Based in Hong Kong, battery maker Lepow recently released two portable power packs that can work with iPads, iPhones, and iPods: the Moonstone 6000mAh Power Bank ($70), which we received for review in green, and the U-Stone 12000mAh Power Bank ($120), which arrives in a natural-looking rock gray color. As you can probably guess from their sizes and capacities, U-Stone has the ability to recharge full-sized iPads — and anything else — while Moonstone is primarily for smaller devices, ranging from iPad minis all the way down to iPods. Each of the batteries is modestly odd for different reasons, but one of them might appeal to you based on performance or features.
Coming in at least six colors, Moonstone is a piano lacquer-finished plastic block that’s larger than the 6000mAh cells we’ve recently tested: roughly 3.2” by 3.2” by 0.8” at its thickest points. There are two USB port outputs on one edge, plus a micro-USB port input for recharging. The faster port outputs at 2.1A, suitable for some iPads and lower-end devices, while the other peaks at an unusual 1.2A for smaller devices. Lepow includes a free felt carrying case, as well a micro-USB recharging cable, but you must supply your own Dock Connector or Lightning cords.
Although Moonstone is larger than both SwitchEasy’s $70 Tanks and Just Mobile’s $90 Gum++, it manages to outdo both of them on features and performance—by a small margin. A completely fueled Moonstone managed to achieve a full 100% charge of an iPad mini, versus Tanks’ 93% charge and Gum++‘s 91% charge, which is greater efficiency than we had expected. Neither of its rivals offers dual USB ports, either.
On the other hand, Moonstone had one major disadvantage: recharging the battery pack is slow going, running at a peak of only 1-Amp speed—bringing it from 0% to 100% of a full charge will take much longer than either Tanks or Gum++, which refuel at 1.6-Amps or 2.5-Amps, respectively. You may have to leave Moonstone sitting overnight before you’ll see all four of its built-in lights go solid; they glow through the bottom surface, where they sit alongside a small circular button. We consider this to be a pretty major inconvenience for day-to-day use, but some people may feel otherwise, given this model’s pricing and extra output efficiency.
Overall, Lepow’s batteries are both intriguing entries with small issues. Moonstone is certainly the more appealing of the two from our standpoint, as its impressive output performance and reasonable MSRP are enhanced by even more aggressive $40 street pricing, offset only by its slow self-recharging speed. It’s worthy of our B+ rating and strong general recommendation. U-Stone by comparison is a bit too big and expensive, but it performs pretty well. Consequently, if you really like the unusual industrial design, it’s worth considering nonetheless. It merits our flat B rating and general recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, iPods