With literally hundreds of iPhone/iPad battery packs available, it takes something special to get this reviewer excited. Moshi's IonBank 5K with Lightning Connector (US$88.95) has enough power stored up to give your iPhone 5 a few full charges, and it does it all without you having to lug around a tangle of cables. Let's take a look.
- Dimensions: 4.76 x 2.68 x 0.83 inches (12.1 x 6.8 x 2.1 cm)
- Weight: 7.19 ounces (204 grams)
- Color: White
- Cables: Integrated Lightning cable, integrated USB charging cable, plus one open USB port
- Capacity: 5,000 mAh
Although there are the oddball external battery packs that are shaped like cylinders, most of them follow the tried-and-true design meme of "rectangular box with curved corners." That's what the IonBank 5K looks like. It has an anodized aluminum top and bottom, while the rest of the pack is made of white polycarbonate.
The big thing that's different about the IonBank 5K is that the two frequently-used cables -- one for charging your iPhone and the other for recharging the IonBank -- are integrated into the case. Slide the top of the case (with the Moshi logo) to one side to reveal the USB charging cable. When the IonBank 5K is fully charged and you want to top off your iPhone, slide the bottom of the case to one side to reveal the Lightning charging cable.
There are four white LEDs on one side to provide an indication of how much charge is left, and a single button is used to both reveal the battery level and start charging your iPhone. If you have another non-LIghtning device you wish to charge, there's an open USB port ready to accept a cable.
Although the IonBank 5K is a bit "chunkier" than other 5,000 mAh external battery packs I've tested, the Moshi product's integrated connectors get the thumbs-up from me. The IonBank is MFi-certified, and worked flawlessly recharging a pair of iPhones in our home. The IonBank also comes in a 10,000 mAh version ($109.95) that would be more useful with an iPad. While that version doesn't come with an integrated Lightning cable, it does have a travel case into which you can slip both the battery pack and a separate cable. It also comes with two open USB ports.
My only concern about the IonBank 5K with Lightning Connector is that it is rather expensive. There are a number of battery packs available on the market with three times the capacity at half the price. But if you're looking for a convenient external battery pack that can solve the usual "where are my cables" quandary, the Moshi IonBank 5K is going to be your best bet.
Rating: 3 stars out of 4 stars possible