Scosche Gobat 12000 Rugged Battery Hardware Review

Scosche Gobat 12000 Rugged Battery Hardware Review

Mar 10, 2016

Juice.

It’s simple fact: one’s mobile devices are only as cool and effective as long as their battery power hold.

Juice is the universal currency now, and when it’s all said and done, it takes quite a lot to use these mini-computers — and related accessories — on the go.

Someday, we might get batteries that go for weeks or more with “regular” usage. Till then, we have portable batteries to fill the gap.

Till then, we have the Scosche Gobat 12000 Rugged Portable Battery, a product especially geared towards the technologically active.

So, if the product is designed to convey a sense of ruggedness, it mostly succeeds at first glance and first touch. It is not too big to handle, and is fairly thick. The exterior is crafted of hard material, with tiny screws on the one side, seamless joints and a low-profile on-button.

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Notably, it has a cover for the indented bank of ports at the bottom of the unit; this is great for preventing exposure to the elements. The bank contains a micro-USB input port for charging the unit, and also two 12 watt USB output slots. It a hook fashioned up top, which works with the included carabiner; the micro-USB cable that comes with the main unit is short and sturdier than most, and reflects the overall presentation.

On paper, this battery comes to party. It takes its name well, in that it boasts a honking 12000mAh-rated rechargeable internal battery, from which it juices mobile devices. It buttresses that feature with IP68 Dustproof/Waterproof construction — again, underscoring its rugged street cred.

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In everyday testing, the unit works well. It spent time on a soccer pitch, and worked admirably in several conditions. The dual chargers work well, and the standby time is impressive. It’s construction does not preclude mobility, as it is easy to handle and is vaguely pocketable.

All in all, a fine product that does its job and isn’t tender about doing it.

The Scosche Gobat 12000 Rugged Battery is available for $99.99 at Scosche.com.

Nova Blox External Battery Hardware Review

Nova Blox External Battery Hardware Review

Mar 31, 2015

The Juno Power Nova Blox External Battery is a mobile option that looks to give extended life to our mobile devices.

It’s a relatively small piece, mostly silver with deliberate black accents. It has a button on the side, with a micro-USB charging port and what looks to be a prominent LED light on one end, and on the opposite end, there is a USB outlet port. Officially, it comes in at 2.87 x 2.01 x 0.83 inches, and weighs 4.65 ounces. Overall, it is barely bigger than a box of tic tacs, which makes it quite portable and even fairly pocketable. The retail package also provides a micro-USB cable (which can be used to charge the unit and also as an output cable) as well as documentation. We got the silver, and there are other trim options.

Using the unit is intuitive; it came with a good charge (as signified by the hitherto hidden row of charge indicators that line one side), so it was able to be used immediately. Charging pace is good, though, unscientifically, it does feel a tad slower than “regular” AC charging. It’s rated at 4000 mAh capacity (and 5 Volt -2.1A output), so it packs quite a punch.

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The power button toggles charging duties, but also has a secondary function: pressing and holding it causes that previously described prominent LED light to show its true purpose as a flashlight. It won’t cut through the darkness Vin Diesel encountered in Pitch Black, in a pinch it isn’t a bad tool to have, especially since a portable charger is key in a power outage situation.

The hold time, raw power output and portability are great features, but almost just as attractive is the pricing. $24.99 on Amazon is competitive. It works with a multitude of devices across platforms… just about most devices that require USB charging functionality.

All in all, as a portable option from a well known entity in the business, it resonates as a great option.

TYLT Energi Battery Series Hardware Review

TYLT Energi Battery Series Hardware Review

Aug 12, 2014

TYLT is synonymous with accessorized style. From chargers to cases to cables and beyond, one can be assured that products from TYLT will be atypically attractive without sacrificing functionality. The Kickstarter-funding of some of its products adds to its allure.

We had an opportunity to look at it’s wireless charger a while back, and were mostly impressed with the design aesthetic and overall usability. We recently received an opportunity to look at its entire Energi External Battery Pack Series, and jumped in head first. With the increasing trend of sealed batteries in phones with brighter screens PLUS folks carrying several devices, the need for reliable third party battery packs is becoming more of a need than a want.

The review pieces all came individually cased in retail packaging; we got to check out the 2K, 3K, 5K and the momma of them all, the 10K. Each of the numerical designations correspond to the capacity of that unit.

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Of course, we couldn’t resist the urge to put the 10K through the paces. The 10K is pretty solid in hand, fairy thick but not too long at 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.9 inches, and weighing in at 11 ounces. This unit comes with a single microUSB cable that can be used to charge the unit, and also to transfer power to a device. The unit itself is mostly black with a subtle, grey logo band that runs round the middle of the unit. The bottom of the unit has four ports, each clearly labeled, with three being for charging (1A, 1A and a tablet-specific 2.1A) and the input port. On the lower end of the left side, there is an on/off button, and a series of LEDs that indicate the amount of charge available with green lights. The unit promises to charge a few devices simultaneously, or a regular device up to four times.

