With smartphone and other mobile device adoption continuing to rise, so does the challenge of balancing battery life with extended use. Little tweaks like turning off push notifications or dimming the screen help somewhat in preserving precious battery life, but inevitably your phone, music player, or tablet is going to run out of juice, especially if you’re a power user.
Solutions such as a charging case may work great for some users, but others won’t want to sacrifice case thickness for extended battery life.
Powerbag hopes to solve your power woes. Designed by ful, Powerbag is a line of backpacks, messenger bags, and wheeled briefcases that feature battery packs for on-the-go charging. I caught up with Powerbag at CES 2012 and was able to test one of their backpacks.
Upon receiving the backpack, I first noticed how spacious and well-built it was. Though the backpack officially holds up to a 16″ laptop, it fit my 17″ MacBook Pro with ease…almost too much ease. At 18″ tall according to stated dimensions, it’s the tallest backpack I’ve ever owned. The extra height allowed my MacBook Pro to slide side-to-side more than felt comfortable. An internal elastic strap would have been nice to fully secure my laptop, especially important if you’re carting around a 15″. Additionally, the backpack’s extended height meant its top handle ran into the bottom of my neck while wearing it on my shoulders. As a 5′ 6″ guy, I admittedly recognize that taller men might not experience this, but it still was bothersome. Nonetheless, the backpack’s copious amount of pockets and sleeves, including a dedicated tablet sleeve with velcro enclosure, more than made up for the inconveniences of a too loose laptop compartment and less-than-optimal comfort.
The main selling point of the Powerbag is, of course, power. Armed with a removable 3000 mAh battery and Apple, Micro-, and Mini-USB connectors, the Powerbag Backpack is rated to charge an average smartphone twice. In my tests, the Powerbag’s own battery charged from empty to full in about four hours and charged my iPhone 4S from 1% to 100% in 2 hours 10 minutes. However, the second charge from 1% only boosted my iPhone up to 26% before the Powerbag ran out of juice, far from a full second charge. For those who want greater charging potential, additional batteries are available in 3000, 6000, and 9000 mAh capacities. I also would have liked longer stock charging cables so I could use my phone while wearing the backpack, though you can plug your own USB cable in the spare port, normally reserved for tablet charging, on the battery itself.
With its mobile charging capabilities, spacious storage, and sturdy construction, the Powerbag Backpack is great for power users who want peace of mind without the bulk of a charging case. I recommend it to our readers.
Powerbag Backpack – $89.99