IndiaSolarHomes.com: mPowerpad 2 Plus functions as a torch, reading light and a charging port for your gadgets
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
In this gadget review we look at yet another power pad. Power pads are handy devices for trekkers, campers and urbanites that face regular power outages – or simply like to think of themselves as survivors. We had reviewed the Evaki power pad in an earlier post. This product, the mPowerpad 2 Plus from Third Wave Power is quite similar in its applications but differs in terms of design and charge delivery capabilities.
On the design front, the mPowerpad 2 Plus is remarkably light, weighing only 575g. It comes in a standard rectangular casing that houses the electronics, a 6,600 mAh battery on the standard model, various ports and control knobs with and an output of up to 2 amps.
The product basically provides power for any USB device – phones, music players, fans or lights. While the primary task is to deliver power to external devices, the product comes with two built-in LED lights. The light in the front serves as a torch to the camper or the hiker and the light in the back panel serves as a reading light. That is great, but holding the device either as a torch or as a reading light can be quite uncomfortable. This should be improved upon in the next version, perhaps by providing an ergonomic holding notch or something similar.
The device is meant to be charged by solar power through a poly-crystalline 5.4Wp panel attached to the front surface of the device. However, in situations when there is a lack of sunlight, one can charge the device via a plug point, too. The charging port provided is a micro USB Type B plug that can also be connected to a laptop or an external wall charger. The adapter for the socket charger is sadly not shipped with the product. A full charge from the sun took more than 5 hours on a summer day in Bangalore. External power based charging was faster and only took about 2.5 hours. Any load attached during the day (like a fan perhaps) will only increase the charging time.
There are three interfaces to the gadget.
1. On the left side of the product are two standard Type A USB ports to connect any USB accessory and a single Type Micro B USB port to charge the device externally (through a wall socket or a computer).
2. On the right side of the product is a dial selector switch that selects the three default functions built into the device (a torch functionality, a reading light functionality and the SOS function). Future versions of the product may include only one LED that can perform all three functions. This can save cost and improve usability.
3. The ON/OFF switch and the torch light are located on the top surface of the device
The product is priced at INR 4,999 comes with a 1 year warranty. The product may be out of reach of the most rural users thereby placing into a niche urban market.
The are 3 SKUs available in India – mPowerpad 2 Lite, mPowerpad 2 Plus and mPowerpad 2 Pro. The products can be bought from- www.batterylovers.com and eBay right. It can also be ordered from the Third Wave Power website here.