Review: Limeade Blast L180X mobile charger
All mobile chargers are created more or less equal, right?
Wrong. Some lack the juice to charge larger devices like
e-readers and tablets. Some make you juggle a bunch of different
cords and tips, a huge hassle. And some will barely top off your
smartphone more than once.
conquers all those problems, and then some. But is
it the best mobile charger you can buy?
Regular Savings.com readers know that I'm a fan of the MyCharge Peak 6000
features, among other things, built-in connectors for two common
ports: Apple 30-pin and microUSB. Plus, it recharges by plugging
directly into a wall outlet, a huge convenience.
The L180X doesn't offer that feature, nor does it have
built-in connectors. However, don't write off this charger just
What is does have is two powered USB ports: one 1A (for
smaller devices like smartphones) and one 2.1A (for tablets). You
can use them simultaneously, and because they're standard USB, you
need nothing more special than the sync/charge cables you already
own for your devices.
However, the L180X comes with a 2-in-1 cable that may be all
you need. It's USB at one end and dual-tipped at the other:
microUSB and Apple 30-pin. (If you have a newer Apple device, one
with a Lightning connector, the bundled cable won't help you;
you'll need to pack along your Lightning cable.)
That cable can also flip around to charge the L180X itself,
with the USB end plugging into your laptop or an AC adapter (not
included) and the microUSB tip plugging into the charger's power-in
So far, this probably sounds like a mediocre product. It's
something of a hassle to charge, and its bundled cable doesn't
support newer Apple gear. Surely the MyCharge Peak 6000 is the
better choice, right?
Maybe not. The Limeade Blast L180X has one huge trick up its
sleeve: an 18,000mAh battery, the largest I've seen in a mobile
charger of this size. That means you can fully recharge a
current-generation iPad's 11,560mAh battery and still have enough
juice to charge your smartphone (probably more than once).
In other words, this is the charger to get if you routinely
travel long distances and need lots and lots of supplemental power.
At 13 ounces, it feels a bit heavy, but amazingly it's actually a
bit smaller than the aforementioned Peak 6000.
What's more, it's available via Amazon for just $99.99
, the same price
as the Peak 6000. It may not offer quite as many conveniences
(though I do like it's built-in LED flashlight), but it does
deliver three times the portable power in a more compact package.
For some travelers, that's sure to be a major selling point.
Have you found a mobile charger you like better? Tell me about
it in the comments!Veteran technology writer Rick Broida
is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his
money-saving expertise to CNET and Savings.com, and also writes for PC
World and Wired.