The TYLT PowerPlant is a battery pack designed to be taken on the go or around the house and office.
One colour of the PowerPlant is offered and that's a glossy black. The overall design isn’t tiny but isn’t massive either, it’s not something that is ultra convenient to get out on a park bench to charge an iPhone and an array of USB devices. But is more of a desk, couch and backpack companion.
An LED indicator is positioned on the rear and to activate a press of a button is needed. Then it feeds out a reading of how much juice you have left in a reflection of how many green LED's light up. Ports to plug various devices into are on the opposing side of the battery indicator. Three versions of the PowePlant retail, one with an embedded Apple 30 pin connector, one with an Apple Lightning connector and one with a micro-USB. A rubberised flap pulls down on the opposing side of the LED indicators, revealing one USB 2.0 port and a micro USB input port. Embedded along the side of the unit is flexible cable, this is where a 30 pin dock connector, a micro-USB or a Lightning Cable is stored.
Having both USB 2.0 and one of the three options is rather nice and means you have a huge selection of devices to charge. And most of our gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets, iPads, iPods, projectors, portable TV Tuners, cameras, speakers and so on all usually have USB technologies to charge them. Charging devices by plugging them into a port on the PowerPlant or plugging the cable in worked flawlessly. We haven't yet found something which is compatible but doesn’t charge and this is due to the high 4.75V-5.25V output.
Charging times are longer than if you were using an AC plug but only by around 15-20% from testing. When we're on the move and an AC plug isn’t available this fills the gap nicely. The lithium-ion battery is big at 5,200mAh in the PowerPlant and TYLT claim that it holds a charge for up to one year and from what we’ve seen over the past four months it does hold a solid charge. To give you an example of how much battery is in the TYLT PowerPlant we can charge a completely drained iPhone 4S to fully charged around one and around half times but that’s as much as we could squeeze out of it. Charging other USB devices was very varied and we could charge cameras, speakers to fully charged state and have plenty of juice left over. Devices are all so different in terms of battery but we think the iPhone 4S is a good device to benchmark the Powerplant and it performed well.
To charge the PowerPlant you can just plug it into a USB input on your computer or use the included USB to wall AC plug and that will ensure it charges as fast as possible.
Durability is always a concern and it’s even more so with something that's essentially a massive battery. The plastic casing and rubber ends are hard and very resistive to bumps and impact, which is good. The actual build is very hard wearing and the flex cable does stay firmly in the unit even with being tossed and turned within a bag.
With the sleek, easy to use design, fast charging and good amount of stored energy. The TYLT PowerPlant comes together to bring a solid portable charging solution.