With the PowerGear ICE 65, Innergie might have just made a Universal laptop AC adapter more desirable than ANY manufacturer-provided AC adapters – especially for Tech-Nomads on the run.
BUILD QUALITY / DESIGN
From the outset, the PowerGear ICE 65 seems to defy common sense even from within its box. At first glance, you can be forgiven for thinking that the ICE 65 is an charging adapter for a tablet or something like that, looking at just how small it is. In reality, though, the compact box contains a proper AC adapter that can even charge laptops.
In terms of build quality, the main unit of the ICE 65 is made out of sturdy polycarbonate, which feels surprisingly durable for what it is. While it’s not exactly heavy, there is a heft to it that gives you an indication of how well packed the innards are
It’s pretty easy to use too, as it’s just a matter of un-boxing it, plugging the (very sturdily built yet thin) power cable into the main unit, choosing a compatible adapter tip for your laptop and off you go. Unfortunately, the cable plug that goes into the main unit does seem awfully tiny, but I can assure you that it is surprisingly durable – as long as you at least mindful of it.
The connectors on the business end are also very well thought out, with the power cable to adapter tip connection built in such a way that plugging the tip in reverse is impossible. Which is excellent, as I really doubt that anybody wants to find out what will happen if you plug in a reversed polarity laptop AC adapter (hint: it’s not pretty).
Finally, just to illustrate just how much a marvel of design the PowerGear ICE 65 is, here’s the main unit next to Apple’s 61W Type-C adapter for the new Macbook.
If there IS one flaw to mention regarding the design of the ICE 65, it would be that its only available in shiny, glossy white. Which is unfortunate unless you’re the owner of a similarly glossy white laptop.
Or… you know… a Macbook (which is kinda ironic as there’s no actual tip for a Mac).
Well, how do we quantify the performance of an AC adapter? If it’s by how quickly it charges compared to the original OEM AC adapters, I have not seen any real observable differences between charging time to 100% between the ICE 65 and OEM adapters for both my old HP Probook 430 G1 and my new Lenovo Miix 510.
However, it must be said that both PCs came with 45W adapters out of the box, so I haven’t really tested the ICE to the full 65W that it’s rated to… but the existence of a certain “additional feature” does mean that I would rather give the ICE 65 some wattage leeway.
So yeah, in terms of performance, the diminutive ICE 65 does rather well.
As for safety, Innergie is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta, a company that pretty much manufactures the bulk of laptop AC adapters made today. If anyone would know how to make safe adapters it would be Delta – and by extension, Innergie.
Accordingly, it’s pretty hard to measure value for something that you would only normally need if you have otherwise misplaced (or fried) the original AC adapter of your laptop.
Especially when that something costs around RM200 (42USD).
However, the ICE 65 does still have some tricks up its sleeve to make that price much, much easier to swallow.
Firstly, if everyone hasn’t forgotten, the ICE 65 is a “Universal” adapter, and isn’t tied to just your laptop. With the right tip, you can use it to power almost ANY laptops, even those not your own – as long as they require 65 watts or less.
Secondly, is that “additional feature” I was talking about earlier. Innergie has crafted a rather quirky but useful add-on to enable the ICE 65 to not only charge laptops, but USB-charged devices as well. It’s called the WizardTip, and its available as a RM40+ (10USD) additional purchase.
Slotting in between your power cable and the laptop adapter tip, the WizardTip is capable of charging devices to a maximum of 5V/2.4A, which means it charges everything from smartphones to tablets… all while charging your laptop as well.
Similarly, the Innergie LifeHub multiple-port USB charger can also use the ICE 65 as a power source as well, which makes the ICE 65 all the more flexible.
That said, the LifeHub is only available as a separate purchase with its own power supply (or bundled together as a limited promotional item with the ICE 65) so it’s not really a worthwhile investment unless you REALLY like to streamline your power kit (or if you managed to track down that rare promo combo pack).
Thirdly, is the fact the “International” version of the ICE 65 also comes with all 4 of the major International plugs, which is quickly interchangeable with a simple twist of the plug. This fact alone should make the ICE 65 an indispensable addition to a world-travelling Tech-Nomad’s kit, really.
Finally, the last trick up the ICE 65’s sleeves is the fact that it not only comes with a 3-year warranty, it also comes with what Innergie calls the “Free-Tip Program”…. which essentially means that, for the lifetime of the device, you can contact Innergie for tips in case you buy a new laptop that uses a tip not included with the ICE 65 package… or if you have lost your laptop tip.
For free, minus shipping of course.
Having recently “tested” this program myself due to my Lenovo Miix 510 requiring an adapter tip different from those supplied, I can say with confidence that at least here in Malaysia, it’s not just a gimmick on Innergie’s part.
Not bad for an RM200+ “emergency solution”, eh?
The PowerGear ICE 65 represents a very unique addition to the tech landscape, as Innergie has quite literally taken something as mundane as the lowly Universal laptop AC adapter and turned it into a showcase of cutting-edge modular power supply technology.
To sum it all up, the ICE 65 really is the Swiss Army Knife of AC adapters – which, with the addition of the WizardTips and the interchangeable plugs of the International edition, is a piece of Tech worthy of serious consideration for any Tech-Nomad out there.
As such, it really quite apt that we here at Technomadica give the Innergie PowerGear ICE 65 a 9 out of 10, with the coveted Technomadica Choice tag on top of that.
This review unit was purchased through Lazada, and you can get yours from the link below… though it seems that the “International” edition is currently out of stock.