Review by Matt Grayson
Designed as a charge anything, anywhere system, the Ansmann DigiCharger Vario pro accepts nearly every single type of lithium battery as well as AA and AAA batteries.
Ansmann DigiCharger Vario Pro: Preparation
Ansmann market this as a charger on the go and the actual charging unit is pretty small, but there are two wires and two adapter plugs that tag along for the ride and they soon start to take apace up. The main charging unit is the point of interest and it's a well thought out piece of hardware.
Shaped like a shoe print, a small LCD screen sits toward the top to give you basic information regarding the charge status of the battery. The screen lights up blue when it's powered up. The bottom half of the charger slides down to accommodate AA and AAA batteries, but the genius comes with charging lithium ion batteries. Pressing the Ansmann badge on the sliding cover extends the opening further, allowing larger batteries to be accommodated. For batteries that have connections in different places, the small, blue connectors are fully adjustable left and right by simply dragging it, while the wheel at the end moves the pins up and down. Fitting the battery in is an easy affair as the extra extension allows for plenty of space. It then springs back and acts as a pressure plate to keep the battery points connected. If the battery is defective, the charger will detect it and refuse to charge the battery.
Some batteries don't have the polarity displayed on them, but the Ansmann charger is fully equipped with protected circuitry, so if you get the polarity wrong, it won't damage anything. Charging and stopping when the peak is reached is done automatically, so the charger can be left alone without causing a fire or if you're in the car using the cigarette adapter, you don't have to keep checking it, ensuring you drive safely.
There are other features to the charger such as an emergency mode allowing you to put a fully charged lithium ion battery into the pack then connect it to another item via USB lead for a bit of extra power.
Ansmann DigiCharger Vario Pro: Performance
The trial battery was a lithium ion DMW-BCG10E used on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7. It was flashing empty when I put the battery onto the charger and within around 15sec it had started the charging process. It was 25% full in a matter of minutes, but then started to slow down. It's not a fast charger so ensure leaving plenty of time, but 50% had registered after 20 minutes. Full charging for our test battery took around an hour but if the battery isn't showing a full charge after four hours, the charger will switch itself off.
There's a slight amount of warmth from the top end of the charger, but the rubbery coating makes it feel more pleasant than if it was bare plastic.
Ansmann DigiCharger Vario Pro: Verdict
This is a great little charger that can be taken anywhere and I really like the unique way they've got around the multiple battery options. It's well made, such as the rubbery skin and protective circuitry and charges pretty fast considering it's not a fast charger.
If you're off out around the world, or you travel a lot, then I thoroughly recommend this charger. You may want to decide which leads to take and which not to, but other than that, it's a cracking bit of kit.
Ansmann DigiCharger Vario Pro: Plus points
Takes nearly all batteries
Doubles as an emergency power pack
Ansmann DigiCharger Vario Pro: Minus points
Lots of connectors and adapters
Prices online start from around £45, go to Intro2020 website for more details.
Ansmann DigiCharger Vario Pro