Review: Tylt Energi 5K+ Battery Pack
When we first saw Tylt a few years ago at CES, its product lineup primarily revolved around flat cables and chargers. Since then, it's expanded greatly, adding speakers, cases, and more to the mix. There have also been batteries, including the most recent, Energi 5K+ ($90). Coming in black with a red, blue, or grey band, it's a standalone charging solution that offers an impressive number of features, with an elevated price to go along with them. The 5200mAh cell is good for about half a charge to the iPad Air, and has micro-USB and Lightning cables built right in.
Energi 5K+ is only slightly taller and wider than an iPhone 5/5s in a large case, such as OtterBox’s Preserver. It’s just about as thick, too, at 9/16”. That makes it small enough that it should fit in many pockets, and almost all bags, without being obtrusive. Of course, there’s a micro-USB port for power, and the cable comes with the battery pack. There’s also a USB output, which is actually pretty uncommon for chargers with built-in cables.
Those two cables rest flush against the side of the battery, starting at the middle of the either long edge, and wrapping around the short one, all the way to the corner. The cables are flat, and the plastic around the plugs should fit in many cases. If there’s a downside to this design, it’s that each of the three outputs is only capable of putting out 1 Amp at a time, meaning iPads will charge below optimal speeds.
We saw this ourselves when we plugged Energi 5K+ into an iPad Air that was drained down to 25%. Over about four and a quarter hours, the tablet gained a 52% charge, up to 77%. That’s an impressive number, considering past results suggest that a 5200mAh cell should add about 43%. We just wish it weren’t so slow; that amount of charge should’ve taken about half the time with a 2.1A charger.
Except for the price and charging speed, we’re impressed with everything this battery pack has going on. Not only does it perform as well as a good 6000mAh or higher battery, it’s in a convenient form factor, and has useful cables attached, without sacrificing the USB port that can come in handy. We wish the 3A output could be directed to a single source though, for faster charging. As a strong product with some drawbacks, Energi 5K earns a general recommendation.