Gadling Gear Review: ibattz Mojo Battstation Tough Pro

http://www.ibattz.com/products_power_battstation.php#prettyPhotoOne of the biggest challenges when traveling today is keeping all of our gadgets charged while on the road. After all, who hasn’t found themselves stranded in an airport, desperately looking for a place to plug in a phone or tablet before their next flight. Even in this day and age, power outlets can be a real challenge to find and more often then not, when you do find one, someone else has already claimed it. Fortunately there are other options for keeping our devices powered up while on the go. Take for example the Mojo Battstation Tough Pro from ibattz, a ruggedized charging station with the ability to power two devices at once.

Small and compact, the Battstation is just 4.3-inches long and about an inch thick. It features two built in USB ports which can be used to power nearly any kind of device, including smartphones, tablets, cameras, GPS devices and more. ibattz offers the charger in both 7200 mAh and 8400 mAh versions, with the only difference being the capacity of the internal battery. I tested the smaller of the two units, which tipped the scales at just 6.4 ounces, and found it to be an excellent travel companion.

We’ve seen similar charging stations in the past and what sets the Mojo Battstation apart from the others is its very durable design. This device is essentially a high-capacity battery wrapped in a rugged shell. An included removable silicon rubber sleeve adds an extra layer of security, protecting against the shock of an accidental drop while also keeping moisture at bay. The sleeve even includes a couple of flaps that protect the Mojo’s USB ports while folding back to allow access when needed. Of all the mobile charging solutions that I’ve seen, this is easily the most durable that I’ve come across.In addition to the protective sleeve and the Battstation itself, ibattz also includes a single micro-USB cable and adapters for older Apple products (30-pin) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab in the box. The cable can be used to charge both the Battstation’s internal battery and any device that uses micro USB, while the adapters allow it to be used with the other devices mentioned above. iPhone 5, iPad 4 and iPad Mini users will still need to carry their Lightning cables with them, however, as the included cable doesn’t support those devices.

ibattz Mojo BattstationIf you look at the items that are included with the Mojo Battstation you may notice that there is one thing missing – an AC adapter. ibattz didn’t include any way to charge the battery by plugging it directly into a wall. Instead users must connect it to the USB port on their computer, which can be an inconsistent option to say the least. Many computers, especially laptops, feature USB ports that don’t provide full power to devices plugged into them, which means it can take an awfully long time to charge the battery in the Battstation. Fortunately, I had a USB wall adapter that over came this issue and I recommend anyone who purchases this mobile charger to invest in one as well.

Performance wise, the Mojo Battstation works great and lives up to its billing. The two USB ports allow users to charge two devices at once and the battery provides enough capacity to recharge multiple smartphones multiple times. I drained my iPhone 4S completely and then plugged it into the Battstation and in about 3.5 hours it was back to full capacity and ready to go. You can also use your devices while plugged into the Mojo, which allows it to work like a powerful battery backpack, greatly extending the life of whatever gadget you have connected. A handy blue power level indicator on the outside of the case lets you know how much charge the Battstation still has available, ensuring that you never get caught without a full charge before hitting the road.

It should be noted that the Mojo does work with iPads, but the built-in USB ports are only rated for 1 Amp and .5 Amps respectively. Since the iPad expects a 2.1 Amp port that means that it will take a very long time for it to charge up the power-hungry tablet, making this a less then optimal solution for those looking to keep Apple’s slate running at full capacity. For smaller devices, however, it is a great solution with plenty of power to spare.

If you’re someone who finds themselves burning through the batteries on your gadgets while traveling then the ibattz Mojo Battstation Tough Pro is definitely for you. Its rugged design makes it perfect for road warriors who have a tendency to abuse their gear and its high-capacity battery will keep your favorite tech toys powered up at all times. Best of all, this is a highly affordable solution for mobile power. The 7200 mAh version costs just $29 and the higher capacity 8400 mAh version will set you back a mere $39. That’s actually more affordable than most competing products that aren’t nearly as rugged or don’t perform as well.

[Photo Credit: ibattz]