Review: Neptor NP056K Dual Port Portable Battery Charger
Neptor\'s NP056K Dual Port Portable Battery Charger ($50) is the latest entry in what has become one of the most densely populated iDevice accessory categories. In many ways, it’s directly comparable to iBattz’ Mojo Vogue Battstation, as the two share the same capacity, low price, and general design. They even both have flashlights built in. NP056K, however, has two USB outputs instead of just one, supporting 1-Amp and 2.1-Amp charging, respectively. It also comes in a number of bright colors, each of which ships with a matching micro-USB cable and wrist strap.
The battery is small enough that it shouldn’t be too much of a burden to toss in a bag or even a pocket; it’s 4” long, 2” wide, and 1” deep. A smooth, soft-touch coating on the exterior feels nicer than we’d expect from such an inexpensive accessory, and the colors are vibrant and fun. The lanyard can be inserted into a loop towards the bottom of the battery, while all the other features are at the top. this includes the micro-USB input, power button, battery indicator lights, two output ports, and the LED flashlight. Holding down the single button starts and stops charging and shows the remaining battery life, while double-clicking it toggles the light on and off.
A 5600mAh cell should be capable of delivering a charge of around 85 percent to a first-generation iPad mini. NP056K performed as expected, bringing a fully drained tablet to 90 percent before stopping the charge. Compared to Mojo Vogue Battstation, this is somewhat less impressive as that model provided a 98 percent charge in only 20 more minutes. Surprisingly, even though the port is listed as 2.1A, it seemed to perform at slower speeds; it took three hours and 40 minutes to deliver its charge, while a full charge under the best circumstances takes less than three hours.
Despite its not-quite-true speed claims, NP056K is worthy of our strong general recommendation. The price tag is impressive for the capacity, we like the aesthetics, and two ports is better than one. Features such as the lanyard and flashlight aren’t necessary, but certainly don’t hurt. We only wish it could charge at a faster rate; don\‘t buy it expecting full-speed charging. Otherwise, it’s a strong contender and worth your consideration.