The ZAGGsparq 6,000 is a fairly robust dual-port battery charger with a unique integrated wall plug. It has a speedy 2.1 amp output and, unlike most portable chargers, will power up devices even when its battery is being recharged in an electric socket.
Recharging requires electricity. The ZAGGsparq series, developed by the Apple accessories company ZAGG, was designed with iOS devices in mind but works with most smartphones and tablets. The ZAGGsparq 6,000 (it has 6,000 mAh) doesn't have the most sophisticated design: it resembles a basic black, chunky wall charger, in part because it acts as one. The portable charger with a rubbery surface is 4 by 3 inches and contains an electric wall socket (that's the only way to recharge the ZAGGsparq) along with two USB ports. TechRadar.com's Lily Prasuethsut calls the design "awkward," for carrying in small bags or purses, but Amazon.com users say it's easy to slip into a large bag or carry-on. It's got an on/off switch to save the battery and five LED light indicators (for 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 percent).
Great for smartphones, but tablets are another story. ZAGGsparq's unusual wall-socket recharger and its dual USB ports, with 2.1 amps total, make it unique among portable chargers. It offers simultaneous charging, a nice bonus. The wall socket charger is fast and devices can be charged while it's powering up, but there's no way to recharge the ZAGGsparq via USB, a drawback for off-the-grid travelers. Most professional reviewers don't formally test the ZAGGsparq 6,000, but Prasuethsut reports it worked well when charging two smartphones and had juice left over. However, it only brought an iPad from 25 percent to 60 percent before the charger's power dropped below 20 percent. Amazon.com reviewers say it charges smartphones two to three times before dying, and does so quickly (particularly if just one device is being charged), but tablets drain the battery quickly.
ZAGGsparq is one of the lesser-reviewed external battery chargers on Amazon.com; it gets 4.3 out of 5 stars overall from about 60 reviewers. Users like ZAGGsparq's dual ports and report it performs well, except on tablets.
Review: ZAGG 6000 Silver Battery, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014
TechRadar.com's reviewer charges two (unnamed) smartphones and still has a charge for two more days, but "isn't too great with tablets." The iPad only charged from 25 percent to 60 percent before ZAGGsparq's last power status light came on, indicating the battery was below 20 percent full. The wide charger can easily be carried in a backpack, says Lily Prasuethsut, but might be "awkward" in a purse or small bag.
Review: Best Portable Chargers: 16 We Recommend, Lily Prasuethsut, Dec. 19, 2013
ILounge.com's Nick Guy gives the ZAGGsparq 6,000 a B-, or Limited, recommendation because it makes a loud squealing sound when plugged in and is on the pricier side. It charges the iPad mini faster than expected, however.
Review: Zagg Zaggsparq 6000, Nick Guy, Feb. 13, 2014
ZDNet.com lists the ZAGGsparq 6,000 along with five other portable chargers as a good option for business travelers. The chargers aren't tested, but James Kendrick likes ZAGGsparq's ability to charge a device even when it's recharging, as well as its 2.1 amp output.
Review: 6 Portable Chargers for the Mobile Professional, James Kendrick, March 25, 2013
This is a short review of a sister product, the ZAGGsparq 3,100; like the 6,000, the 3,100 needs to be plugged into a wall outlet for charging, which the reviewer praises in this short write-up.
Review: Portable Power, "Nick T.", Jan. 3, 2014
The Wirecutter.com's Seamus Bellamy likes the Satechi Portable Energy Station 10,000, but gives the ZAGGsparq a nod for its ability to charge a device while recharging in a wall socket. He notes, however, that it's pointless if an outlet is difficult to find.
Review: The Best USB Battery Pack for Travel, Seamus Bellamy, March 18, 2013