Nextorch – MyTorch 3AAA Flashlight

This is one of the most curious torches I’ve seen yet at GearWeAre. It’s one of those products which, when you first see it, you think “What the hell would I want that for?”, but then you slowly realise what the benefits are as you use it more.

You see, this isn’t an ordinary torch – it has a USB connector which allows you to hook it up to your PC and programme what the button does. So, if your perfect torch is one that is just BRIGHT all the time, you can set that. But if you want a dim-mode and then BRIGHT mode, you can set that too.

In fact, you can set 50 different modes at any one time, and have your torch do everything from a gently half-second pulse to a nauseating 150 Lumen epilepsy-inducing strobe… whatever floats your boat.

I downloaded the MyTorch software from the web and installed it on my Win 7 PC. I plugged in the MyTorch and set about playing with the interface. It’s not immediately intuitive, but pressing combinations of buttons and sliders eventually reveals what everything does.

The software interface - with clipped-off video

I set the MyTorch as you can see above – 5%, 33%, 66% and 100% brightness, then with a half-second flash. You can click the ‘test’ button on screen to, er, test your torch whilst it’s still connected.

In use, the 5% (lowest possible setting) is good for map-reading or finding your shoes in a tent. The brighter settings are phenomenally bright, with 100% kicking out a whopping 150 Lumen which was more than enough to search a dark woodland for hidden items during a navigation training exercise. It’s very bright for its size.

Glow in the dark bum

The torch is controlled via a single large glow-in-the-dark button, which cycles through each of your chosen modes. The torch resets to mode 1 after 15 seconds of being turned off, so it works well for infrequent map-reading.

Inside the MyTorch 3aaa are 3 aaa batteries (hence the name!) housed in a very neat carrier. I THINK they’re rechargeable via the USB cable, but I’m not 100% sure. It says on them “Do not recharge and be short-circuited”. Interpret that how you will! I haven’t managed to run the batteries down yet after a full-evening’s use on high beam, so I think the manufacturer’s stated 330 mins runtime on maximum brightness is probably about right. That runtime goes up to 93 hours on lowest brightness.

The MyTorch feels good in your hand. It’s not too heavy and uncomfortable. It is made from Aluminium, so should be hard-wearing. The lamp is recessed so should not get scratched or broken easily.

Where the MyTorch 3aa is let down is on two areas. Firstly, it doesn’t have any kind of lanyard or holster, or even a hole for a lanyard. And secondly, every time I plug ANY USB device into my PC now, the MyTorch software opens, which is majorly irritating.

SUMMARY: If you want a very bright, pocket-sized torch which you can customise to different usages via a computer, then give the MyTorch a good look. It’s very well priced for the brightness and I found it a joy to use. Shame it lacks a lanyard or holster, and the software’s a bit clunky, but otherwise a cracking deal.

 Price: £39.95
 More: Nextorch