The Hootoo TripMate Elite travel router was what powered me throughout the day at the International Consumer Electronics Showcase in 2015. It’s a 6000mA battery, network media server/USB storage adapter, wireless to wired access point, dual USB wall charger, and I’m pretty sure there’s more.

Hootoo Tripmate EliteAt CES, the Hootoo TripMate Elite functioned exclusively as a power bank for me. If you’ve ever been in the connection nightmare that is the Las Vegas Convention Center with 100,000 people wandering around, you’ll know you go through battery pretty quickly. I did. I plunked a micro-USB cable in and kept my phone nearly topped off throughout the day.

For the Vegas portion of my trip, the TripMate Elite didn’t get much use beyond being a power bank, as the hotel’s internet was abysmal and I had no need to set up a network because I was just exhausted and had a TV from the late 90s/early 2000s, so no Chromecasting for me. It should be noted that one of the best uses for the TripMate Elite is for that purpose – bring your own network, bridge it to the hotel’s, then you can sign into and agree to the network terms and conditions on a computer and everything behind the TripMate will gain access, including the Chromecast with no browser ability.

When I finally got my bag of stuff back from CES, it ended up in my car. This was fortunate as we’d blown an old wireless router out at work, leaving a large chunk of the building without decent signal. Four minutes of setup and the Hootoo Tripmate Elite is covering a very large area at work better than the old router, although I’m counting the minutes until the replacement router shows up at work and I can get this back in my hands.

On the networking side, the Hootoo TripMate elite will work with wired networks, should have a bridged mode to work with wireless networks while still broadcasting your SSID to your devices, has a UPnP media server/network USB access, contains its own power prongs to plug into a wall, and overall feels like something you would have seen in a spy movie a few years back. I started to think what more could they do to this, but realized a bottle opener and a flashlight probably didn’t fit with the TripMate’s aesthetic.

When traveling, it’s nice that there’s this type of device that you can simply configure and let every device you deal with go on without having to be reconfigured. It’s also nice to be able to yank it from the wall and use it as a phone charger when you realize you’re about to go out and your phone is dead.

Overall the most useful little device I received in 2014 (and then didn’t get around to playing with until CES 2015). I’ll post some of my photos and pics of the setup pages of this tomorrow as I evidently wrote the article without realizing that I didn’t take any picture.

The Hootoo TripMate Elite HT-TM04 is available from Amazon for $44.99, and I think it’s worth it.