Portable battery packs used to give your iPhone or iPad an extra boost when you need it have a tendency to be rather plain. Most are black or silver and consist of a box with a couple of USB ports and LEDs. What if you could get a battery pack that's a bit more stylish? That seems to be the market that new entrant Neptor seems to be aiming at with their new Portable Battery Pack.
Price: US$49.99 MSRP, available for as low as $43.69 on Amazon.com
Capacity: 5,600 mAh (an iPhone 5s has a 1,570 mAh battery by comparison)
Number of ports: Two USB 2.0
Output: One 2.1 A (will charge an iPad), one 1 A port
Dimensions: 3.97 x 1.93 x 0.98 inches (10.08 x 4.9 x 2.49 cm)
Weight: 4.5 ounces (127.6 grams)
Colors: Red, blue, orange, green and purple
LED Flashlight: Built-in
Amazon Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5 stars possible
I pretty much liked everything about the Neptor Portable Battery Pack. It has decent capacity in a very compact size, the colors are fun, and there are color-matched charging cables (USB to micro-USB) and carrying lanyards included.
The exterior of the Neptor Portable Battery Pack is covered in a soft-touch plastic that looks great, with black accents on the top, bottom, and sides. A small power button on one side lets you check the available power level, while a quick "double-tap" of the button turns on the LED flashlight. There's also a dark oval on one side that contains the four LEDs for showing charge level.
I've tried a few battery packs that said that they'd work flawlessly with an iPad but didn't, either just not charging up the tablet or providing the friendly "Accessory does not work with this iOS device" error message. Not so with the Neptor pack, which worked beautifully as soon as I plugged in my iPad Air, topping it off from 97 to 100 percent.
If there's one negative to the Neptor Portable Battery Pack, it's that the included cable is only for charging the device. You'll have to supply your own USB to 30-pin Dock Connector or USB to Lightning cable.
Other than that, this battery pack looks good and can charge an iPad and iPhone simultaneously. What else could you ask for?
In a world of look-alike external battery packs, Neptor's Portable Battery Pack provides a needed splash of color and an attractive design. It's lightweight, can be used with an iPad or iPhone, and is readily available through Amazon and other outlets.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
As much as I liked the Neptor Portable Battery Pack, TUAW policy compels me to give it away to some lucky reader. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before March 7, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected and will receive a Neptor Portable Battery Pack valued at $49.95