The Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo is a small box of power that will charge any USB device. It's a terrific little thing to throw in a bag when traveling to give you power when you need it. It only weighs seven ounces and only measures 2.28 in x 4.3 in x 0.78-inches in, so it will fit most anywhere.
It comes in black or white and has two standard USB inputs to charge two devices at once and a mini USB input to charge itself with its supplied mini USB cable. No wall plug is included. The size of the mini-USB is pretty standard, and a bunch of my devices use the cables terminating in this end, so you probably have a few of these hanging around.
There is a convenient four LED indicator light displaying how much charge is left, which lights up when you push a battery indicator on its side. Wisely, it won't charge anything when you are trying to charge the Powerstation itself. I've seen other non-case devices that do this and cause a big bag of hurt. It supplies 2.1 amps of power and will adjust itself to the needs of whatever you decide to charge and power it pretty quickly. Charging the Powerstation from empty is a slow process and best left overnight.
Its capacity is 6000 mAh, and this is important to know since it can't do the impossible. Mophie wisely tells you that it's not made to charge two iPads, but there's more to the story than that. I think giving a little background as to the battery capacities of iOS devices will add some needed perspective, so here they are for your consideration.
Battery Capacities of iOS Devices
- iPhone 3GS - 1219 mAh
- iPhone 4- 1420 mAh
- iPhone 4S - 1432 mAh
- iPhone 5 - 1440 mAh
- iPad 1 and 2 - 6944 mAh
- iPad 3 and probably 4, or whatever you want to call them - 11,666 mAh
- iPad mini - 4490 mAh
So you can see that the Powerstation Duo's 6000 mAh isn't going to do wonders for a recent iPad and the earlier iPads need more than it can provide as well. So, if you buy this device you need to be realistic. It'll top off an older iPad as well as charge an iPhone just fine at the same time. But if you think it's going to do much for your retina iPad, you’re mistaken.
What it's great for is an iPhone and the zillion other less power hungry stuff that's you've probably bought along the way, like iPhone battery cases, Bluetooth headphones, Bluetooth earpieces, etc., at the same time as an iPhone. If that's what you're looking for, you'll be quite happy. Topping off an older iPad is also just fine. But don't expect it to do magic. You can't fool mother nature -- or the science of battery capacity.
The little brick is well built and very sturdy. I don't think knocking it around in a bag will do it much harm and, in the weeks I've had it, I've found lots of good uses for it that don't include iPads outside of the iPad mini. It's good for 500 full to empty cycles, but if you use ten percent of its power ten times, that only counts as one full charge, so it'll last for a long time. It'll also hold a charge for a long time. I had it sitting for over a week, and it still had four green LEDs.
Mophie is a great company, and I have a warm spot in my heart for them because a few weeks ago when I was very cold, since I'm on Long Island and Sandy killed my power for 13 days, I responded to a Mophie PR release from a Starbucks and got a lovely commiserating email. The next day a Powerstation Duo was on my doorstep. Finding a place to charge it overnight wasn't easy, but it's the thought and going out of their way that counts.
Would I recommend it?
I sure would. As long as you have reasonably realistic expectations, it's the perfect traveling companion and will supply power when and where you need it. I feel that the hundred dollar price is a good value, and it's already got me out of a bunch of power drainage problems that I didn't see coming.