If the Battstation Optimus’ name inspires fear and awe, there’s good reason for that. It’s an absolute beast. It weighs in at 360g (~13 ounces) and measures 140 x 72 x 22 mm. But don’t let that put you off. If you need a power bank that’ll get you through a week of recharging, look no further. This is it.
The Battstation’s design is simple and blocky, but not ugly. The angled edge running along one side helps avoid the classic “brick” look and the splash of orange is enough to make me think iBattz cared – even just a little – about the device’s aesthetics. The top surface has a flat, clean, matte black finish with a subtle LED strip to show how much charge is left inside its engine.
On the left side is a MicroUSB input, an emergency light and a power/charge/light switch. On the back is what looks like a tribal tattoo or ninja star of some kind. On the top and bottom are the two USB outputs for charging your phones/tablets. Both 5 Volts, but one is 1 Amp and the other 2.1 Amps. The 2.1 Amp output is specifically for charging larger capacity devices like tablets, or phones that can take a 2.1Amp current to charge them faster.
But the design isn’t the interesting part of iBattz power bank. It’s what’s inside. It has a huge 20,400mAh high-capacity battery that uses the same Panasonic cells used to power electric cars. If you’re an iPhone 5s user, that’s enough power to charge your phone 10 times. Presuming the new iPhones last at least a day, you’ll get at least 6 charges out of the Optimus. Enough to keep you going all week.
The power button has three functions: A quick tap reveals the Power Bank’s remaining capacity. A double-tap activates the LED light, and pressing and holding tells the device you have a phone or tablet hooked up and it begins to refill your gadget.
In testing, it performs as well as you’d hope. In fact, at one point I had this Battstation hooked up to one of my iPhone docks and used it to charge my devices. Sure, I could have used a power outlet and a cable, but I wanted my devices charging in my wardrobe at night, and it’s as far from the power outlet as you can get. The capacity is so large, I almost forgot it wasn’t unlimited and was surprised one night when I plugged the iPhone in to find it wasn’t charging. It had – eventually – run out of juice.
Obviously it’s most useful if you’re away from power sources altogether for an extended period. Whether you’re going camping and want something in your tent for keeping your gadgets fueled up, or hiking and want something in your back pack. I’m not kidding when I say: If that was me, the Battstation Optimus is the first thing that I’d pack.
Downsides? Its one drawback is that it takes an age to fill up again once empty. It’s no exaggeration to say that it takes an entire working day to go from 0-100%. But that’s to be expected. If an iPad takes 2-4 hours, it makes sense that something with more than double the capacity would take at least 6 hours to get close to full. And I’m okay with that. This beast shouldn’t be measured by how fast it can refill its own capacity, but rather, how long I can keep my devices charged for without them dying. And by that measure, it’s incredible.
Now if you’re only going out camping, or you’re out and about for just a day or two, perhaps the Optimus is a little over the top and you should look for something a bit smaller and lighter. But for longer 3-plus day stints, there’s nothing quite like it.
You can buy the iBattz Mojo Battstation Optimus for $129.95 from iBattz online store.