Review: Moshi IonBank 10K
At 10,000mAh, Moshi's IonBank 10K ($110) has a relatively high capacity by USB battery standards, and is within the right price range — although it's at the high end. The elegantly designed pack isn't flashy, and doesn't include superfluous extras. Instead, it does its job, with a higher efficiency than we'd expect. Unfortunately, that's paired with a lower speed than expected. No extra cables come with the battery, but a travel pouch is included.
IonBank is mostly made of two materials: it has a plastic core, sandwiched between two pieces of silver aluminum. One of those plates stays put, while the other slides open to reveal a hidden USB plug, for direct recharging, without needing an extra cable. It’s a nice feature, although the rather short length — about four inches — means it may be tough to position the battery, depending on the external port you’re using for charging.
Other than the built-in cable, IonBank has the standard features for a battery, especially one of this size. There’s a single power level indicator button, next to five blue LEDs that display the remaining charge. Going down the row, there are then two USB ports, to be used with self-provided cables. Neither is labeled in terms of their output, although Moshi states the pack is capable of 3.6-Amps of power, total. If this were true, that’d mean full-speed charging for one iPad, plus another tablet at partial speed. In our testing, however, neither port seemed to go up to 2.4A, or even 2.1A. The charge rate was about half the speed it should’ve been, with an almost-full charge taking close to eight hours.
We saw that result in a battery test run on a fully depleted iPad Air. Over seven hours and 52 minutes, it went from 0% to 96%; a figure like this should’ve taken somewhere around four hours. While the recharge rate may have been slow, the actual performance is impressive. Past results tell us a 10,000mAh battery should provide somewhere around 75% to 80%, so this outcome is well above and beyond what we’d expect.
IonBank 10K’s performance is right on par with that of Just Mobile’s Gum Max Duo; in post-review iPad Air tests, the 11,200mAh cell was able to deliver a 95% recharge. That means Moshi’s is more efficient, while costing less. The issue, however, is the speed. Having to wait eight hours to power up an iPad is simply too long in most scenarios; if you’re relying on the battery for iPhones and iPods, however, it’s a good deal. Ultimately, the pack earns our general recommendation, the same as Gum Max Duo. It has benefits and downsides, which cancel each other out.