Getting enough power out of a USB host port has been a constant pain with mobile devices. USB is designed to provide 500mA, which means that a lot of peripherals require that to work. Some devices are even so bad that they make USB flash drives incompatible by providing way less power than what’s needed even for such use, and sometimes a flashing LED on a flash drive can push it over the limit.
An HP Touchpad owner who calls himself “ften” grew tired of this issue and decided to do something about it. He added a 5V step up converter to the Touchpad’s battery and wired that to a secondary microUSB port that a special dual-ended host cable can hook up to in addition to the normal microUSB port, and by doing so increase the USB host port’s power output to about 300mA. That will still not be enough for power hungry accessories like hard drives, but it will be plenty for flash drives, mice, keyboards, and things like that.
This does naturally affect battery life of the Touchpad when in use, but not as much as many people would think. Well worth it to not have to deal with those idiotic high power messages that you come across on all sorts of devices if you ask me, and I think that manufacturers should start providing more power to these USB ports so users don’t have to do it themselves.