A darling of tech reviewers, the Limeade Blast L180X is a powerful (18,000 mAh) dual-port charger that's about the size of a deck of cards -- making it among the smallest for chargers of this capacity. It's lightning fast, reviewers say, and comes with a unique 2-in-1 USB cable and a flashlight.
A powerful charger in a small package. The Limeade Blast L180X is a Kickstarter success story: the Boulder, Colorado-based startup has enjoyed rave reviews since raising nearly $285,000 to create its powerful portable USB chargers. The Limeade Blast L180X is about the size of a thick smartphone and weighs 13 ounces. At 18,000 mAh, the L180X is among the highest-capacity chargers on the market. It contains two USB ports -- 2.1 amp and 1 amp -- that can be used simultaneously, along with a flashlight and LED battery-status indicator. There's also a convenient 2-in-1 cable that includes a standard USB at one end and both a micro USB and 30-pin Apple adapter cable at the other. (IPhone 5 and iPad mini users, among others, will need a lightning cable.) The cable is a nice bonus, considering that most external battery chargers require users to supply their own. The rubbery design is easy to grip, and the charger automatically turns on and off when a device is charging or unplugged.
Speedy charges on multiple tablets, phones. The Limeade L180X receives excellent reviews on Amazon.com, with users praising its speedy charges of multiple devices, including tablets. In Lifehacker.com's test, the Limeade L180X only died out after nearly fully charging an iPad and Android phone simultaneously. Not surprisingly, given its powerful capacity, the Limeade L180X takes a long time to recharge -- it's best done overnight. It took about 14 hours to recharge in Lifehacker.com's test, but did so via USB (wall charging is faster) and while powering up other devices. In one Amazon.com reviewer's test, the Limeade powered up an iPad mini, iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 940 and iPad2 and still had two bars remaining. A few dozen Amazon.com users report that the charger stopped working after a few weeks or months, however, and that customer service was unresponsive.
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About 1,200 Amazon.com reviewers give the Limeade Blast 4.6 out of 5 stars, noting its speedy charge times and "solid" rubber design. Some reviews are by users who backed the company in a successful Kickstarter campaign. A handful of negative reviews claim the device stopped working and that Limeade's customer service was difficult to reach.
Review: Limeade Blast L180X USB Charger, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014
In this lengthy review, Lifehacker.com's Alan Henry deems the Limeade L180X "a worthwhile companion to keep handy." While Henry notes that at around $100 the charger isn't cheap, it's nicely designed, comes with a 2-in-1 cable, is pocket-sized and charges both an iPad and Android phone simultaneously without dying.
Review: The Limeade Packs Enough Juice for All Your Gadgets, Fits in a Pocket, Alan Henry, July 2, 2013
This review from Tuaw.com (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) describes but does not test the Limeade Blast L180X, praising its 18,000 mAh capacity and dual-connector cable with micro USB and 30-pin connector. Steven Sande adds that a lightning connector, which is used on the iPhone 5, iPad mini and other new devices, would make the product even better.
Review: Limeade Blast L180X, Steven Sande, June 20, 2013
The Limeade Blast L180X gets a glowing review, thanks to its mega-capacity charger and features like the 2-in-1 cable. Rick Broida likes the included flashlight and says the charger is a good choice for travelers.
Review: Rick Broida, Limeade Blast L180X Mobile Charger, Aug. 30, 2013
This reviews website, which is geared toward blind and low-vision users of Apple products and apps, praises the Limeade Blast for its ability to charge devices multiple times and not run out of battery. Along with a lengthy description of the Limeade L180X, the reviewer states that it charged his iPhone 5 four times without dying.
Review: The Limeade 18000 MAH Battery Pack, Scott Davert, Aug. 16, 2013
This is a positive review of the Limeade Blast L180X from a site that caters to gamers. Brent Roberts indicates that he powered up smartphones over several days. The Limeade L180X performed superbly with just 25 percent of its battery, but it's unclear what types of phones were charged and how long the charges took.
Review: Limeade Blast L180X External Battery Review, Brent Roberts, Not Dated
Jonathan Handel lists the Limeade L180X as one of several external battery chargers to consider because of its powerful charging capacity. He tests each charger with the S4, and gives each a short write-up.
Review: Power Banks (External Batteries) Review, Jonathan Handel, July 28, 2013