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How many chargers do you use for your iOS device? Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I’ve got chargers in every room of the house, and a charging cable permanently plugged in at my desk at Mac|Life. With all the use my iPhone gets, it’s no wonder. And now that my music beams in via iCloud and Rdio, the demands on my phone’s battery keep going up.
Put the power in your pocket.
Mipow’s Power Tube 3000 solves the problem of a dead iPhone battery in a fairly compact package. While other external battery solutions have gone for bulky battery cases, Mipow keeps it simple. The Power Tube 3000 is a chunky rectangular external battery pack with its own built-in charging cable. To juice up your device, just pop off the top and plug it in to your Apple device. There’s also a USB power outlet, and an included Micro USB cable for charging other devices.
The Power Tube does a pretty good job recharging your Apple devices, although the 3000mAh model could only fill my iPhone 4 once—a higher-capacity model is available if you need more power. Due to the chunky design, charging the battery itself in a MacBook or iMac blocks adjacent ports. There’s an included USB extension cable, although using it kind of negates the coolness and convenience of the all-in-one form factor. A four-color LED serves as fuel gauge—blue represents a 70–100 percent charge, for example. We’d appreciate a bit more specificity, or at least a definitive indicator that the battery is fully charged.
The bottom line. We love the Power Tube’s simple all-in-one design, but you’ll most likely need the extension cable to keep the battery topped-up.
Power Tube 3000
iPhone, or iPod with dock connector
No need for a separate charging cable to connect your device. USB port for charging other devices. Comes in ten colors.
Fuel gauge is vague. Bulky design blocks adjacent ports when charging the Power Tube.