If you have an old gadget that you love to use, even if it is struggling due to its age, then using one of the best power banks can help you extend its lifespan.
This is something I discovered while trying to get the extra mileage out of my iPad Pro 12.9, because while I still like to use it for creative and business tasks, many years of intense use have caused signs of work. Makes it hard to trust.
That is, unless I used a portable charger to help me improve the way it worked.
What affects a gadget the most over time is its battery life – continuous cycles of discharging and recharging can greatly reduce its power capacity, meaning it lasts less and less time when unplugged .
You might not notice it with day-to-day use, but over several years of use, the power outage will become noticeable. If you have an older iPhone that seems to be burning through the battery percentage, you’ll know what I mean.
I used to take my iPad to work in coffee shops, and I’d spend between six and eight hours staring at the screen on breaks to walk to different cafes and do other things.
(image credits: future)
Nowadays, though, I’ll get around half that time. Having plain white documents open on the display will drain the battery even when I can’t connect to Wi-Fi and have other features disabled.
enter a power bank
I have several power banks (for testing purposes), but different ones I’m using all clock at 20,000 mAh. This is usually the largest capacity charger you’ll consider buying as any large and you’re getting an absolutely spacious device, but small and won’t charge you much.
At that capacity, I’m able to charge the iPad’s 9,720mAh battery twice as much, with little left over for whatever headphones I’m using (or to give my smartphone some extra juice).
I wouldn’t really power it to full twice – which would give me more screen time than I really need – but the versatility of having this amount of power is really useful.
This amount of extra battery is helpful if I have a smartphone that needs a lot of juice. It’s also useful for those days when I forget to turn the portable charger on completely before taking it with me; I know I’ll have at least enough left in it to power the iPad once.
The power bank is easy to use in the coffee shop because I can keep it plugged in to the iPad while I work. Sure, banks actually charge at a slower rate than the iPad drains power, but if it’s plugged in all the time when I’m using it, it doesn’t discharge that fast at all. .
(image credits: future)
Most power banks I’ve started using actually have built-in displays to tell me how much charge they have left, which is really useful when I want to know which one to take. Most other people have LED strips depending on how much power they have, which to me seems like a rudimentary but still useful way of letting go of what has to be taken.
My only concern is that most power banks I’ve used power via micro usb so they aren’t very quick to power on if I find all my portable chargers on low power before I leave the house . It also means I’ll have to ditch my only micro USB charger now and then, which I otherwise only use for my Kindle and PS4 controller — and hide under a drawer as a result.
Keeps old gadgets ticking
If it weren’t for my portable power bank, I’d be putting off using my iPad Pro to work out and about, because the power drain and its aching joints make it difficult to use outside of my home. (Always near an outlet and charger when I am).
It’s the same for other gadgets—if you find that your old iPhone runs out of power at lunchtime, or your smartwatch needs constant power to keep it running, a portable charger can be a mid-range device. Would be great for day top-ups.
Sure, in that case you wouldn’t need 20,000mAh like me – 10,000mAh or even just 5,000mAh would suffice, and would be more portable to boot.
Our list of the best power banks includes a variety of power banks, so whether you need a chunky charger or a baby bank, you’ll be fine (there are also some interesting ones, like solar-powered or wireless). So if, like me, you have an aging gadget you want to get some extra life out of, you should really take a look at this list.