While the length of my life will measured in days and years, I have come to the conclusion that my productivity is measured in milliamp hours.
As I do more and more work outside of the office my mobile devices are not my backup. They are my primary means of getting work done. I answer more emails from my phone than I do from my computer. In fact I am tapping this post on my iPhone right now.
My peripatetic work habits mean that battery life is often the limiting factor on how much I can get done. Sometimes finding an AC outlet is like finding an oasis in the desert but they seem to be scarce when I am most in need.
So, what is a power challenged techo-Gyspy to do?
The crew at MyCharge had an idea for me and sent one of their power banks over to see if it would solve my problem.
Just slightly larger than a deck of cards the MyCharge manages to pack in 6000 milliamp hours of juice for your portable productivity.
The layout is pretty simple. There is a microUSB jack to charge the battery, a battery charge indicator, an on/off switch, an integrated Apple 30 pin cable, an integrated USB cable with a micro and mini cable in a “T” configuration and a USB jack in case you have a device with an odd input connector to charge.
While the MyCharge did come out of the box with a bit of a charge, I wired it up overnight to make sure it was at full capacity.
I then threw the switch to off and tucked it in my briefcase to be ignored for a week.
I pulled it out and checked the power indicator and it still showed a full charge. So far, so good.
At 6000 ma/h the MyCharge should be able to charge your smartphone roughly 3 times or a tablet about 1 to 1.5 times.
The MyCharge will actually charge up to three devices at a time and it has some intelligence about when it can’t do this.
It’s primary limitation seems to be based around the USB spec. Hooking up three devices that are expecting 500 milliamps of juice is fine but it does not like having multiple devices looking for an amp. If I have my iPhone and my Android tablet hooked to it, both will charge. If I hook up an iPad and my Android tablet it will only charge one. It seems to default to letting the Apple connector win in this instance.
While specified at 6000 mah the MyCharge is more challenged by higher current draw devices. If my iPad is completely dead and they MyCharge is completely full it will bring the iPad up to about two thirds full before being completely depleted. It seems to be more capable at delivering a lot of juice to smaller devices.
It will pass a charge through to devices that are hooked up to it, so you can plug it into the wall and use it as a charger in a pinch but it then is very slow at charging its own battery.
I was VERY surprised at how light the unit was. For some reason battery and heavy are synonymous in my mind but the MyCharge was roughly the same weight as my iPhone.
The MyCharge includes a charging cable but no power adapter so you will be hanging this on an existing charger and going from empty to full is about a twelve hour trip using the iPad’s higher output power supply.
On the whole, I really liked the MyCharge. It extends the life of a my portable devices and is flexible enough to let me throw some more juice at any thing I have a USB cable for as well as the built in connectors.
Although plastic, it is well made and rugged and I love having the built in cabling as it limits what I have to drag around. So far, my favorite little trick is to use it to recharge the battery case for my iPhone after I have killed it.
Light, rugged and with cables that you cannot lose the MyCharge lengthens your mobile life with panache!