With a 1-Amp output speed and 3,000mAh capacity, Aukey’s Mini Lock ($40) is a battery pack best suited to iPhones and iPods, instead of iPads. It’s clear it was designed with size in mind, as the pack is both thin and light. The cell is located inside a colorful plastic housing, with one USB output, and one Micro-USB input. Four battery indicator lights turn on when you swipe over them. A silver plastic loop allows you to hook Mini Lock onto a keychain or carabiner.
About the same depth as a credit card, Mini Lock is half an inch wider, and of course, thicker, measuring 0.425”. That’s still pretty thin for a battery though, especially one with a 3,000mAh cell. The plastic body feels fine; it’s not the highest quality plastic we’ve ever seen, but it’s also not the cheapest. It’s certainly not going to fall apart in your hands. While it’s practicality may be somewhat questionable, the clip doesn’t hurt, and is a differentiating factor. Because it’s plastic instead of metal, it can be easily scratched when fitted onto a keyring.
Based on dozens of prior reviews, we’ve found that, on average, a 3,000mAh battery will deliver a charge of about 150 percent. It’ll completely recharge a depleted iPhone 5, and have enough energy left for a half charge on another. We were surprised to see then that this one actually did much, much better in our tests. It was able to deliver two full charges, a full 50 percent more than we’d expect and even better than Aukey advertises.
At $40, and with the charging output we saw in our tests, Mini Lock earns our high recommendation. To pack that much power into such a small box is an impressive feat, especially for the price. We’d appreciate faster charging for iPads—we got a 58 percent charge on a first-generation iPad mini, but it took four hours and 16 minutes. Other than that, there’s not too much more we can ask for in terms of functionality. For a cheap, highly portable pack, it’s a great way to go.
Company and Price
Model: Mini Lock
Compatibility: All iPods, iPhones