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The unit arrived with a partial charge. It is fairly intuitive to set up and even with a single light showing, it started juicing up the M8. I did expect reasonable charging rate, but it is surprisingly fast, getting the M8 from 40% to full in less than a half hour (using the 2.1A port).

Next, I filled it up and tried it with three devices (an LG G3, a Nook HD+ and the aforementioned M8). The Energi 10K handled itself admirably, getting them all up to par from half way down with charge left. It also has excellent standby functionality, allowing one to keep it unused with the charge retained over time.

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What really makes the Energi series compelling is the range; I do wish the 10K had embedded cable like some of its siblings, but the raw power is comforting. In related testing, the other units are just as effective within their advertised parameters.

The 10K isn’t exactly cheap, at about $99.99 (per Amazon), and it is a bit hefty, but there are different pieces that can suit different needs and price points.

Paick Noble Power Bank Review

Paick Noble Power Bank Review

Feb 18, 2014

I’ll say it out loud: the first person or entity that makes a battery for smart devices that is self-replenishing (or simply has insanely long usage life) will be the richest person/company in history.

Myth? In the short term, most likely. But again, this void is what Paick is trying to fill with its Noble Power Bank.

The review unit personifies the design intentions, with its smooth aluminum housing and slim profile. It comes rather exquisitely packaged, and has a removable grey anti-slip bumper and white micro USB cord. Specific to size, it is 4.65 x 2.83 x 0.53 inches and just under 5.3 ounces. Physically, it is noticeably smaller than my HTC EVO 4G LTE, which makes it very pocketable.

Towards the one end, there is an interesting, dark-colored pop-up interface, and just north of that is the button the controls the pop-up. In this raised portion is a charging port flanked by 2 USB ports; there are also LED lights paick1embedded in the cover. All together, it looks kind of slick in an unassuming kind of way, mostly siver-ish with dark, hard plastic accents.

Getting the Noble going requires charging it, and to do it’s job, the Noble packs quite the appetite. I charged the review unit overnight before getting the LED lights to indicate a full charge on its polymer-lithium ion battery. Using it made up for the prep time; this bad boy boasts 6000mAh capacity and 5V 1A/2.1A output, and in my informal testing, it did not feel like empty chest-thumping. Tapping the touch interface after connecting via one of the USB ports initiates charging, and it charged my depleted devices just about as fast as a wall charger, and managed two full charges (though neither was from a completely dead phone). It charges two devices simultaneously in an efficient manner too.

If I had to whine, it would be about the pop-up. I love the combo dust protection and slick press-to-initiate mechanism, but the extra moving pieces do give me pause; the pop up button could be a bit more robust. Call me greedy, but I’d also like something as crazy as a retractable USB cord to reduce the need for detachable pieces.

All said though, the price-to-functionality quotient is admirable, and it’s hard to find a reason not to own this accessory.

The Noble is available from Amazon for an introductory price of $49.99

Powerocks Magicstick Extended Battery Review

Powerocks Magicstick Extended Battery Review

Feb 12, 2014

For all the wonderful progress we have made with mobile technology, it sometimes feels like we are still so restricted. We have these connected pocket computers, and speakers, and portable hard drives and more; the one thing they all have in common is they will eventually need a power source.

For all our progress, battery life on our gadgets haven’t — or can’t — keep up.

It’s all good though. Electrical outlets are plentiful. Mostly. Even better, a pocket power generator that can give a reasonable boost in a pinch, negating the need for extra batteries or hunting for power sources.

Enter Magicstick Extended Battery.

One has to give it style points for presentation. It is no bigger than a medium sized flashlight, coming in at 3.2 mag1ounces with dimensions of 3.6 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches. The silvery finish of the review unit highlights smooth metallic feeling finish; the entire piece feels weighted in hand. One might be forgiven for thinking it is a flashlight, with the glassed end and hand strap and ports for charging and discharging at the other, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Getting going involves charging the piece itself, long enough to for the LED lights to denote full capacity. After that, it’s as simple as attaching the device to be juiced to the charger via the included micro USB cable, and letting the 2800 mAh capacity battery work. How much charging power is left is also measured by LED lighting.

In real world testing, it performed proficiently, able to effect a full charge from 20% in under an hour.

As an added piece of utility, it also has flashlight capabilities, with a toggle button that can also invoke flashing patterns. The controls sequence was intuitive to begin with, bu work well with double taps. I don’t know how enduser-serviceable the bulb is, but for extra functionality, it is certainly welcome. I did not like the fact that the USB cord is separate, but it doe come with a nifty carrying pouch.

The Magicstick’s best attribute, unashamedly, is the price, and it is a hard attribute to pass up. It comes in eight different colors, officially supports 7 types of devices and comes with a warranty.

The Magistick is available on Amazon for $30.