The i.Sound Portable Power Max is in a class of its own. None of the experts knows of any portable device that carries as much power while charging so many devices simultaneously. Especially impressive is how lightweight the Power Max is for the power it delivers. A user-friendly device, it has intuitive indicator lights and built-in safety features. We agree with iSmashPhone.com reviewer Dactyl Anapest when he says that for those who "own more than one USB chargeable gadget, this unit is must have."
"Straightforward and simple," GearDiary.com's Dan Cohen says about the i.Sound Portable Power Max. Charging practically any USB device is as easy as plugging in the Power Max and making a single USB connection. It can charge through all five of its USB ports simultaneously, and by flashing its lights will warn if its 2.5 amp capacity is overworked. Four blue lights indicate charging status, while a green indicator light confirms power to the i.Sound unit. The included travel bag and minimal components make the charger highly portable.
Fine-looking and solid-feeling. The i.Sound Portable Power Max units are "lightweight and small enough to fit in any bag and their slick gray and black design is inoffensive," says CNET's Jeff Bakalar. There are two models, an 8,000mA and slightly larger 16,000mA version, meant for tablets. Both are black plastic with a silver band running around the sides. They look like portable hard drives. One reviewer finds the included and bright flashlight a "curious" feature. Another cautions that its glossy black surface might be "susceptible to scuffs and scratches" but also says it's built "solid and seemingly durable." Bakalar points out that USB cables with large dongles may not all fit in the tightly packed ports.
Unbelievably powerful. "The sheer quantity of power inside this battery is amazing," says iLounge.com's Jeremy Horwitz. In their tests, the Power Max delivered 162 percent of an iPad's charge. After charging the Power Max seven to nine hours, it's ready to go. Cohen charged an iPhone 11 times and an iPod 18 times; "Now that's impressive," he says. Charging multiple devices at once, however, will significantly increase charging times.
Review Credibility: Good CNET's Jeff Bakalar says the i.Sound Portable Power Max is: "Lightweight, quick, and easy to use." He cautions that large USB dongles may limit how many devices can charge simultaneously on the unit. After several tests yielded favorable results, Bakalar rates the Power Max as Very Good.
Review: i.Sound Portable Power Max Review (16,000mA), Jeff Bakalar, Aug. 31, 2011
Review Credibility: Good Although Dan Cohen of GearDiary.com finds the i.Sound Portable Power Max a bit large for his taste, he says, "If it is a choice between running out of power or carrying the battery … there isn't really much of a choice." His test results were "impressive."
Review: Review: i.Sound Portable Power Max 16,000mA External Battery, Dan Cohen, Jan. 28, 2011
Review Credibility: Good The i.Sound Portable Power Max is compact and stylish, D. St. Charles says: "I expected a hefty brick for such functionality," but the device is "surprisingly light … solid and seemingly durable." He notes that the battery can actually charge up to six devices at a time, five through the USB ports or six if using the included USB to mini USB/micro USB split cable.
Review: Accessory Review: The i.Sound Portable Power Max, D. St. Charles, March 19, 2011
Review Credibility: Good GadgetReview.com editor Marshal Rosenthal gives the i.Sound Portable Power Max 4 out of 5 stars, or Great. Although it "won't be going into any jean pocket … it's hard to argue against the cost versus value," he says.
Review: i.Sound Portable Power Max 16,000 mAh Backup Battery Review, Marshal Rosenthal, June 13, 2012
Review Credibility: Good When Hurricane Isaac struck New Orleans, Jeff Richardson, who writes reviews for iPhoneJD.com, was there. "I would have paid top dollar for a device like this," he says. He says the i.Sound Portable Power Max is "a great addition to any emergency preparation and camping kit."
Review: Review: i.Sound Portable Power Max Backup Batter, Jeff Richardson, Oct. 15, 2012
Review Credibility: Good ILounge.com's Jeremy Horwitz declares the i.Sound Portable Power Max "worthy of our strong general recommendation and B+ rating." After multiple tests, Horwitz says, "the sheer quantity of power inside this battery is amazing."
Review: dreamGEAR i.Sound Power Max 16,000mA Backup Battery, Jeremy Horwitz, May 5, 2011
Review Credibility: Fair The i.Sound Portable Power Max is "one of the biggest external batteries we have ever seen," says iSmashPhone.com reviewer Dactyl Anapest. He notes that when charging, powered-on screens "will draw most of the power."
Review: Hands-On Review: i.Sound Portable Power Max, Dactyl Anapest, March 28, 2010