Carrying a collection of mobile devices around has its drawbacks, especially when travelling. In the typical Stuff backpack (and you’d better believe that we need a backpack) there’s at least one tablet, one smartphone, a notebook, a handheld game console and then whatever tech we happen to be testing – which can sometimes add another three or four devices to that list.
Aside from the weight and bulk issues, since all of that tech can add up quite easily, there’s also the need to carry chargers and having to locate a place to plug all of this stuff in. Easy enough when you’re at home, though we still find ourselves running out of plug because of all the stationary tech that populates our domiciles, but not so simple when there’s a meeting, presentation or airport layover to be navigated.
A brick by any other name
That’s why there’s typically at least one other item in our backpacks and that’s a portable battery charging pack. There is a problem with them however and that is, while undeniably handy in a tight spot, one power brick is pretty much like another. That remains the case with the Snow Lizard SLPower 7, a fairly high-capacity portably power source sheathed in slightly-textured plastic and adorned with a single button and LED readout.
The LED readout is for when you’re charging the SLPower 7. The button is used to see how much charge remains in the 7,000mAh battery. That’s about it. We’re not actually sure if it is possible to turn off but since the battery only discharges when you have a USB plugged into one of the dual ports (yup, we can charge two devices as once with this one, like a boss), it doesn’t really matter if you can.
Battery type: Li-Po
Dimensions: 119mm x 73 x 16.6
Boring but effective
There’s nothing in the way of bells and whistles, just power as and when you need it without having to elbow other gadgeteers of the the way of the charging station.
But it does just sit there, silently feeding power to one or more devices at a speed that we’re not really used to seeing from battery packs. The 7,000mAh battery means that you can charge smartphones like the LG G3 to full at least twice per SLPower 7 charge before having to remember to plug in your brick for a top-up. It’ll also give most tablets a full charge.
But the SLPower 7 is a power hog when you have it plugged into a notebook with the included USB to microUSB cable. It actually prompted our MacBook Pro to shut down its other USB ports because of the amount of power the SLPower 7 was drawing when charging. We’re not sure whether to be miffed or impressed with that.
We definitely like the dual charging ports and the high capacity battery but the SLPower 7 could be swapped for just about any other similar power pack and we’d like it just as much. It’s definitely something we’d like to have on hand and it doesn’t take up much space at all, making it ideal for taking along on trips out and about, whether you’re going overseas or just across town.