This is a review of New Trent PowerPak Ultra rugged 14,000 mAh external battery. New Trent PowerPak+ NT135T, iPhone External Portable battery. Android Portable External Battery, Tablet iPad Battery | NewTrent.com
What is a first thing that comes to your mind when you hear water proof, dirt proof, and shock proof? I can guarantee it won't be external battery, but rather some super rugged cases to protect your smartphone or tablet. Now, imagine this rugged case houses a whooping 14,000 mAh of juice enough to charge up your smartphone or tablet multiple times in any extreme outdoor condition while being able to survive most of the extreme elements of nature. You don't have to imagine this anymore, because New Trent new PowerPak Ultra is exactly that product. To be honest, I was actually surprised they are the first to come up with such brilliant solution considering external battery pack is one of the top necessities for anybody doing outdoor activities away from a power source. So, let's take a closer look at this new Ultra PowerPak.
Typical for other New Trent products I received in the past, Ultra arrived in a premium package with a flip cover and a lot of info to walk you through all the features even before opening the box. Available in two finishes, orange and gray, for my review I chose an orange finish since it will stand out better in any outdoor situation and will be easier to locate if you drop it or misplace it. Yes, I did say "drop it" which for it's IP67 rated enclosure shouldn't be a problem. Of course, such protection comes at expense of an additional weight and size bulk, but it's manageable. With a dimensions of about 5.5" x 3" x 1" it's about 1.5 times thicker than a typical ext battery of such capacity. Also, at 366g it's a little heavier than other similar capacity batteries. But upon closer examination you will realize that additional protection layer fully justifies this extra bulk. The front and the back of the battery are made from a durable scratch resistant PC material, while the edges enclosed in a dense rubber material with a ribbed case design that gives you an excellent grip. You have full corner and side protection and both front and back have 8 standoffs to keep Ultra from sliding off any slippery surface.
On a front of the battery, you have a power switch, fully sealed and rubberized, next to 4 blue led indicators for 25% capacity/charge incrementing indicators. The design of the switch prevents any accidental turn on where you have to press and hold it for 2 seconds before you start charging. This is a very important detail since you can have this battery in a backpack with other stuff, and don't have to worry about accidental turn on/discharge. The charging micro-usb input is on a side/corner with a secure port cover. As a matter of fact, it's secure enough that you will need to apply some force to open it. The same with 2 output full usb ports. It designed like that intentionally in order to meet full water and dirt protection. As a matter of fact, the included detailed manual mentions that a battery has been tested to endure being 3 feet underwater for up to an hour.
Of course, this is still a battery, so let examine it's functionality. As I mentioned above, it has one charging Input and two Output ports, rated 1A and 2.1A. According to the spec, the input is rated at 5V/2A which suggests a super fast charging of the battery itself. My battery came 50% charged, and while I was timing it going up to a full 100% charge using included high quality usb cable, I noticed that charging speed was more inline with 1A-1.5A which is typical for external batteries and their 5V regulated converters. Basically it means that a full charge from empty will need about 12 hr on average, but you have to realize you are dealing with a huge 14,000 mAh capacity and this charging time is very reasonable. Regarding a total capacity, as you can imagine it's a max rated capacity of the internal 3.7V battery, and while converting it to 5V going to your usb cable, the efficiency of the conversion will lower the actual available capacity, so you should expect realistically about 11,000 mAh. This is typical for every external battery as well, to lose total capacity due to conversion efficiency. Regarding 2 output ports, although they are rated as 1A and 2.1A, I was able to charge my Note 2 out of each port with max 1.8A speed. You just have to keep in mind that you are sharing 3.1A between two ports, so for example charging Note 2 and Nexus 7 will be done simultaneously at full speed, but charging two Note 2 phones will lower the charging speed of both.
Overall, I was VERY impressed with a built quality of this Ultra battery. Without a doubt, high capacity is a huge plus and it will be fantastic for outdoor use. I have reviewed a ton of external batteries in the past, and can tell you with certainty that I'm not sure if any of those would survive a serious outdoor drop, and can tell you for sure they won't survive drop in a water or a mud. If you are doing a lot of outdoor activities or working outside and need to keep a rugged external battery by your side, there is no other choice I can think of now beside this new Ultra. Extra rugged design/enclose will also come at extra premium you have to pay in comparison to other batteries with a same capacity, but in my opinion it's well worth it. The only comment/improvement I would suggest is that in the past I've seen a lot of dual output ext batteries with a led flashlight which I think would have been cool in this design considering it's targeted for outdoor use. Also, maybe a way to attach carabiner or lanyard would have been useful. Other than that, its perfect as is!
Here are the pictures.