Quirky's dedication to crowdsourced creation is admirable. It's led the company to some unique inventions like the, the , the and the . Some, like the , proved extremely useful and reasonably priced if occasionally glitchy. Some, like the , make less sense for discerning customers. Unfortunately, the Quirky Pickup Power falls in that latter category.
The combination of a portable battery pack and a surge protector seems like a great match. It's a one-stop- shop for your power and each piece does its part and works well. The surge protector offers mid range protection from surges and the portable charger matches low to mid level models in capacity. The combination is inventive and unique, but at $100 for a 6,000mAh battery and $80 for a 4,000mAh version, the pieces add to a premium that's not worth the sum of its parts. You can save a lot of money and get a better portable charger and surge protector by buying each separately.
The Quirky Pickup Power combines a portable battery charger with a three-plug surge protector. The plugs sit on one side of the power strip, the battery charger sits in a cradle on the other. Two metal contacts help you determine which way is which as you put the battery in place. While resting, it gains a charge and shows you its progress with four LEDs. If one is lit, the battery has 25 percent capacity. Two lit indicates 50 percent, and so on.
When you're ready to take the battery on the run, it pops out of the base easily thanks to a clever divot in the cradle. Push down on the far end and you can easily grab it and go. I appreciated that simple but helpful design touch, as it allows the battery to rest uniform with the surface of the power strip, while side-stepping any prying you might have had to do to get to it.
The battery pack itself fit into my pocket, but I have big pockets. In terms of length and width, it's smaller than an iPhone, but it's thick at 0.8 inch for the 6,000mAh pack and 0.6 inch for the 4,000mAh. By comparison, current smartphones tend to be between 0.2 and 0.3 inch, so you might find it bulky. That said, for a portable charger, it's on the small side, as comparable models can run an inch thick or more.
In terms of battery power, 6,000mAh will be enough to fully charge most smart phones twice. The tablet batteries, carries 7,340mAh of life, but given that most tablets can last 10 hours, getting 6000 mAh on the road should hopefully be enough until you can get home.has a 2,915mAh battery, rocks 1,810mAh, sits at 2,800mAh and holds 2,600mAh of juice. It won't be enough to charge bigger
It has two USB ports for simultaneous charging, as well as a mini-USB that allows you to plug it into a computer for a boost if you're not near the power strip.
To use the charger, simply connect your phone's cord into one of those USB ports and press the button on the side of the battery. The LEDs will briefly light up, indicating how much charge you have left to spare, and it'll go to work. You can get a status update from the LEDs at any time by pressing the button again.
The power strip offers 1,080 joules of surge protection and has a generous 6-foot-long cord. The power button sits on the plug itself, instead of at one end of the strip.