Of all the commercials that Apple has run the one that ticked me off the most involved the iPhone 4 and its battery life. Yes, Apple ran an ad telling us how amazing the battery life of the iPhone 4 is and, while it is BETTER than other phones there really is no smartphone I have used that I would say has “great” battery life. That is the reason I still need to carry an external battery with me wherever I go. There are many out there but the one I am currently carrying comes from Tekkeon and I am rather impressed.
The Tekkeon TekCharge lets you charge two devices at once and it brings with it all the quality I have come to expect from Tekkeon over the years.
TekCharge™ MP1860A, a dual port power pack with two USB outputs, simultaneously charges and powers your iPad™, iPhone®, iPod® nano or iPod® touch, and a second small portable device. With mobile power at your fingertips, this high-capacity, lightweight battery lets you enjoy hours of extended play time on many of your small portable electronic products.
Small Portable Mobile Power Pack
Most portable devices are often in need of recharging after a few hours of use. By taking advantage of the TekCharge MP1860A rechargeable lithium ion battery, you can enjoy hours of extended play time on your iPad, iPhone, iPod, mobile phones, smartphones, Zune® and MP3 players, portable routers, e-readers, and other small portable electronic products. As an added bonus, TekCharge MP1860A includes a flashlight so you have emergency light at your fingertips.
TekCharge MP1860A connects to your device in three ways: to your iPad, iPhone, iPod nano or iPod touch using the included Dock Connector/USB cable, or to any compatible device using your own USB device cable or an adapter tip.
An Apple Dock Connector to USB cable is included for connection of your iPad, iPhone, or iPod, with Mini USB and Micro USB adapter tips included for connection to current models of BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson mobile phones. You can use the included USB adapter tips to charge your Kindle2, Nook, MP3 players, PDAs, portable media players and other 5V devices that use a Micro or Mini USB cable to charge. Additional TekCharge MP1860A adapter tips are available from Tekkeon for a nominal fee.
Two USB ports to simultaneously power or charge two devices
Universal portable power pack that charges hundreds of devices:
TekCharge MP1860A powers and charges the internal batteries of most devices requiring 5V. Hours shown are approximate and will vary depending on connected device.
Intelligent power output to charge devices up to 2.1A
Visual indicator identifies battery backup power supply capacity
Lightweight and small battery backup, so it’s comfortable to carry
Rechargeable lithium ion battery
Regulates output voltage
Simultaneously charge TekCharge MP1860A and connected device
Bonus flashlight provides emergency light
Designed with high degree of safety
Multi-layer protection circuitry to help prevent over-charging, over-discharging, over-current, short-circuit
Flame-retardant plastics that exceed industry requirements
Design that minimizes heat
Includes myCharger USB power adapter
The TekCharge comes with everything you need to get up and running in moments. There is the TekCharge battery itself, a cable for charging iOS devices, two tips for charging devices that take a mini or microUSB, a retractable USB cable, a wall charger and a user manual.
It is a number of pieces but if you are using iOS devices only you will just need to bring the battery and the dock connector cable.
The included pouch is a nice touch.
The TekCharge has one of the more unusual shapes when it comes to external batteries. Rather than the typical square or rectangle this battery is curved and has soft touch material on the sides and bottom which make it easy AND comfortable to grab and hold.
As you can see there is a soft material along the sides. I didn’t think much of it at first but it does make grabbing the battery a bit easier.
On top is a slider switch that lats you turn the battery on or, if you like, switch on the built-in flashlight. Yes, this battery continues the trend of flashlights being added into external batteries.
The bottom has the same material as the sides. The circles ensure that the battery will sit on a flat surface and not move. It also keeps the hard plastic used for the body from scratching whatever surface it is on.
On the left side it a hole that can be used to attach a lanyard.
On one end of the TekCharge you will find a miniUSB for charging the battery and two full USB posts. These are used to charge two devices at the same time. Fortunately this includes charging an iPad!
The other end has the flashlight. It is non-user replaceable.
To charge the TekCharge you attach the adapter to the retractable cable and the cable to the wall adapter. Trust me, it looks more clumsy than it actually is.
Here is another view.
To charge something that requires a miniUSB adapter you simply take the same combination and move it to the full size USB port.
Key to the TekCharge is its ability to have a small footprint but also charge two devices at once. This layout shows how you can charge something with a mini or microUSB AND an iOS device at the same time.
All of this brings us to the TekCharge’s specs. It weights just 4.5 oz and has a footprint of 3.5″ x 2.1″ x 1.1″. In other words it is rather compact. The rechargeable Lithium Ion Cell brings 4,400 mAh of power. It charges in 5-6 hours. When charging the Orange LED indicates it is at 20% while the Blue LED indicates it is between 20 – 100% of capacity. When discharging the reverse is true. The Blue LED indicates 100 – 20% of charge capacity while the Orange LED will shine from 20 – 1%.
Obviously since the TekCharge includes a dock connector cable it works with iDevices but the big question with regard to a backup battery is the question of how much charge it provides to each of the devices you use. It does rather well in this regard.
The iPhone 4 will get 80 hrs of audio playback, 20 hrs of video playback, 14 hrs of talk time over 3G and 20 hrs of Internet use on Wi-Fi.
The iPod touch will get 120 hrs of audio playback and 21 hrs of video playback.
The iPad will get 5.5 hrs Internet use on Wi-Fi and 5.5 hrs of video playback.
Bluetooth headsets 77 hrs of talk time and readers will get a whopping 20 days of additional time.
In other words this small battery is likely the only thing you need to bring with you for a full day, and night, of mobile computing.
It is a rather bright design and at $69.95 it is a great deal. I have access to a number of external chargers but the combination of size, ease of use, significant run time and Tekkeon’s quality make it the battery that now resides in my gear bag.
The Tekkeon TekCharge MP1860A Dual Port Power Pack is available directly from the Tekkeon web site.
What I Like: Small; easy to use; provides plenty of extra charge; will charge iPad; charges two devices at once; includes flashlight
What Needs Improvement: Wall charger requires three different pieces