Compatible: Most iPods, All iPhones, All iPads
Luxa2 P1 7000mAh Battery + Charger
Capable of recharging two devices at once -- though clearly designed before the release of the third-generation iPad -- Luxa2's new P1 7000mAh Battery + Charger ($99) is a nice-looking battery pack with only one real drawback. We like the clean design and the slim profile, but P1 only supplies 1 Amp of power to each of its full-sized USB ports, while taking only 1 Amp during recharging, slowing down both its inbound and outbound power capabilities. Luxa2 packages P1 with a carrying pouch, a micro-USB to USB cable, and a Dock Connector to USB cable.
P1’s silver plastic housing is just a bit bigger than an iPhone 4 or 4S in every dimension, and a little heavier as well. The rounded rectangular shell could actually pass for aluminum, and this particular cost-saving measure isn’t obvious until you actually touch P1. It’s simply designed, with only the company’s logo, a battery life indicator button, and LEDs on the top interrupting the metallic finish, with two full-sized USB ports and a Micro-USB input port on one of the short edges. On the bottom you’ll find the standard regulatory information, along with rubber feet in each corner to help prevent the battery from moving around.
Because Luxa2 settled on 1A input and 1A output from each of the USB ports, the processes of recharging the battery itself, and charging certain devices from it, are unfortunately quite slow. Luxa2 tells users to expect roughly eight hours for P1 to fully recharge, which we found to be accurate. The last battery indicator light blinks for literally hours before glowing solid, which we found particularly frustrating. Once it is fully charged though, the battery performs roughly within the company’s claims. We ran two separate tests, one with an iPad 2 and the other a third-generation iPad. Both tablets started fully depleted, were connected to a Wi-Fi network, and had their screens off. In about five hours, the iPad 2 had an 85% charge—which falls almost right in the middle between the 78% and 94% figures alternatively promised by Luxa2—and the new iPad came to 47%, or one percent higher than the company lists. These results are actually pretty good, as there aren’t many 7000mAh batteries out there, let alone with such high efficiency during the charging process. We just wish the charging process didn’t take so long.
Luxa2 got the engineering right with this battery, at least in terms of the amount of juice it’s able to provide; whether you’re using it with an iPad or a smaller Apple device will determine how big of an issue its 1-Amp charging speed is to you. We appreciate the dual-port charging option, and for iPod and iPhone users, it’ll be just fine. However, iPad users really expect 2.1A charging, and it should have been included if it’s being marketed to iPad users. Just Mobile’s Gum Max is only $10 more, and while it’s larger, it sports a much higher capacity cell and nicer materials, plus the ability to charge an iPad at full speed. P1’s price, capacity, and dual-port design placed it on the edge of general and limited recommendations, just as Gum Max was on the edge of B+ and B ratings; if we had to choose one, we’d go with Gum Max, but if price or the dual ports are enough to compensate for speed and lower capacity in your book, P1 is a good option.