PADACS UltraCharge Portable Charger – iPad Gear Review

If you happen to be a frequent traveler, making sure all your devices are fully charged before leaving is one of the chores you are likely used to dealing with. Additionally, making sure you have all your chargers and power cables with you is crucial, as rushing to the airport store to find a pricey spare charger is not exactly the best way to start your vacations or a business trip.

PADACS recently came up with a new portable charger that will help make all these issues passé. Called the UltraCharge, the charger is a 12,000mAh lithium polymer portable battery designed to charge up to two devices simultaneously. Once fully charged, the UltraCharge will help you “resuscitate” and even fully charge your devices while on the go, without the need of a power socket.

The UltraCharge is very simple to use, all you need to do is to fully charge it before leaving for your trip – note that depending on the amount of power remaining in the UltraCharge, charging up the device can take up to 5 hours. The charger features an on/off switch, as well as four light indicators designed to show you how much power is left in the UltraCharge. The charger provides two high power USB ports, and also comes with a USB cable compatible with the iPad. Since the device comes with USB ports, you can use the USB cable supplied with your iPad to charge your tablet, or you can use the cable supplied by PADACS – note that the cable supplied with the UltraCharge is more versatile, as on top of USB to iPad/iPhone/iPod connectivity, it also allows USB to USB, USB to mini-USB, and USB to DC connectivity.

Since the iPad battery capacity is about 5,000 mAh, the UltraCharge’s impressive capacity of 12,000 mAh is large enough to fully charge two iPads with batteries near 0%. Note that it will take several hours to fully charge an iPad with the UltraCharge, but nothing prevents you from using your iPad while it is being charged.

The UltraCharge package contains:
– The main battery unit
– A power adapter
– A multifunction USB cable with 4 adapters, including USB-to-iPad
– Additional power adapters
– A travel pouch

The UltraCharge is quite a versatile device, as besides being able to charge iPads, it can also charge all other iOS-based devices, the Nintendo DS, Blackberries, PSPs, a large number of cellphones, and even laptops. A fully charged UltraCharge can last for weeks when switched off, so you won’t need to worry about the device not being able to hold its charge while on the go. The device also comes with a travel pouch to carry the main battery and its cables.

What we liked: The UltraCharge does exactly what it says, it charges an iPad in a matter of hours, without the need to carry an external charger. The UltraCharge can also charge many other devices, and the presence of charging USB ports directly on the device makes it future-proof. The lights on the device make it very easy to check how much power is left inside the UltraCharge.

What we didn’t like: The multifunction USB cable is very useful, but seems a bit flimsy – but nothing prevents you from using the USB cable supplied with your iPad. The travel pouch quality could be better.

To buy or not to buy: Overall, the UltraCharge is one of the few mobile charger worth looking at, and should be the only charger you need while traveling. The device does not come cheap, but if you are always running out of juice, or if you happen to be stuck in places without power for hours, such as planes, the UltraCharge will likely prove to be a lifesaver.

[via Padget]

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