Thursday, September 12, 2013

Power Pack Showdown: Astro3 vs PowerPak+

I like when I get the chance to do tech face offs, regardless to the type of product or game, and this time around I have two different battery packs to keep my mobile devices charged when away from an outlet. The two items at hand are the PowerPak+ from NewTrent and the Astro3 from Anker. Both of these portable power packs come toting some serious power, both well over 10,000mAh of juice and the ability to charge more than one device at a time. Both packs are available now, come sporting similar price tags at the time of this review, and come sporting two very opposite looks. No point in rambling about features, as both of these packs are so similar to each other, so I figure it it time to plug both in and see which handles my beating better.

I will start with NewTrent's PowerPak+ as they have a past with MashButtons and I have had the pleasure of reviewing their previous battery packs, but this is a behemoth packing 13,500mAh. For anyone unfamiliar with how much juice that is, well lets just say that equates to recharging your smart phone of choice roughly 6 times without having to recharge overnight or during a work shift. This much power makes the PowerPak+ a saving grace for any road trip or trade show, particularly because it has the ability to charge both smart phones and tablets, simultaneously. This juice box functions as advertised on paper, but at the end of the day, there was one thing that stood out to me, the case, while it does have a rugged look, in my hands it felt a little cheap.

Next on the chopping block comes from a company in which I am unfamiliar with, Anker, a team of multinational techies and the product they brought to the table is the Astro3. While their power pack does not quite have as much juice holding capabilities as NewTrent's contender coming in at a close second with 12,000mAh. Astro3 may not have the edge on power storage, but stands out in a number of other ways, particularly with build material and number of USB charging ports. The case has a soft rubber coat and hides a light indicator to show status by illuminating when shook. The other great thing about the Astro3 is that it has three USB outputs to charge from so that you can simultaneously charge a car load of devices on a trip. Lastly, since this device has a soft rubber finish, it comes with a carrying case to keep it smudge free.

At the end of the week and being unplugged from all wall chargers, I have come to my verdict and when all is said and done, I preferred my time spent with the Astro3 over the PowerPak+. The reason for this decision is because of the Astro3's sleek look, smaller size, and not two, but three charging outputs that can all be used at the same time. It is not to say that it was a close call, because the PowerPak+ was packing more juice, does not show smudges, and comes at a more affordable retail price. If you are someone that is on the go, use multiple mobile devices, and do not currently have a portable battery pack or if the one you have now simply isn't cutting it, I would definitely recommend either of these packs.

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