Model: Hub 6000
Compatible: iPad (4th-Gen), iPad mini, iPhone 5, iPod nano 7G, iPod touch 5G
MyCharge Hub 6000 Portable Powerbank with Lightning
Also coming in 3000 and 9000 mAh versions, MyCharge's Hub 6000 ($100) is one of the most well-designed and useful external battery packs we've seen in quite a while. There's a lot to like here, including the small footprint and respectable battery performance, but the integrated connectors really stand out. This is one of the first packs we've received with a Lightning cable built in, and that's just one of the multiple charging options.
Hub 6000’s skeleton is white plastic, augmented by a panel of metal on either side, plus soft touch rubber-coated plastic on top. At 4.5” long, 2.5” tall, and just over 1” wide, it fits comfortably in the hand, and doesn’t take up too much space in a bag or purse. This is a really nice design that’ll have wide appeal without sacrificing character; viewed from the edge, it kind of looks like a bulging book. While Hub 6000 is somewhat larger than Mophie’s Juice Pack Powerstation Duo, there are good reasons for that.
The key with this battery is everything that is tucked away into its body. Flip open the rubber protector on one side, and you’ll find a 2.1-Amp USB port—pretty standard, and capable of recharging iPods, iPhones, and most iPads at full speed. On the other side are two 3/8” rubber strips below the power button. One’s hiding a Micro-USB connector, and the other is a Lightning plug. Both cables are around 4.5” long, but since they’re attached to the body of the battery, you may have to play around a bit with positioning your device, especially if you’re charging an iPad or iPad mini. The Lightning connector puts out the same 2.1 Amps as the USB port, while the Micro-USB can handle 1 Amp, which should be fine for anything except a full-sized iPad. MyCharge says you can power up to three devices at once, although since the battery is only capable of putting out 3.1A, don’t expect full speed on everything simultaneously if you’ve brought a tablet to the mix. There’s one more connector hidden under a rubber flap, and that’s a set of wall prongs along the bottom edge.
To test MyCharge 6000, we connected it to a Wi-Fi-only iPad mini with a fully depleted battery, using the Lightning plug. In just under two hours, it was able to deliver a charge of 87%—right on target for both 2.1-Amp recharging time and a 6000mAh battery’s recharging capacity, based on our past testing. Connected to an iPhone 5, it would give you about two and a half charges before running dry. The only limitation it really has is the lack of 2.4-Amp peak recharging speeds, which means third- and fourth-generation iPads will charge just a little below their top capabilities.
If it just provided good battery performance in a nice-looking package, Hub 6000 would be worth a general recommendation. However, the fact that it so seamlessly integrates multiple connectors and a wall plug for the $100 asking price is a big win—you get the same capacity as the aforementioned Juice Pack Powerstation Duo for the same price, plus an extra USB port, and both wall and Lightning plugs Mophie would have you self-supply. While larger and more expensive than other competitors with cells of the same capacity, this one is most easily carried in a bag without having to worry about any extra cables, which is always advantageous. Hub 6000 earns our high recommendation and an A- rating.