Power banks

Power banks appear pretty popular in Malaysia.  It’s one of the few IT  consumer items that don’t require a hunt to find.

Finding that my mobile battery doesn’t last out the day anymore – possibly because I have taken to installing many widgets which save me time, but drain the battery quicker – I thought I would just go and buy one from a store.  No research necessary. A salesperson should be able to point me in the right direction, because, after all, it’s just a battery. It can’t be too complicated.

The salesman asked me if weight was an issue, and as I didn’t worry, and wanted to be able to make a few charges, I ended up with a 20,000 mAh Cager.  I asked the charging time of this, and was told 8 hours, which seemed OK – overnight, for example.  It had LCD lights which indicated the charge, which was handy, and two USB ports for charging two devices at once.   It seemed OK.


charging it up

So at home I decided to test it. First by fully charging it, and then by charging my tablet and phone as many times as I could.  This is when the problems started to occur.  It took over 24 hours to charge.  Then it only charged my tablet twice, and my phone once before it was totally discharged.  I tried again, thinking it might be just because it was new, but the second time it took 26 hours to charged, and provided about the same number of charges for my tablet and phone as before.  The website was consulted.  Charging 7 – 8 hours, and efficient charging of devices with not much lost.  My tablet battery is 4,800 mAh, and my phone 3,000.   So two tablet charges and three phone charges should be possible – especially as you usually recharge when they are down to 10 or 15 %.  The web site also noted that the charging rate of one of the USB ports was faster than the other, but which was which?  It wasn’t labelled on the device.

But checking some websites people were writing that because of losses due to heat etc. you might only get 80% of the specified charge.  That would be 16,000 mAh.  Different from the manufacturer’s web page.  Even so, all I was getting was about 12,000. But the real killer was the 26 hours charging time.  So back to the store I went to exchange it.

As a result I thought of what I needed in a power bank:

  • 8 hours or less charging time – so better to have two smaller power banks than one larger as each would charge faster.
  • Two USB ports for charging two devices at once
  • An LCD display with actual number showing percentage of charge left
  • Something on the power bank which indicated which port was the more powerful one

The store told me that Pineng brand was the best seller. The salesman hadn’t told me that.  I exchanged the faulty Cager for two 10,000 mAh Pineng power banks, but I had to pay a bit more in addition.  These fulfilled my requirements, and testing at home I found the charging time about 8 hours each, and charging capacity reasonable.

In the end it all worked out OK, and all I did was waste a bit of time.

So, what I must do in future is to research beforehand, no matter how simple the device, if i don’t have any knowledge about it.


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