As much as I want to believe that the batteries inside my mobile devices are good enough for my needs, I often find myself in situations where I need to find a wall outlet as soon as possible. This is especially important at events when I need to constantly check my email and calendar to make sure I’m on top of my schedule.
Instead of going the dual battery route, I decided to buy myself a portable charger. Thanks to a tip from a reader in the comments section of this post, I decided on the NewTrent IMP60D. As of the time of this writing, a coupon code offered $14 off of the $42 device.
The IMP60D is a 6,000mAh capacity portable charger which is enough for a few full phone charges (assuming you’re using a phone with a sub-2,000 mAh battery) and a partial tablet charge. Without any scientific tests I’ve found that the device gives roughly the full amount promised. I was able to get 2 and 3/4s of a charge for my 2,100mAh-equipped Galaxy Nexus on a recent trip to Chicago.
One important factor of the device was its flexibility. It’s important that I can charge a wide range of device types as I tend to have many different varieties in my possession at any given time. Whether it’s my Galaxy Nexus, a Transformer Prime, or even my iPad 2 (I know, shame on me) it needed to be compatible. Thanks to a completely USB-based design, the IMP60D met all of my needs.
Not only is it convenient because it can charge any device that uses a standard male-to-whatever USB cable, but it’s convenient because it doesn’t come with a ton of wires and pieces to lose and get confused with. My friend and colleague Joe Tomasane from sister site iSource.com allowed me to use his portable charger once, and while it was as flexible as the IMP60D, it was a lot more complicated. You could call it an eight-legged freak of sorts.
It’s a different story with the IMP60D. Two standard USB ports grace the top of the device — one is 5V/1A while the other is 5V//2A. The two ports give enough juice for charging smartphones and tablets, respectively, at standard rates. I’ve found that it does indeed charge my devices at normal rates, but even more interesting is charging my phone using the 2A port.
While I wouldn’t recommend doing this, I often charge my phone with the 2A port to essentially cut the charge time by almost half. I could have 20% of battery life in just as many minutes doing this, and I can’t seem to pinpoint any short term negative effects on battery life. Despite being charged this fast, the device discharges battery life at normal rates when it’s off the hook. Be careful, though, as the device is rated for 500 charge cycles.
Design and other contents
Other than the two standard-sized USB ports, the device houses five different LED lights, a microUSB port for charging the portable battery itself, and a power button. Four of the five LEDs are used to indicate battery life and charging, while the other is used to alert the user that it’s currently charging a device.
When charging, the device will cycle through the different stages, between low, mid, high, and full, depending on where it’s at in the charging process. It’s a quick and easy way to tell how much juice your charger will have, though it won’t tip you off to any exact capacities unless it’s full. Conversely, a tap of the power button while the device is on let’s you know how much battery life is left while it’s charging another device.
The IMP60D comes with a very minimal setup, including a retractable standard sized USB cable, two attachments for microUSB and miniUSB, and a nice, felt carrying pouch. I didn’t even need to use the extra accessories included as it worked with my tablet and smartphone cables just fine. It’ll be a nice backup if I ever lose those, but you could buy this product without those pieces and still use it to its full capacity. This is especially important for tablets as there are many different multi-pin charging cables depending on which manufacturer you bought it from.
The design of the device itself is very simple and clean. A glossy front-side with NewTrent’s logo gives an elegant feel to it, while a more matte-like back-side will hold up well to rough bumps and wear and tear. I see a lot of devices that make me cringe based on design alone. Even NewTrent has some ugly devices that I wouldn’t want to be caught with. The IMP60D, however, would look just fine alongside whatever device you’re using with it.
While there are higher capacity options available, 6,000mAh will be sufficient for those who just need a couple of smartphone charges throughout their day. The IMP60D offers a nice balance between capacity and physical size, while also maintaning an eye-pleasing exterior and a very minimalistic yet flexible setup. Being able to get standard charge times for both smartphones and tablets from the same device is a premium that is definitely worth paying for.You can find the NewTrent IMP60D on Amazon for $42.