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back to article Belkin Power Pack 4000

Reg Hardware Mobile Week We’ve all been there. You leave the house in the morning, whip your smartphone out of your pocket to send a text and the dreaded red indicator is displaying on its battery level indicator. You won’t be near a computer or power socket for hours. What to do? Belkin’s Power Pack 4000 may be the answer. …

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Rob
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Power...

... seems to be the latest craze now for companies to punt this sort of product out. I'll stick to my power monkey thanks, has more connectors for devices than I actually have. Plus it's smaller, you could almost mistake it for a small vibrator (although I do not recommend using it in such away).

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Alert

Re: Power...

Is that from personal experience?

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Rob
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Joke

Re: Power...

I'll post the x-rays later.

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Re: Power...

Just to be clear, the upvote is for the power monkey as a product, not that use case ...

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Facepalm

We've all been there

and discovered our portable charger was flat as well. Doh!

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FAIL

Typical marketing fluff..

How about telling us actually how many mAh this can hold?

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Boffin

Re: Typical marketing fluff..

Clue is almost in the name ;-) As a helpful hint there is also a 1000 an 2000 version.

Granted, they could have explicitly stated it.

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Re: Typical marketing fluff..

The clues in the title. I actually use a Hyperjuice mini similar size but 7,600 mAh rather than 4,000 mAh of this one. Lets me run GPS on my iPhone for over 12 hours, only 2 hours with the built in battery.

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Silver badge

Re: Typical marketing fluff..

Actually the mAhs won't tell you a lot, what you want is the Wh. Because you want power, not current.

But then again, that article was useless, like so many on RegHardware.

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FAIL

Expensive

Seems expensive. I picked up the Trent iTurbo which has a 6600 mAh battery (this one has a 4000 mAh battery) for about £15 from the big river: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0050DYZ1M

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Probably 4AH

Its probably a 4Ah battery. Going by the 4000 model name and the fact that an ipad battery is around 10Ah and the reviewer said it will charge an ipad by about 40% (will actually be less due to inefficiencies).

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Overpriced and small

Around 4Ah for £55?

The New Trent IMP1000 that I have has a £10 cheaper RRP and a 10Ah capacity. It can fully charge an ipad without problem although its output is limited to 1A so it doesnt charge it very quick.

No mention of the max current the Belkin unit can deliver.

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Meh

Ugh....

This is somewhat overpriced. Maplin do something very similar, albeit with a capacity of 2000mAh. It's just ten quid (look for "Oyama"). That'll do me fine, thanks.

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Seems like everyone else agrees

that this Belkin unit, compared to others available in similar or larger capacities is horribly over-priced. I expect to see this in airport electrical shops at list price + 50%

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FAIL

Cheaper to buy a spare battery

...much cheaper

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Re: Cheaper to buy a spare battery

It IS cheaper to buy and carry a spare (whci I ALSO do) but these do have advantages. For example, I can head out into the hills for a full days training with one of these (actually, I use the cheaper, lighter, slimmer Maplin one as per an earlier commentard). I leave my San Francisco plugged into this which, effectively, just doubles the thickness of the device but also allows me to run full GPS tracking software for about 15-20 hours (depending on what else I'm doing). Swapping batteries isn't always convenient out in the hills and, in the case of training runs, causes a break in the GPS trace.

Also, whilst the spare battery will have to be thrown away when I get rid of the SanFran (or thrown in with the eBay auction!) the external battery has seen me through three different devices now and is still going strong.

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FAIL

A product for the unsophisticated?

No doubt this will sell like hot cakes in the airport branches of Dixons. Personally, I'll pass, as it'd make much more sense to me to have a simple battery case that I can fill with standard, cheap AA rechargeables or alkalines.

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Re: A product for the unsophisticated?

> simple battery case that I can fill with standard, cheap AA rechargeables or alkalines.

They exist too. I've got a PortaPow one I got off eBay for about 20 quid. I use hybrid NiMH rechargeables with mine. I suspect it'll get nowhere with an iPad, but I've charged an iPod Touch and the Three MiFi router OK with it.

