Compatible: All iPads, iPhones + iPods
Patriot Fuel+ 6000 + 9000mAh Mobile Rechargeable Batteries
Part of a lineup that also includes 7800mAh and 5200mAh options, Patriot's Fuel+ 6000mAh and 9000mAh Mobile Rechargeable Batteries ($60-$80) are somewhat distinctive for their 2.5-Amp charging ports, which are capable of juicing up third- and fourth-generation iPads at full speed. Their capacities, however, are better suited for the iPad mini, or multiple recharges of iPhones and iPods, as full-sized iPads require much more juice. The two share the same general look and shape, varying only in their width, due to the size of the cell inside. They also each come with a micro-USB cable for charging, but require you to provide your own Lightning or Dock Connector cord.
We quite liked the look of these batteries. Both feature glossy white hoods expanding out slightly as they move down over matte red bodies. It’s a nice combination of textures and colors, simply but smartly designed. The higher-capacity model is about an inch wider, but both are a little over 3.5 inches long, and an inch tall. They feature the same input and output array: 2.5A and 1A full-sized USB ports on one end, and a centered micro-USB port on the opposite side. Pressing the power button on either will toggle it on or off, or show how much power is left via four LEDs to the right.
Although neither battery has enough power to fully charge a fourth-generation iPad, we tested each with one to verify the 2.5-Amp claims. They both charged as quickly as they should, and based on past averages, provided at least as much juice as we would’ve expected, if not more. The 6000mAh cell was able to deliver a 36% recharge—right on par—while the 9000mAh battery went a little over the 52% average, bringing about a charge of about 59%. One should expect to get close to 90% on an iPad mini with the former, and around 130% with the latter.
Somewhat surprising given the poor value proposition of its Fuel+ 1500mAh Mobile Rechargeable Battery with Lightning Connector, Patriot got the price and performance right with both its 6000 and 9000mAh models. The lower-capacity version is 3/5 the price of a comparable model from Mophie, with faster charging capabilities and a smaller package. It doesn’t include the Lightning cable like MyCharge’s Hub 6000, but that’s forgivable for the price. It’s strong enough to earn a B+ rating. The 9000mAh version is worthy of the same rating, for the same reasons.