Review: PowerPak iPhone charger is a double-threat - Macenstein

Review: PowerPak iPhone charger is a double-threat

Probably the #1 drawback to most iPhone wall chargers is that they require a wall. As we all know, walls are large and unwieldy, making charging your iPhone while on the go somewhat difficult, not to mention severely limiting your travel options. However Technocel has come up with the PowerPak, a neat little USB wall charger that has something other, more wall-centric chargers don’t: a built-in 1000mAh battery.

The PowerPak is at its heart a USB cell-phone charger, and comes with a huge assortment of adapter tips designed to accommodate 95% of of all mobile devices out there, including Blackberry, Motorola, Palm, Sony, LG, etc… In fact, the only tip they DON’T seem to include is one for the iPhone/iPod. But hey, you have a couple of those lying around anyway, right?

Design-wise, the PowerPak was built with portability in mind and has a fairly low-profile design, with a fold out AC plug on the rear of the device. The surface is a sort of super smooth, almost soft plastic material similar to what I have felt on some iFrogz iPhone cases – must be the cool new thing. Aside from a charge status button and set of Red LEDs on the front, there’s not much else to it.


While the PowerPak can charge pretty much any USB device when plugged into an AC outlet, the true selling point is that it can provide your device with an extra emergency boost when you are away from alternating current. The built-in 1000 mAh battery should be enough to keep you alive for a couple more hours until you can reach a charging station. In our tests we found the actual charge delivered to our iPhone to be a bit less than we hoped, but still decent. I drained my iPhone 3G S’s 1219mAh battery (according to iFixit (Thanks to everyone who Twittered that in)) until it shut itself off, and then plugged it into the PowerPak. From a dead drain the PowerPak was able to charge the iPhone 3Gs to a 36% charge before giving out. I’m not mathematician, but I thought it should get to around 75-80%, but hey, it’s still another (theoretical) 3 hours of web browsing, 10 hours of audio, and 90 hours of standby time.


The only issue I have with the PowerPak, other than I might wish for a slightly larger battery, is that it comes with every adapter under the sun, save for the iPhone/iPod cable. I’m sure this is due more to Apple charging a ton for licensing fees, but it would be a nice idea perhaps for Technocel to make an iPhone-specific model which comes with only the iPhone cable. Granted for me, someone who has bought iPods and iPhone countless times over the years, finding an extra USB iPod cable around the house wasn’t a big deal, but I know I will never use any of the other included adapters, and don’t plan to pack them all in my laptop bag in the hopes of aiding a stranded friend or hot female stranger who’s Blackberry has died.


Given that Apple charges $30 for its replacement USB wall chargers and all they do is charge your iPhone when near an outlet, the $50 PowerPak adds a fair amount of bang for your extra 20 bucks. While it would be nice if the PowerPak could deliver a bit more power while away from home, its versatility and price makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a second iPhone/iPod charger. The wide number of included adapters ensures that you can charge pretty much any device with a USB port, and the extra juice provided by the built-in battery could be a lifesaver for true road warriors.

Price: $49.99

Pros: Includes (almost) every make of power mobile power adapter, can charge pretty much any USB device, nice design, included 1000 mAh battery for emergency power

Cons: Battery life was decent but did not give as much of a boost as the mathematician in me thought it should, no iPod/iPhone cable included among adapters. Perhaps an iPhone/iPod specific model would be a good idea.

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