CES 2013 is coming up fast, which means we are already thinking about the gear that will help us best cover the show. This year I expect Judie’s and my iPad minis will play a big role. I’ll also be using my Canon T3i to grab better photos and video than I have previously. And Carly, Carly will be getting her first taste of the gadget-craziness that is the Consumer Electronics Show.
Each year Judie and I have talked through what gear would best help us keep our gadgets charged and, each year, we have found ourselves running on vapors more than once. Not this year. No, this year we are packing enough external batteries and then bringing one or two more. Key to our mobile strategy? The ZAGGsparq 6000 Portable Power Station.
Zagg just sent us one, so why don’t we take a look at an external battery that isn’t just for use on-the-go.
The ZAGGsparq is the most convenient and stylish portable backup battery available. Built-in prongs allow the ZAGGsparq to double as a wall charger, and eliminates the need for an extra power adapter to keep your digital life running. The ZAGGsparq provides between 1 and 4 charges for a typical handheld device, and ZAGG’s 2.1A output for ultra-fast charging (on select ZAGGsparq models) is up to four times faster than a standard USB charger.
An attractive, durable polycarbonate shell design allows the ZAGGsparq to maintain a glossy outer finish without gathering fingerprints or scratches. The soft-touch rubber underside allows the charger to fit comfortably in your hand. The ZAGGsparq features five LED lights to indicate power and charging levels, and a convenient on/off switch helps prevent battery drainage.
Note: Some USB-charged devices use proprietary charging specifications. The ZAGGsparq has been designed to charge iOS devices and most Android smartphones and tablets. The ZAGGsparq is not compatible with the Nexus 7 tablet.
The ZAGGsparq 6000 is a heavy-duty portable power station for heavy electronics users who frequently need extra battery power. Two USB ports are ideal for multiple phones or a phone and a tablet.
Rechargeable lithium polymer backup battery
Built-in prongs for convenient charging
When plugged into an outlet, the ZAGGsparq works just like a wall charger (directly charging the device, then charging the internal battery)
On/off switch to prevent battery drainage
2.1A output for ultra-fast charging, up to four times faster than a standard USB charger
Attractive, durable polycarbonate shell hides scratches and fingerprints
5 LEDs indicate battery level and pulsate one after the other while the ZAGGsparq is charging
Universal charger powers all USB-charged mobile devices
Ergonomic design features a soft touch rubber finish
Charges iPad and other tablets at optimal speed
The ZAGGsparq 6000 sports a 6000mAh battery that can recharge devices up to four times. At this size, the battery is a nice balance of size/weight and backup power. Much smaller and it wouldn’t provide the charges necessary for something like a day at CES. Much large and you’d have something that was so large and so heavy that you wouldn’t want to carry it. This is the Goldilocks of backup batteries in that, for me, the size is “just right”.
I also like the fact that it offers two USB ports. (The smaller ones usually will have just one.) The double USB arrangement means a phone and a tablet can be charge simultaneously or, more likely, during meal breaks two of us can charge our phones at the same time.
The ZAGGsparq offers two features that stand our for me. First, the inclusion of a dedicated on/off toggle helps make sure you will never leave the battery on by accident. That might not sound like a big deal, but more than once I have had batteries with push button on/off switches accidentally turn on in my bag. When I went to charge my device, the battery — like the phone — was dead, too. Ouch.
The other feature I like is the inclusion of a US-standard plug. This means you not only don’t need an extra cable when you want to charge the battery, but also it means you can use the ZAGGsparq as your wall charger the same way you would the ones provided by, for example, Apple. In other words, carrying the ZAGGsparq adds weight to ones gear bag but then reduces the weight because a dedicated wall charger can be left at home or in the hotel room.
Backup batteries aren’t the most exciting accessory, but they are one of the most important, especially when you are traveling. We’ve seen and reviewed many backup batteries in the past, but the ZAGGsparq stands out. It comes in at under $100, and it has two USB ports and a built-in wall charger. The design is unique, and the functionality? Well, that is something for which I suspect we will be grateful when our time in Las Vegas comes to an end.
You can learn more and order yours here, on the ZAGG website.
What I Like: 6000mAh of extra battery power; Wall charger built into the device; Two USB ports; Self-contained and close to universal ( The ZAGGsparq is not compatible with the Nexus 7 tablet. )
What Needs Improvement: The 6000 isn’t small. It isn’t a huge brick, but it isn’t small. From here in NJ the ZAGGsparq looks like a winner. I’ll be testing it when I got on vacation this week and, assuming it makes the grade, it will be coming to Vegas
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample