2013, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Event, Mobile Computing, Reviews

TYLT's PowerPlant Packs a Punch

TYLT hooked up the guys at BSN* with battery packs and other tools to keep our mobile devices alive throughout CES 2013 – Here?s what we thought:

One of the highlights of being at CES is that you get to socialize with industry leaders, in a city that parties all night long. But being in Las Vegas has its downsides too, in its arguably busiest week of the year. Within a 3-mile radius you have roughly 3 million nerds heavily-wired with at least 2 mobile devices, all desperately fighting for a stable mobile/data signal to update their web. And this is all on top of Vegas being one of the densest cities of wireless signals (RF, mobile, broadband, surveillance, public service) in the United States. Mobile devices will chug even harder for stronger signals, draining even more battery life.

Good thing TYLT provided us with the PowerPlant, an all-in-one solution that quickly charged our phones, tablets, and other equipment fed through a micro-USB connector. With a hefty 5200 mAh Li-Ion capacity, it fully and quickly revived my Galaxy Nexus twice a day, barely breaking 50% drain. In some locations without a wall socket nearby, we plugged it into one of our Verizon Wireless phones acting as a WiFi hotspot, outperforming our previous power solutions with a steady 2.1 A output. It even completely refueled our Nexus 7, while we took notes during Intel?s press conference earlier this week.

PowerPlant comes with a 3? micro-USB to USB charging cable, but in case you forget to bring it, the pack also has a flexible charging arm that folds away when not in use. Our team is mostly Android based, so TYLT gave us the micro-USB arm version, but they also have an Apple 30-pin model available. On the back are four indicator lights that show how much juice is left, but this is more of a visual estimate than accurate reading.

At 5 oz, PowerPlant is relatively light, and is great for storage in a bag or backpack. It?s a bit wide, however, so it may not be the best fit for your pocket. We also found it interesting that it did not include an AC adapter, when it came time to recharge the battery itself. Of course, with the added USB cable, you could plug it into a nearby computer, but how much more would have it cost to include a simple one? TYLT may have done this to separate the PowerPlant from their Energi model – a USB wall charger with an integrated 1800 mAh battery.

When it?s done charging, a rubber door protects all the ports, ready to go for your next scramble for power. Overall, we were very satisfied with how well TYLT?s products performed throughout CES 2013, and while it may not have the biggest capacity or portability of other models we?ve seen this year, at $65 USD it packs quite the punch.