Don’t click close on your browser yet! I know what you are thinking – how boring, techy and geeky to review an external battery pack (and if you were not thinking that – shame on you) but this little device saved my sanity, or more accurately, it saved the sanity of all the people sitting around my family on the 9 hour flight to Hawaii. If you have kids and you travel, this external battery pack and charger can be a real life saver!
What is the New Trent External Battery Pack
Simply put, the New Trent is a small extenal Polymer Li-Ion (no I don’t know what that means) battery that comes with a number of adapters to charge all types of electronic devices including cell phones, iPhones, iPods, iPads and gaming devices. There are, of course, some tech specs on it, but as is the DadDoes way, we are not going to waste much time on that. If you want all the specs, jump over to the NewTrent site. In this review we want to tell you our real world experiences with the New Trent and answer the simple question – as a Dad, did this device make my life better or easier?
How We Tested the New Trent Battery Pack
Let me lay out the different stages of enlightment when you plan a trip to Hawaii. Excitement – as we plan out all the fun things my family will do. The boys 8 and 6 are thrilled to be going to Hawaii and playing in the Pacific Ocean. Dread – Oh my gosh, we have to fly 12 hours to get there – how will we survive! More importantly, how will the people around us on the plane survive our kids for 12 hours!
It was clear I needed a plan. The kids love playing with the iPhone, Ipod Touch and iPad (don’t ask why we have all three) – loading them up with games and letting them burn their eyes out playing seemed like my best plan. Apparently there are other parenting strategies, something about books and educational games – but did you hear me? 12 hours on a plane! Clearly this Dad needed some electronic help – but I also needed more battery power. To make a long story one sentence less long, this is how I decided to test out the New Trent External battery pack.
The New Trent – A Little Pack of Magic
We purchased the New Trent IMP500P battery pack for about $40 on Amazon. The 500 stands for 500 amp, they also make more powerful units like an IMP880 and IMP1000 – which just have more power and will last even longer. The IMP500 says it can power an iPhone, playing a movie for 36 hours – so that was plenty for us!
I always think that seeing a product is helpful, so here is a quick video clip on the NewTrent and the adapters it comes with…
As you can see it is a very straight foward product.
Here are some more product shots, so you know what you are getting –
So, the question is – Did it Make This Dad’s Life Better or Easier?
The answer – Absolutely!
The thing just works as advertised. We had the IMP-500 model, which is rated at 5000amp (again very little idea what that means) and we used it to power everything on the plane (except the plane’s engines)! The kids watched a movie on the iPad, played more games on the iPhone than I really should admit and it all worked without a problem. It is just like having a wall outlet in your pocket. You simply plug your device into the NewTrent and you can continue to use your device as it charges. We used it for most of the 12 hours we were traveling and never came close to draining the power down to under 50% on the New Trent.
Would it make a full 36 hours? Not sure – but really who needs 36 hours of power? The more powerful units they sell last even longer, but unless you have some really bad flights I don’t see the more powerful units as necessary for most parents!
Some Nice Little Features
I liked the remaining charge indicator lights on the front of the unit, it gave me peace of mind knowing that we had 50% charge left and only 20 minutes more to fly! The retractable cable is also a nice plus, especially with the kids. One less cable to hang down and have little feet trip over is a plus that any Mom or Dad will appreciate. Finally the wide selection of adapters means that you can charge a lot of different phones and devices without having to buy any additional cables (jump over to the NewTrent site for a full list of supported devices).
Some Minor Flaws on the New Trent Charger
The only problem we had was keeping track of all the adapters and worry that you could easily loose one in your travels. The adapters just come in a little baggie and once you start packing, they are small and easily misplaced. Perhaps if the New Trent came with a travel bag that held all the adapters, that would help. Our only other issue was the instructions were not very clear, but really there is not much you need to learn about the device.
The New Trent External Battery and Charger may not be the most sexy gadget, but it works and works well. If you are doing any traveling and need to keep your phone, game systems and electronic devices charged and running – the New Trent is a great choice. I am sure all the people around my family on the plane ride were overjoyed that we had one!
The New Trent External Battery Pack gets 4 D’s (scale of 1 to 5) -
FULL DISCLOSURE: We received absolutely nothing for doing this review. We purchased our NewTrent unit and we do not receive anything if you decide to purchase one. This is a real review, by a real Dad!
Here is our complete rating chart –
Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think! Thanks!