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Quirky Pickup Power review: Quirky's Pickup Power station is a letdown

You can buy this odd combination on Quirky's website, Amazon and a few electronic retailers such as Radio Shack. Again, the cost is $100 for the 6,000mAh version, and for the 4,000mAh Pickup Power, you'll pay $80.

The pieces

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Six feet of cord, with a power button on the plug. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

That price doesn't quite add up; 6,000mAh is plenty of capacity, but not top of the line. At Best Buy and Amazon, you can find portable chargers with as much power or more for $30-$50. That leaves the surge-protecting power strip to make up the remaining ground, and it doesn't come close.

The 1080 joules this Quirky unit offers is more than $5-$10 powers strips can offer, but it still lands more in the middle of the road than the premium end. Those same retailers mentioned above have plenty of models with 2,000 to 3,000 joules of protection and six or more outlets. On Amazon, you can buy a standalone 10,000mAh battery and a 12-outlet surge protector rated for 3,780 joules for under $50 combined.

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The LEDs indicate the battery's charge. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

On the plus side, at 6.05 ounces, the battery is a little lighter than the competition. Best Buy's top 6000 mAh model weighs 8 ounces. Also, the button on the side and status LEDs add a bit of convenience, though I found the button would cause a few false starts on occasion when I plugged in my phone. I'd connect the two, hit the button to start charging, and it would charge for a second, stop, start again, stop, and then finally take off. That was a minor inconvenience, but if your phone beeps at you when it's low on battery, expect a few extraneous beeps when first connecting to Quirky's battery.

The sum of its parts

Despite some minor size advantages to the battery, the pieces themselves don't justify the premium. The only remaining saving grace would be the convenience offered by combining the two -- the reason for the invention in the first place.

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You'll need to think about where you want to put the Quirky Pickup Power. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

As I mentioned, the battery fits well and pops out from the base easily. I liked the simple and elegant design, but I'm still not going to put a power strip in a prominent place in my home. I tuck my surge protectors away, behind my entertainment center or under my desk. If you do the same, the location of the friendly little home for your battery pack will be tough to reach.

Because putting a surge protector with a portable battery made Quirky cut back on the number of outlets and might result in an inconvenient resting place for the charger, the combination ends up hurting each piece instead of helping them.


The Quirky Pickup Power was inspired by a housing contractor who grew annoyed when his cell phone battery died in the middle of the day. He wanted to be able to charge his phone on the go. I won't dispute the convenience of a portable battery charger. Surge protectors can also prove invaluable in protecting your electronics, but this combination isn't helpful or convenient.

Shop piecemeal and you can buy more capable versions of each for less. If you do, you won't be missing out on some cool feature created when they come together. Each piece on its own works well, and they fit together nicely, but in terms of price or functionality, the Quirky Pickup Power isn't worth it.

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