RAVPower KnightRider 14000mAh External Battery Charger Portable Power Bank Pack

Discussion in 'RavPower.com' started by TerenceL, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. TerenceL

    TerenceL Member

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    Every year, our power needs grow. Tablets get bigger, phones get more needy. Portable power is pretty much a must for anyone travelling or for someone that works away from a power source all day.

    The good news is - there are hundreds (if not THOUSANDS) of choices for portable external battery chargers. The bad news is - they are not created equally and may not reasonably meet the needs you bought them for.

    When buying an external battery like the RAVPower 14000 mAh PB-13 (from now on, just PB-13), you need to consider four major things; how long it will last, how powerful is the output, what sort of quality of battery are you getting inside - and finally, how long will it take to recharge?

    Of course, once you're good in those departments, you can talk about features from there.

    The PB-13 comes as an attractive little box that still fits in your hand. It is a bit heavier than you might expect, but that is the price for the 14000 mAh rated battery.

    The main face of the unit contains 2 USB plugs (1A and 2A), an LED light bulb and a microUSB charging plug. The top of the unit has a recessed button that handles the power cycling and the toggling of the built in LED flashlight.

    Construction-wise; it feels sturdy and well-built. I feel it could survive a decent drop if need be.

    Included in the box are two coiled USB cables with 5 different phone adapter tips; miniUSB, microUSB, Samsung 30 pin and a Nokia DC and an iPhone adapter. They also throw in a nice cloth case to carry it around.

    What is NOT included is a wall charger to actually recharge the PB-13. You are expected to use the microUSB plug and your own USB adapter (or PC) to recharge the unit. more on this in a minute.

    So how long will it last? Ah, the eternal question - and you can honestly never believe any number you're given (even mine). This should be simple math. How big is your phone's battery? An old Droid X phone has a 1400 mAh battery. The Samsung S4 has a 2400 mAh battery. The iPad 2 boasts a 6930 mAh battery and the Samsung Nexus 10 tablet has a 9000 mAh battery. Provided you turn off each of these devices before charging, the number of charges you should expect are:

    Droid X = 10 charges
    S4 = 5.8 charges
    iPad2 = 2 charges
    Nexus 10 = 1.5 charges

    That's math and as long as you're willing to shut off your device - these numbers are probably accurate. The real question is - how much longer will your device last if you have the PB-13 plugged in while you use it? Fact is - anyone that can give you a number here is lying through their teeth - because everyone's usage and battery consumption needs vary.

    The closest I've come to coming up with a reasonable algorithm is (device hours) + (device hours * (number of charges / 3)). So let's say your iPad2 lasts 10 hours - the PB-13 should provide 2 full charges - divide that by 3 - or .66: 10 hours + (10 * .66) = 16.6 hours. If you have a fully charged iPad 2 that normally runs 10 hours, plugged in the PB-13 the whole time, you should get 16.6 hours of continuous use.

    Nexus 10 gets about 6 hours per charge. So 6 + (6 * (1.5/3)) = 6 + (6 * .5) = 9 hours

    You get the idea. Your mileage will definitely vary - but at least you have some idea.

    What about amps out? MOST phone chargers use 1A out - most tablets between 2A and 3A out. The charger you use in your car ... the USB port on your PC - likely to be considerably less than 1A and hence it "trickle charges" your device - certainly not being able to keep up with battery discharge during regular use.

    Having a full 1A plug will power most cell phones while in use - keeping the battery level. That same 1A plug wouldn't keep up with your tablet's discharge.

    The 2A plug will drive a lot more power to your phone - allowing it to actually CHARGE while you use it. You'll also need that 2A plug for keeping your power-hungry tablet from draining while you use it.

    Yes, you can use both plugs at the same time - of course you'll drain the device faster that way - and 2A usage will drain faster than 1A usage.

    What about quality? Samsung is known for top notch, quality batteries and the RP-13 proudly boasts their use. The box says 500 charges, but I'm guessing you'll see 10-15% more than that. Before you cry about "only" 500 charges, consider that's a year and a half or so of DAILY charging. Personally, I charge mine about once a week or so.

    How fast does it charge back up? It's a big battery, folks. You aren't going to rapid charge that sucker in a few hours. I keep meaning to time it, but your results will surely vary anyway. The thing to remember is that you want to use a nice, 2A+ charger to pump this guy back up - don't plug it into your PC and hope it will top off any time soon. Any smartphone charger should do the trick. If you put it on a 1-2A charger, you should be able to put it on the charger before bed and wake up to a full battery.

    By the way, the battery can be turned OFF - meaning it shouldn't trickle discharge on you when you're not even using it. That makes this an ideal battery for real emergencies.

    The problem with this unit is the price. $100 (at the time of writing) is a LOT to pay for an external battery - even one as fat as this one. The vendor assured me that the price WILL be going down in the future. Somewhere around $60 would be about right for this sort of device.

    However, if you're looking for quality and reliability - and money isn't so much of an object? This is a great choice.

    The other problem is the weight; while it isn't a Ghostbuster proton pack (or Atari Lynx D battery pack) it might be a bit heavy for a clutch or man purse carried around all the time. But a glovebox? Bedside? In the car for a roadtrip? A great solution.

    Amazon.com: RAVPower Deluxe 14000mAh External Battery Charger / External Battery Pack / Portable Power Bank Pack for iPhone 5 (Lightning Cable not included), 4S, 4, iPad 4, 3, 2, Mini, iPods; Samsung Galaxy S4, S3, S2, Note 2; HTC One, EVO, Thunderbo
     
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