Analysis Paralysis – USB Battery Pack Style

So what happens when you’re a detail-oriented individual with an engineering background, need a new USB battery pack (my very faithful New Trent 7000 mAh died after 3 years of use), cannot afford to have peripherals run out of battery power during the day, are semi-obsessive about optimizing what you carry into your car/meetings every day (i.e. you unpack/repack your laptop bag multiple times a day), and have WAY too many options for battery packs on Amazon? (As of 10/5/14, searching for “usb battery pack” yields 901,574 results.)

It’s time for Analysis Paralysis – USB Battery Pack Style. For those who need the TL:DR version, I bought the Anker® 2nd Gen Astro E3 10000mAh battery pack. The reasons I bought it were….

  • Good capacity – 10000 mAh is decent for multiple iPhone recharges, iPad recharge, USB headset, iPad keyboard, etc. – means I can always get through an entire day without power (except for the laptop of course – having an iPad + keyboard is my safety net there).
    • Note: any battery pack doesn’t give you the full power rating due to power conversion. This seems to be one of the better ones though.
  • Charging – can charge at 2 Amps (use an iPad power supply or an Anker one)….much faster charging to fill it up (can charge in 5-6 hours vs. 10+ hours at 1A).
  • Brand Name/Reviews – Anker is one of the best brand names on Amazon at this point (5,046 reviews for this with 4.5 starts) and I have other items from them that are working well (4 port charger, iPad keyboard, cables).
  • IQ Ports – a bit of circuitry to figure out the max charge the device can take automatically (vs. just having a 1A and 2.1A port). Very nice to not worry about which port you’re plugging into. With the iPhone 6 being able to handle 2.1A charging, this is more relevant as well.
  • Size – one of the smaller and thinner options (although not the thinnest). This is important given the bag I currently use – STM Linear Shoulder Bag.
  • Carry bag – nice to put a short cable into to keep it with the battery pack.
  • Price – a bit more than the cheapest options on Amazon but not much.

Combine all that and I decided on the Anker 10000 mAh option. BUT….I ended up making a snazzy spreadsheet comparing…

  • Brand
  • Length/Width/Height
  • Cubic Inches
  • Power (mAh)
  • Power (mAh) per Cubic Inch
  • Price
  • Power (mAh) per $$
  • URL/notes

I’ve embedded and linked it below in case anyone finds it interesting. I almost went with the PowerAdd but the IQ ports + 2A charging swung me to the Anker. The RealPower AirX was VERY tempting (40% smaller for same battery capacity) but ultimately too pricey for me at 2x the cost.

Hopefully this saves someone else time on their own Analysis Paralysis – or at the very least accelerates it. 😉

NOTE: the AllPower options should NOT be purchased IMHO….they’re too close to ones that have been found to be filled with sand.

Link to Google Docs version – or see below.


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