Our mobile devices have become more powerful. The screens have become brighter and crisper. Our reliance on such devices has exploded. And battery technology seems to have hardly improved. Often times the best you can do to get longer battery life is to just increase the size and capacity of the battery. It is not a great option but it is what it is.
Battery life was a huge issue at CES once again this year. As a result, since getting home we have gone in search of large, high-capacity batteries that would have kept our devices juiced with ease. We have found some excellent options and, over the next few weeks, will have a look at a number of them.
Today’s contender… DreamGear’s i-Sound Portable Power Max 1600 mAh external battery.
From the Company:
The Portable Power Max is the only back up power supply you will ever again need while on the road. With its compact design and powerful battery, you can squeeze more talk time and photos into multiple devices. The 5 USB ports allow you to charge and power any USB powered device, and the included USB to mini and micro USB cable means you don’t have to carry around cables for each device. LED indicators let you know how much power is remaining, and a flashlight is built in to help you in the dark.
• Battery with 16000 mAh
• Includes 5 USB ports for charging iPods, iPhones, iPads and any other USB powered device
• LED indicator for charging status
• Power button and indicator
• 100 / 240V AC / DC adapter included
• Built-in flashlight
The black and silver design of the battery is quite appealing. I love the fact that the lines of it are clean and there isn’t a ton of writing on the top or sides. I also love the fact that the wall charger is relatively small. While you won’t be carrying it around thanks to the beefy battery it is important if you plan to take this battery when you travel.
As you can see from the above shots this battery is BIG. I mean… It is seriously HUGE. The result of such significant size however, results in a battery that can keep your device charged for an extended period of time. More accurately, the battery can keep your device(s) charged for an extended period of time.
The design of the battery is simple. That’s a good thing. There isn’t anything all that fancy about it and that translates into a battery that is simple to use.
On the front is an on/off power switch, five LED indicators so you know how much of a charge you have, a button to trigger the power indicators, a flashlight and a switch to turn the flashlight on and off. As noted, the battery is straightforward and simple.
What you won’t find on the battery are switches to select the correct (or incorrect ) voltage they way you did on external batteries a short while ago.
On the other side of the battery you will find a 12V DC in charging port and five (5!!) USB ports. That means you can charge up to five different devices at the very same time.
The company includes a dual USB cable that has both a mini and a micro-USB cable so you don’t have to go searching for all sorts of cables to be able to use it. Bring that cable and an iPhone/iPad cable along with you and you will be good to go for the vast majority of devices.
So how much juice will the Portable Power Max ACTUALLY provide? Here’s what the company tells us.
With the Portable Power Max you can–
… Charge an iPad 2 times.
… Charge an iPhone 4 11 times.
… Charge an iPod touch 18 times.
Now THAT’S impressive.
Best of all, the Portable Power Max isn’t all that much more expensive than batteries that offer far smaller capacities.
Yes, the Portable Power Max is a large and relatively heavy battery to carry with you all day but if it is a choice between running our of power or carrying the battery… There isn’t really much of a choice. I’m impressed… But we will have to see how it stacks up against some of the other batteries we have been looking at.
The Portable Power Max is available on the DreamGear web site.
What I Like: Huge battery that offers hours and hours and hours of recharging time; simple design; on/off switch; five USB ports for charging multiple devices at the same time; flashlight built in
What Needs Improvement: Heavy and large