A research associate of mine travels with a Powertraveller Solargorilla for laptop charging. The Solargorilla also works extremely well and has the output voltage and power management circuitry to do a proper job. She's never without a Solargorilla or the Powergorilla and PowerMonkey Extreme in the field, whether the "field" happens to be Bosnia, Croatia, Northern Iraq, Egypt, various locations in northern Africa, and so on. Closer to home, the PowerMonkey Extreme has worked perfectly during long drives in the car to charge and keep using a smartphone when the two available in-car charging sockets were already in use. Fishing trips, wilderness photography trips and other activities have been made easier by being able to keep smartphones, iPods, AA & AAA batteries and other devices fully charged when we're in the field for days at a time. That means your LED flashlight batteries can always be topped up too.
We used the PowerMonkey Extreme to charge four AA batteries at a time using the Lenmar R2G 802U charging station (which has a 5V DC input port). It's a great little folding station that is compact enough for travel, well made and ideally matched to the superb Lenmar R2G AA and AAA batteries (although we use it to charge Eneloop, Energizer and Radio Shack Infinicell batteries too). The PowerMonkey also powered the Eneloop and Energizer AA & AAA charging stations (again, stations which have a 5V DC input port). Charging times were all fast - approximately two hours for fully depleted sets of four AA or AAA batteries. Charging time for an iPhone 4s is approximately one hour. Charging time for an iPad 2 WiFi+3G is approximately 3 hours. Charging time for a BlackBerry 9900 is approximately one hour. Basically, we found that charging times were either same as that provided by proprietary chargers or up to twice as long for devices which really pushed the limits of the PowerMonkey.
During a test of the fully charged PowerMonkey we recharged a combination of 16 Eneloop and Lenmar R2G AA batteries, a fully depleted iPhone, and two Samsung cell phones before the PowerMonkey drained. We plugged in solar panels, fully recharged the PowerMonkey in about two hours in bright sunlight, then continue the charging capacity test using a Kindle, Kobo Touch and a Sony eReader and a different iPhone. Then we got bored of testing. The PowerMonkey Extreme works extremely well.
Powertraveller is producing devices which as far as we can tell are tough, well made unit, and contains very good quality components. A PowerMonkey Extreme might sit in your travel or camera bag, or in a drawer at home for months before you need it. Then the power goes out, your smartphone goes dead, but you can't charge it from your car because your significant other or your kid is driving it somewhere, and the PowerMonkey Extreme will come in very handy. We think the PowerMonkey Extreme is well-priced, so we'll call it a very good value.
Cons: Some jacks barely clear the edge of the hinged output port covers which only open 90 degrees. I've never broken a port cover, so maybe this Con is just me being sensitive. Getting the solar panel clamshell into and out of its snug fit in the travel case can sometimes be a minor irritation.
Pros: The Powertraveller PowerMonkey Extreme is a very well made, portable charging device that is meant for regular use in a wide variety of conditions. It's well designed, and above all else works reliably. I've used my own PowerMonkey Extreme several times on every single one of the dozens of trips I've taken over the past two and a half years (as I write this). If you've been stuck with a dead phone, iPod or tablet, or stuck with dead camera or flash batteries (i.e., AA or AAA) with no power mains in sight, you'll have keenly felt how much we're dependent on a) electricity, and b) all the portable devices we use and carry with us. The 33.3 watt/hour capacity, the higher construction quality of the device, and the efficient solar panels are what set the PowerMonkey Extreme apart from almost all of its competitors. The PowerMonkey Extreme is one of those must-have devices that you'll keep for a very long time because it will never go out of spec or go out of compatibility. Highly recommended.