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Meh

Re: AA Batteries?

Yes, I have one of these. The problem is that 2xAA batteries do not power a smartphone for very long. On my old HTC Touch Pro 2 it didn't even supply enough current to charge the battery - it only provided about 40mins of additional usage time.

Still have to test with newer Galaxy Nexus as it has the wrong connector on it...

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Anonymous Coward

Veho Pebble

I have the 5000 mAh veho pebble, which is much cheaper than this, charges via USB and comes with output adaptors for many different devices.

Got me out of a few scrapes, and used on long bike rides to keep the GPS ticking.

Much cheaper than the belkin too

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FAIL

Expensive, small mAh, output Amps?

I've got the TeckNet iEP387 (snappy) which was £25 from Amazon, is 7000mAh and has twin USB ports at 1A or, if you only use 1 USB port, it will supply 2A. Granted, it won't fully charge an iPad but does fully charge my HTC Sensation 3-4 times and quicker than most other things (including most wall chargers!) Build quality is good and it's got a status indicator on the front - perfect :)

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Stop

IMHO, never buy Belkin. EVER.

So for £55 you've a battery which will only charge an iPad to about 40%.

Meanwhile, I found and bought this on Amazon. It charges an iPad to 100% or charges an iPhone fully about 5 times.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000X30AYA

The link from my Amazon order history to the product page shows a product that differs from the one I bought last year - mine is white and had a slightly lower quoted capacity - but it seems to be the same general idea and there are several others to choose from with better specs and a much lower price than the Belkin unit reviewed on El Reg.

There's every chance that the minute I so much as go near an aeroplane with it, the thing will burst into flames; but then given my prior experiences with Belkin kit, I'd have much the same risk with the reviewed unit... :-)

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Leakage

The most important factor for one of these devices is the charge leakage rate. It's no good having a backup charging device, if after a week or a month, it's gone flat too.

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I've bought from Amazon (also available on Ebay) a 133Wh external universal battery for £90, like this one here:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Battery-133Watt-Hours-Universal-External-Laptop-UK-/330687988039?pt=UK_Computing_LaptopsAccessories_LaptopBatteries&hash=item4cfe8a4147

It comes with about 20 different tips for connecting laptops and a USB port for charging devices. It is considerably bigger and heavier then the model reviewed here, but boy do I love the extra 8-12 hours it provides for my sublaptop or netbook - depending on how heavily I use them. It can output 16V or 19V (or 5V over USB). I also use it with my 18.5V and 20V laptops. It also comes with an auto cigarette lighter charger.

Mine is actually marked 155Wh on the back - just shy of the 160Wh most airlines seem to allow as maximum Lithium-ion battery size to be taken aboard aircraft.

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Better solution from ebay under five quid

Hit ebay and look for

AA Battery USB Emergency Charger for iPhone iPod MP3

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I cannae give you any more power cap'n

I don't want to have the need to buy one of these, especially an overpriced one like this. I've seen larger capacity ones on amazon for less.

What I do want is a phone that doesn't need to be charged up every 18hrs if I decide to use it in the manner it's supposed to be. Instead I have to flaff around with apps to turn off everything that drains power, and then flaff around turning it on to do specific items whilst out and about.

What I want is a decent sized battery in the damn phone to begin with... screw making the phone thinner whilst making the screen bigger... just make the battery twice the size so I can use the damn thing for 2 days without the need to buy expensive extra chargers or batteries so I can use the phone in the way it was designed to be used.

I would love to own a phone that just works as advertised... I actually miss my old Sony Ericsson P990i, because until that died a death last year (after 4yrs service) it allowed me to browse the net, make calls and txts and the battery would last for days... oh I wish I had something that reliable again... My current Desire HD can chew through a battery in 12hrs or so if I leave wireless, gps and bluetooth on... even if it's just sat there not making any calls.

My other half has the HTC Sensation, a battery that's about 40-50 larger capacity then the HD... and yet mine still lasts longer... something tells me it's going in the wrong direction...

Remember when phones got smaller and smaller and battery life got longer and longer... we're going in the exact opposite direction now.

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