HooToo Tripmate Elite HT-TM04 Highlights -
Pros: Multiple use and functionality. Competitively priced. Well built and compact.
Cons: Average battery life. Non user-replaceable battery.
The HooToo Tripmate Elite HT-TM04 is a step up from HooToo Tripmate HT-TM02 which we recently reviewed. Both of these models offer very similar functionality but the biggest difference between the two is that the HT-TM02 lacks the capability of charging electronic devices like smartphones. The HT-TM04 can be used in four different ways: as a travel router, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for personal cloud solution, an external battery pack and a dual USB AC charger.
The device itself is very compact and light weight - just 7 ounces! This makes it a perfect travel companion. The small black glossy plastic body features a foldable AC wall plug for charging devices. On the top, there is a power button and LED indicator lights for network and Internet connectivity and also separate lights for different battery levels. The backside features 2 USB 2.0 ports, a micro USB connector for charging the TripMate Elite itself and an Ethernet port for connecting to a wired network.
As a brief overview, the HooToo Tripmate Elite HT-TM04 firstly is a wireless router enabling you to seamlessly turn a wired connection into a wireless network. It is compatible with wireless 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4GHz and is capable of transmitting data with speeds of up to 150Mbps with wireless encryption (WPA and WPA2). As a router, the device can operate in 3 different modes: Access Point (AP) - creating a wireless hotspot for connecting multiple devices to share and connect to the network; Router Mode - acting as a wireless router connected to the Internet via a DSL or cable modem and Bridge Mode - extending the range of the existing wireless network.
Secondly, the device offers Personal Cloud storage which is a fancy term for saying that it is NAS (Network Attached Storage) enabled so that you can hook up an external storage device like a USB hard drive or flash drive for storing and retrieving multimedia files and documents using the software that is available for Windows/Andrioid/iOS. This way files can be streamed or shared with up to 5 wireless enable devices. Please note that only one of the 2 USB ports can be used for file sharing.
Thirdly, the device acts as a battery pack capable of charging devices like smartphones. The built-in 6000mAh high-capacity lithium-ion Samsung cells are capable of charging 2-3 times in one single charge. Keep in mind that the device will use the battery itself as a power source when not plugged in. Because the device has 2 USB ports, you can easily charge 2 devices at the same time which is really handy when travelling. Please note the battery is non user-replaceable.
Lastly, the device has an AC wall adapter to power itself and can additionally pass through and charge devices via the 2 USB ports.
As you can see, this device offers multiple functionality to suit varying needs. You won't need to carry a separate charger, cables, external battery or portable wireless router. Kids can now stream different movies at the same time while on a road trip. Running out of battery? Not a problem. The Tripmate Elite will be able to charge your battery as well. It will also be able to instantly convert an existing wired Internet connection into a wireless hotspot for file and network sharing. There is no need for messy Ethernet cables anymore.
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* Wireless: 802.11b/g/n, 2.4GHz
* Battery Capacity: 6000mAh / 3.7V
* Cycling Time: 500 times or more
* Input: 5V/1A (Micro USB) or 100-240V/2.1A (AC Power Plug)
* Output 1: 5V/1A (Max)
* Output 2: 5V/ 2.1A (Max)
The software application (compatible with Windows/Andrioid/iOS platforms) that comes with Tripmate Elite allows you to copy and move files between devices easily. The application also allows you to control the settings of the device itself, like wireless encryption method etc. The device exhibited decent wireless speeds when tested. It also streamed videos well with occasional lag. Transferring files between devices was not a problem. Although, it would be really useful if the battery capacity was increased a little more. We would recommend reading this customer opinion who has done an indepth review of the device. The manual and instructions for the Tripmate Elite can be found here. The Tripmate Elite measures 3.2 x 3.2 x 1.0 inches and weighs 7 ounces.
The HooToo Tripmate Elite HT-TM04 is an extremely practical and versatile device that combines the functionality of a router, external battery, AC adapter, and personal cloud into one compact device. To us, it is the ultimate travel companion that all travellers must have. The TripMate Elite is subtle yet neatly presented and well built. While there is a lot to love about this device, there are things we would have liked to also see in this device, for example an improvement to the wireless speed and battery life. We have no doubt this would be the case in their future product releases but until then, we would highly recommend this very cool and handy device to people on the move. HooToo sells two similar products: The HooToo Tripmate (Original) and HooToo Tripmate Nano. Alternatively, you can also consider other similar travel companions like TP-LINK TL-WR710N Mini Pocket Router or RAVPower FileHub 5-in-1 RP-WD01.