Electronic devices always seem run out of power at the most inopportune times, don’t they? Figuring out ways to keep those devices powered for as long as they are needed is key. Whether you are a regular road warrior or simply away from the office for the day, if you aren’t going to be near an outlet or power port, and if you carry multiple devices which will require energy doses at random times, carrying a portable power supply is the best option. Many times, these power supplies can best be described as bricks.
How big or how small of a “brick” to choose depends upon your specific needs and ability to carry it; when traveling for days at a time — especially in a foreign country, a large brick like the Mili PowerKing (18,000 mAh) is what I like to bring. But on days when I am out and about, but not always able to plug-in and power-up, I have been enjoying the services of the 8200 mAh PhoneSuit Primo Power Core Rechargeable Battery Pack for Tablets and Phones.
Included with the Power Core are eight interchangeable tips, a USB cable with a tip-accepting port, an AC charging cable, and a velour travel pouch. Some of the tips included are microUSB and miniUSB (which will work with most non-Apple phones), a certified Apple iPad / iPhone / iPod tip, and a few others that don’t look as obvious or explainable to me — save for one particular tip which surprised me.
The Power Core is the first recharge solution that I have received which came with a Samsung Galaxy Tab plug. Of course, this happened after I had sent the Tab to Francis, but that is neither here nor there. I just thought it was fab that one was included. PhoneSuit says that if you have a higher output product such as a netbook, to contact them for the optional 12V cable and correct tip.
Primo Power Core Specifications:
Model Number: PRIMO-CORE-SP
Battery Capacity: 8200 mAh
Power Output: DC 5V@2.1A, 12V@2A
Power Input: DC 9V@1A
AC Adapter: 100v to 240v AC Adapter. USA, UK and EU outlet types available.
Let’s take a look at the hardware …
The Power Core measures approximately 5″ long x 2.75″ wide x 0.75″ thick and it weighs exactly 8.3 ounces. The Power Core’s body is composed of black plastic; the front has a mirror finish that’s been rimmed in chrome colored plastic, and the back is shiny black plastic. It’s a solid yet pocketable handful.
There are no buttons or switches on the top end.
And there are none on the left side.
The bottom has a USB 5V DC-Out port, the DC-In wall charger plug, and the 12V DC-Out port for the optional 12V cable mentioned above. I really like that there is a completely separate cable necessary for higher powered devices, because it (hopefully) will make it less likely for someone to accidentally plug a device requiring a lesser charge into the wrong port or vice versa.
On the bottom edge of the right side, there is a silver ON / OFF switch. When you have a device plugged into the Power Core it will not begin charging until that switch has been thrown. If no device is plugged in, flipping the switch will give a quick indication of the amount of power left in the brick.
The amount of charge left is indicated by the three rings on the bottom front; when charging the Power Core, the circles will progressively blink blue, with all three blinking blue upon completion. When using the Power Core to charge a device, once switched on the circles will glow solidly blue, with numbers decreasing as the brick’s power is depleted.
According to the Power Core box, you can expect up to a 2.1A output when powering your devices, and from what I have seen the charging rate is quite speedy — going from 86% to 100% on an iPhone 4 in about 10 minutes, for instance. The Power Suit’s 8200 mAh battery should supply up to four full iPhone charges, or one iPad charge, or four Android phone charges, or seven iPod charges or two android tablet charges. Of course how many charges you get on your devices will depend upon the size of their own internal batteries, but having 8200 mAh on standby is definitely a bonus when the average phone battery seems to be in the 1200 – 1600 mAh range.
The Power Core is portable enough that it can slip into a pocket in your gear bag or SCOTTEVEST coat without taking up too much room or weighing you down. The additional boost that it provides should be enough to keep you going on even the worst of days.
The PhoneSuit Primo Power Core Rechargeable Battery Pack for Tablets and Phones is available directly from the manufacturer.
MSRP: $99.95; one year repair or replacement warranty on the Primo Power Core
What I Like: Compact size and solidly built; 8200 mAh is enough to recharge several smaller devices; different ports for 5V and 12V mean less chance of accidental over-or under amping; three lights on front provide a clear graphic of charge status
What Needs Improvement: Nothing; it works well
Source: Review sample provided by PhoneSuit