Charged up for travel: seven power banks for smartphones and tablets

From handbags to cars and from solar power to built-in cables, a power bank is becoming increasingly important for any kind of travel, long-haul or short. Here’s how to choose the right one for you

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 June, 2016, 8:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 June, 2016, 8:01pm

Monster PowerCard

Power banks are always a trade-off between size and charge. This 68g, handbag-friendly, credit card-sized battery (HK$249, hmv.com.hk) has an ultra-small capacity of 1,650mAh, so it’s only suitable only for a quick top-up.

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Victorinox Gear Power Bank 9000

Unusually square-shaped and weighing in at 200g, this highly packable 9,000mAh battery’s (HK$990, Victorinox, Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2831 8591) dual USB slots can refuel a tablet as well as a smartphone several times over.

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Techlink Recharge iPhone Cup Holder Dock

Designed to fit into a car’s cup holder and to keep any iPhone 5 or 6 steady, this dock (HK$470, hk.mobilefun.com) has an Apple Lightning connector, though you do need to connect the dock to a car’s 12-24V output port. Also includes 3.5mm jack to hook up to a car stereo.

Mophie Powerstation Plus 3x

Although at 5,000mAh it’s not going to cater for a family of devices for very long, this expensive, 159g battery (HK$798, Apple, ifc mall, Central, tel: 3972 1500) stands out by including a choice of microUSB or Apple Lightning cable. Better still, it stows it away inside a compartment for tangle-free travel.

Solartab

While most power banks are charged up from a wall outlet, the iPad-sized Solartab (HK$753, mysolartab.com) gets its power from a 5.5W solar panel. It charges up its whopping 13,000mAh battery by day and can send it to phones or tablets simultaneously. However, this eco-friendly choice weighs 768g.

NoonTec POWA

Ideal for long trips, this 220g box’s 10,000mAh battery (HK$499, Broadway, Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2506 0228) can recharge most smartphones five times over. Also compatible with tablets, it takes six hours to fill.

PNY Power T82

For business travellers after a sharp-looking, slim battery that still has plenty of charge, a good solution is this brushed metallic 8,200mAh battery (HK$429, fortress.com.hk), which has USB inputs for phones and tablets. Just 14.8mm slim, it weighs 206g.