The iconic iPhone battery case from Mophie, the Juice Pack, hasn't made the transition from the iPhone 4/4S 30-pin connector to the newer Lightning interface yet. That's put some extra attention on the standalone battery packs in the company's lineup. We tested the Juice Pack Powerstation, the mid-range 4,000 mAh model. It's on sale today for Cyber Monday at US$59.95, $20 off the regular price.
Mophie's gear always delivers with sleek, engaging industrial design, and the Powerstation line is no exception. This black and brushed-metal pocket-sized battery pack could scarcely be simpler: one full-size USB port, one micro USB port, and a charge/check button are the only controls. It's got roughly the same footprint as an iPhone 4, but somewhat thicker.
Getting this much battery into slim packaging requires a few compromises. Unlike similar-capacity battery packs from MyCharge or Powerstick, the Powerstation does not include AC or solar-charging capability. You charge it from a USB connection, preferably a high-power connection such as the one on your laptop. Just connect the included micro USB cable to the source and the Powerstation will charge. But, it will not charge a device simultaneously.
The outbound charge port on the Powerstation will charge most USB devices and supports the 2A iPad fast-charging mode. The 4,000 mAh capacity should be enough to recharge an iPhone several times and will give an iPad a partial recharge. The full product line includes the slimmer Powerstation Mini, the dual-output Powerstation Duo, and the water-rated, 6,000 mAh Powerstation PRO. All models are discounted for Cyber Monday at mophie.com.
I found the Powerstation to be a great charging companion for slim iPad bags or to tuck into a jacket pocket; its relatively small size compared to other battery units makes me much more likely to take it along for the ride -- although I do love the solar trickle charge panel on the Powertrip. You can certainly get cheaper look-alike units such as this dual-port 3,000 mAh package from Monoprice, but you won't find one as well-built or dependable.