LAS VEGAS — The makers of a powerful new battery pack called the iTron claim it can be fully charged to 9,000 mAh in an astonishing 18 minutes. Even better, in just three short minutes, it slurps up enough power to recharge an iPhone 6.
To make the package even more enticing, the quick-juicing battery pack charges on a dock that offers three USB ports, so it can become a full-blown charging station for multiple devices.
I typically don’t give portable power packs a second thought. I own a couple, but they almost never make it into my bag — my iPhone never runs out of juice, so what’s the point?
Then CES hits, I’m working 14-hour days, and a battery pack starts to seem indispensible. That’s when I remember why I don’t like them in the first place: While they can be lifesavers, they typically take hours to charge. If use one to get through a rough patch and then forget to plug it in overnight, you’re screwed when it comes to the next day on the show floor.
The iTron is shaped like a home plate and sports an interesting grooved surface. Its maker, Simpiz, calls it “the fastest portable charger,” and attributes the magic to Dubi 1.0, a custom chip developed for the company.
Unfortunately for all us poor schleps at CES, iTron isn’t yet available. A Kickstarter campaign launches in February, Simpiz reps said, with probable early bird pricing in the $60 range. (Retail will be $89.)