• Revew: i.Sound Portable Power Max - 16000 mAh

    When my family and I were talking about lining up at the iPad 2 launch one thing I had on my mind was battery life on our iOS devices. With 4 of us down there for over 13 hours with a number of devices including my iPhone 4, the wifeís iPhone 3GS, my sons iPhone 3G, the iPad 1 running flat out pretty much all day, my sons iPod Touch (Previous gen) and daughters iPod Touch (Current generation).

    With all these items being used constantly during the day, battery life was an issue so I purchased a cheap backup battery set which provided 500mA to a single USB port Ė adequate to supply the iPhone, but useless for the iPad. While we managed to get through the day, a few of us in line had similar issues with battery life during times like this. Antony mentioned an i.Sound battery available on Amazon.Com. After some research I purchased the i.Sound Portable Power Max with a massive 16000 mAh, yes 16 AMP HOUR, battery and 5 USB ports.

    The i.Sound device is not small, being 145mm long, 80mm wide and 25mm thick, but it will fit in a pocket, laptop bag or briefcase quite easily. It is supplied with a US plug 100-240V 12V DC plugpack, so you may need to purchase an adapter plug to use it here, but these are available for under $20 from many stores, so itís no big problem. The unit comes with a charge indicator consisting of 4 blue LEDís which also flash when charging, an on/off switch so you donít flatten the battery when itís not needed, and a tiny little led flashlight and switch which is about useless.

    On the rear of the device is the 12V DC in, and a whopping 5 USB ports to plug gear in for charging. They say the device is fine to charge the iPad, and that really needs 2A to charge, so I decided to run a test. I plugged my iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPod Nano and digital camera all in at once. They all charged, and as quick as they do when plugged into the PC/s at home. In about 90 minutes the iPhone went from about 50% to just under 100%, the iPod Nano went from in the red to almost fully charged, the iPad 2 gained about 15 to 20% and the camera could be turned on (it was completely flat).

    I did notice that the iPad seemed to charge a fair bit quicker when it was the only device connected to the i.Sound so I suspect that there may be a limit of about 2.5 to 3A in total, but that should not affect us too much as you can charge just 1 iPad and then 3 or 4 iPhone/iPod etc when you are done.

    To put the battery size in perspective, the iPad battery is about 6.5 Amp hr, so you should be able to completely recharge the iPad at least twice from dead flat, and have some power left over for a couple of complete charges of the 1900mAhr iPhone 4 battery as well. Because we rarely totally flatten out iOS devices, this one battery should easily allow people to escape from the powerpoint for at least a week or more, or play a 36 hour non-stop blast of Angry birds without needing to find 240V.

    Price US$129.95 from i.Sound Portable Power Max - 16000 mAh - i.Sound Collection - Shop By Model - iSound - The New Sound

    You can often find it cheaper from places like Amazon.Com or other online sellers, and with the Aussie $ so high it wonít get much cheaper.
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