TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank External Battery Review

If you have a mobile phone, then power management is something that just goes with the territory. Even the new iPhones and Sony Xperias with their larger batteries will still have their moments of inexplicable drains; it’s better to be safe than sorry, so just plan ahead and carry an extended battery pack like the TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank.

Gear Diary Reviews the TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank

Included in the package are a microUSB charging cable, the extended battery, and a travel bag.

The TP-LINK measures approximately 3.5″ long x 1.5″ wide and 1.5″ thick; it weighs 8.4 ounces. As you may have gathered from its name, the power bank holds 10400mAh, which is enough to fully charge even the largest battery capacity phones (such as the Sony Xperia Z2 at 3200mAh) a minimum of three times; it will be enough to charge many phones up to five times, and most iPads at least one and a half times. In case you were wondering, the iPhone 5S’s battery is 1560mAh, the iPhone 6 is 1810mAh, and the iPhone 6 Plus is 2915mAh; the iPad mini retina has a 6471mAh battery, and the iPad Air has an 8600mAh battery.

But I digress.

The TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank’s body is composed of shiny white plastic with blue ends. On the top there is a microUSB charging port. My contact at TP-LINK mentioned that “a typical 2A charger for a USB-powered device such as a tablet is ideal for charging.  Can take around 5 to 6 hours to fully charge the Power Bank (all the LED indicators light up green).” He doesn’t recommend using the USB port on a laptop, because it can take too long. I’ve found his assessment to be correct; I only use the charging port on my laptop when topping off the battery, and that’s usually only when I am leaving it plugged in overnight anyway. It charges much faster from a tablet’s charging port, such as the one on the Lumsing 5 Port USB Charger I recently reviewed.

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The business end of the charger has a 2A USB port which will charge tablets or phones quickly, and there is a 1A USB port which is better suited for charging phones; you can charge a phone and a tablet simultaneously.

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When the white button is pressed and held, it will either turn on or turn off the LED flashlight; this is one of those handy features that don’t seem like a big deal … until you need them.

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Pressing the button quickly will reveal how much reserve is left in the charger, by fourths.

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The back of the power bank is blue with the TP-LINK branding, and the other three white sides are plain.

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The TP-LINK’s vertically oriented shape is a departure from many of the longer and flatter batteries that I’ve reviewed, and while at first I couldn’t help but think it was a bit chubby, I’ve since realized that this shape is actually much more convenient when I am stowing the battery in my purse. The battery stands vertically in its own space, and it doesn’t take up horizontal wallet room as a longer, thinner battery would; I like this arrangement; I can also plug my short Lightning cable right into my phone with no weird bends or crimps while it sits in a pocket.

TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank in bag

This will seem like a minor convenience to some, but many of the extended batteries I’ve used over the years require you to push a button to activate the battery’s charging. There may be some power saving advantages to this (or some other reason that I am not aware of), but I can tell you that when you are having to fumble around in a bag for the button to push — especially when you have the charging cable hanging out of your backpack as I often do — it is inconvenient to have to open the bag and fumble around for the button inside your bag to charge the phone you are holding in your hand. None of those extra steps are needed with this battery: Plug the phone in, and charging commences; it couldn’t be more convenient. One thing worth noting is that if your phone uses a microUSB cable, then out of the box you’ll be all set. If your phone uses a different charging cable, then you’ll need to provide your own.

If you have been looking for that perfect stocking stuffer or holiday office gift that everyone will appreciate, then you should look no further. The TP-LINK Power Bank is a large capacity, convenient to use, and compactly sized extended battery.

The TP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank retails for $49.99, and it is available from various retailers including AmazonTP-LINK 10400mAh Power Bank External Battery Review [affiliate link] with free shipping if you are a Prime member.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Compact size that works well in smaller spaces; large capacity battery that can charge cell phones from empty to full 3 – 5 times (depending upon the phone’s battery size); no button to push to activate charging (love this); built-in flashlight; four LEDs give you battery reserve or charging status at a glance.

What Needs Improvement: Some may find the shape of the power bank odd after using flatter and longer batteries over the years

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.