One never knows just how useful and wonderful a battery backup can be. For instance, I take them camping with us to keep the kids MP3 players and our various other gadgets charged up so that everyone that gets sick of nature can go hide and leave me alone. They can come in handy in many other ways too though. Just the other day actually, my wife text me that her battery was about to die because she forgot to charge her phone the night before. The car she was driving that day didn’t have a working cigarette lighter so no charger available. Lucky for her, her husband (me) thinks of these things a head of time. I already had the Anker Astro 3 External Battery pack all charged up and in the glove box, just in case. Mostly because I know my wife is always forgetting to charge her phone when we go to bed. Good thing I did too, cause about 20 minutes later she called because the car broke down on the side of the road. Who knows how long she would have been stuck out there had I not planned ahead. Enough of my babble about how portable battery packs have helped us, lets talk a bit about one of the newest lines to land from Anker, the Astro 3.
First things first, who is Anker. They are a well established company that has been making and selling various laptop battery replacements, cellphone battery replacements, camera and camcorder battery replacements and a few other little goodies. Their three core values of top quality, excellent service and affordable prices definitely fits them well. For that alone we already love them. Serving over 1 million customers around the globe doesn’t hurt either. You should check out their website when you get done here, they are diamond in the rough and you might be pleasantly surprised by what you will find.
On to the Astro line of external batteries. They actually have quite a few for a person to choose from depending on their needs, theirs budget and their tastes. The most popular ones we see floating around are the Asto 2, which is a 8,400 mAh battery, the SlimTalk which is a 3,200 mAh battery and the mother of all external battiers, the Astro 3, which is a 10,000 mAh battery. The Astro 3 is of course the one you are here to see and learn all about.
Style and Design
When we think about the super slim batteries in our devices that are all pushing 1,800 to 2,100 mAh in size, the idea of a 10,000 mAh battery sounds like it will be a MONSTER of a battery pack. While the Astro 3 is fairly large, it isn’t ridiculous to have around. The physical dimensions are 4.9 x 2.9 x 0.86 inches and it only weighs 0.67 pounds. The rear of the battery pack is coated in a black rubber material that extends around the unit to the top. On the side you will find a silver ring that runs around the entire unit that is a bit ‘plasticy’, but the chrome looking paint doesn’t make it look cheap. The top of the Anker Astro 3 is one of the coolest looking aspects about it. This is where you will find 4 blue rings that are lit by LEDs to indicate the charge level of the battery as well as if it is charging. In the center of the rins is the power button. While that is pretty cool, it is the surface of it that is pretty great. It appears to be a piece of plastic. The combination of the plastic and black backing gives it a reflective look and can even be used as a mirror if needed. Over all it looks pretty darn nice.
OK, so we have this awesome looking external battery housing 10,000 mAh of power. What on earth are you going to do with it? You could just use it to charge up your cell phone 4 or 5 times. That would be the primary function that we would mostly associate to it, but the Astro 3 can do so much more. On what we would call the bottom of the unit you will find all sorts of things. On the left hand side is a USB port labeled ‘OUT S’ which is aimed at charging the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Next to that you have ‘OUT I’ for charging your phones and other various standard types of devices that charge via a USB cord. Anker doesn’t leave you stranded with having to use your own cord though. In the box you will find a curly cord USB cable that has your standard USB on one side and an adapter plug on the other. This is pretty cool because they also includes a small bag containing 12 mobile phone connector adapters. Meaning you can charge up anything from an Android device, to a Nokia to Apple and Samsung tablets. No one around you will have to go with out power.
There is more goodness to this device though. To the right of the ‘OUT I’ you will find a ‘OUTPUT’ hole. It accepts a cord that comes in the box, the round tipped type, along with 6 adapters that fit it. Here is where it gets cool. This ‘OUTPUT’ port is switchable between 9V and 12V which will let you charge up digital cameras, camcorders, laptops and anything else that the various plugs will fit into. Of course it is up to you to make sure you have the voltage set to the correct voltage.
What we like about the Anker Astro 3
The size isn’t rediculous for housing this much power. Anker payed attention to style and design to make it look nice and interesting instead of just a big square box. The multiple ports, 12 cellphone tips and 6 laptop tips makes it a must have for the gadgeteer that runs low on power often. The price is absolutely amazing at only $59.99 which makes it a great value for a great deal of power.
What we didn’t like about the Anker Astro 3
It is really hard to find anything negative say. The product is great and the company supplies way more in the box then the average person needs. There are however a few things that we have liked to see done a little differently. You only have one option to charge up the Astro 3 and that is with the included AC power adapter. We fully understand that with this much power inside it charges better and probably more efficiently then via USB from a PC. However this does force you to keep track of another plug. Also, while they supply you with every adapter needed for most people, there wasn’t a simple carrying bag included. This could lead to the loss of adapters and cords pretty easily unless you put everything in your laptop bag or some other bag you may have.
Is the Anker Astro 3 worth your time an money? Absolutely! If you are away from a power source regularly you can’t beat this much power for the price. The added benefits of it being able to charge more than just your phone and even give you some extra life on your Laptop when you might desperately need it, we have to highly recommend the Astro 3. I personally was able to boost the laptop when it was low on power, charge my phone nearly 3 times from near dead (2,800 mAh extended battery), and charge up the digital camera. All in all, I can’t wait to charge this puppy to full power and head out camping for a few days. My personal experience with the Astro 3 and Anker has been an extremely pleasant experience.
Below you will find links to the various external batteries that Anker offers. They come in various battery sizes and all are available for a great price.