Hello my fellow Gadgeteers! I’ve come back from a litany of testing (abusing) many a product from CES International. The vendors are kind and gracious and were happy to show me their wares.
One of these lovely vendors is Lepow which creates power banks and speakers for the everyday use. However, they make a use of their avant-garde and simplistic design style which sets them apart from a lot of other vendors. I happened to have a talk with Louis Zheng, their Marketing Manager at the Pepcom event. They unfortunately ran out of their power banks, but had seen the covetous look in my eyes regarding their U-Stone and Poki charge – of which both I’ll be reviewing. I’d love to get my hands on their Pie, but we’ll see how it happens.
First of all, when the U-Stone arrived to me, it was definitely wrapped to show the maximum in both packaging design and to protect the product.
Then after unwrapping it revealed this:
The U-Stone really captured me due to its shape. There is a definite reason why it won the reddot design award in 2013. I rather love oddly shaped pseudo-stonelike material. It’s tactile, soothing, mildly rubberized feel, doesn’t make me feel like I could drop it easily. I feel the grip with love. So much love. At the top of the bank, there’s a charmingly coiled cable that is a bright orange. It doesn’t make sense, but it sure is pleasing to the eye. The cable detatches fully from the top of the unit revealing a microUSB and a regular USB port. What is even nicer is that you can use this cable to re-power your U-Stone when depleted as well as hooking up your Android phone and tablet.
That’s correct, there aren’t any iPhone attachments for all you Apple mobile users. However, the lightning cable that came stock with your Apple product sure works fine. The lights (indicators) on the side of the U-Stone indicate the power up and the max is 4. Picking up the bank will activate the indicators to show you how much you have left. If it doesn’t indicate it, a gentle shake will show the indicators. So, indicating is all in the wrist.
Right on the underside of the bank is a 12000 number, this illustrates the mAh capacity that it holds. So, it’s a pretty significant power base. I was able to charge my iPhone (from 28%) and my iPadMini (78%) with not a drop in power. It also promises a fast charge in 7 hours of bringing your equipment back from depleted hell – and it knows when to intelligently shut itself off. The only issue with the cable is when I tried to charge my Kindle Fire HD, the base surrounding the microUSB plug was too big to fit into my tablet as it was encased in its own Otter-box like base.
Also, the battery construction shows a pattern that seems to be a trend on most mobile power sources. Instead of lithium ion batteries, it uses lithium polymer. The difference? Not much unless you want to go a bit thinner, that’s about it. They’re pretty much the same in power output and capacity.
End all, I really like the design. It slips easily into a purse or a backpack with a high capacity. The design is smooth and unusual so when you take it out of said satchel you will gain the oohs and ahhs of your followers.