External battery packs are pretty commonplace these days, so it takes a bit of something extra in order to stand apart from the rest of them out there. It’s not always an easy feat to accomplish, considering that so many manufacturers are attempting to achieve the same goal (we think).
Last year, we covered the very popular Limeaid Kickstarter project. The company, who has since renamed the products as Limefuel, experienced such great success that they decided to continue on with more and better products.
There aren’t many external battery packs equipped to handle recharging tablets. I’m not a tablet owner (yet), but I can imagine the frustration of fumbling around with an assortment of low- to mid-range capacity battery packs just to keep a tablet alive while mobile.
This is why the Limefuel L240X 24000mAh external battery is a keen pick.
The Limefuel L240X 24000mAh external battery is a beast. It’s shaped like a long flask, and probably weighs as much as one filled with whiskey goodness. But despite the apparent size and weight, the L240X packs an incredible amount of power.
If you had to get up to 24000mAh through other (quality) manufacturer’s external battery packs, your selection would be roughly 20% heavier and bulkier. By itself, this fact might not sound like a big deal. But if you’re going to load a backpack with gear to carry for hours on a day trip, ounces count. Trust me.
What this also means is that Limefuel has a pretty sharp design team. They obviously know what they’re doing in order to make the L240X so dense with the least amount of internal wasted space. There is nothing sloppy here.
Even though the guts of the battery pack are good, the aesthetics of the Limefuel L240X haven’t been overlooked. The surface material is grippy and non-slip in the hands, but not so tacky or rubbery to make it difficult to work in and out of bags or pockets.
There are no seams, and the edges are nice and smooth. The choice of matte black prevents annoying fingerprint traces glaring back at you.
All of the ports are on one side, which we’ll call the business end. This is (to me) another indicator of good design, since by this time all battery packs should be beyond having ports on multiple sides of the device. The two output USB ports provide amperage enough to charge up iPads and tablets. The Micro USB input port is 2A, which lets the Limefuel L240X charge up 33% to 100% faster than most other battery packs out there.
It needs to. 24000mAh is a lot. Seriously! Charging it back up is sort of an overnight process, however the built-in passthrough lets you charge the battery and connected devices at the same time. It’s not quite as quick this way, but it takes care of two birds with one stone. Or outlet.
I particularly like the width of the Limefuel L240X. It holds in the hand well, but also fits readily in the pockets of many bags, backpacks, and briefcases. The height of it makes it easy to pick out and grab when you need to.
The included cable is a combination Micro USB and 30-pin. It works well enough, delivering 7-8W of power to the Limefuel L240X to charge it back up. I have a few other cables that are able to give the full 9-10W of power to the Limefuel battery under the same charging circumstances.
These measurements were done using the Practical Meter by PowerPractical. While it’s a handy tool, the Practical Meter can throw off results due to its internal resistance. Results can and will vary. Also keep in mind that just because a device states it can accept 5V at 1A max (for example), it doesn’t mean it will always demand that much.
The LED energy gauge is the standard 4-dot kind, each representing another 25% capacity threshold. My biggest nitpick about the LEDs is that you have to look at them straight on. Lean back in your chair a bit, and a pair of lit LEDs will appear as three, four, or seven.
The built-in flashlight is also standard, which means it’s equivalent to a non-LED keychain light. While it will help you out in the darkest of darks, any smartphone using a flashlight app will be able to provide a much more useful flood of illumination. A flexible-neck, USB-powered LED light would make a better accessory if you need lighting.
But the heart of this battery is its ability to charge – not so much the pretty green lights and bitty flashlight.
The Limefuel L240X auto-detects when devices are plugged in to charge, delegating the power button to flashlight and battery gauge duty. The battery automatically shuts off when nothing is plugged in, or when a connected device has reached full charge.
Note: Most external battery packs I’ve ever purchased and used came only partially charged, so I’ve always made it a habit to fully charge them before use. I tend to fully charge and discharge a new battery a few times, just so I can level out the charge states of the individual cells. It helps to maximize the battery’s manufacturer-listed potential.
The standard efficiency rating of external battery packs currently on the market is 70%. This means that 30% of the battery’s listed capacity is consumed while charging up devices. So, for example, a standard 1000mAh battery would effectively deliver 700mAh of energy.
After fully charging the Limefuel L240X right out of the box, I tested it out with my HTC Evo Shift 4G with the stock 1450mAh battery. The Limefuel was able to deliver 1247% total charge to the HTC battery, which was equivalent to 18081mAh. That put the efficiency at 75.3%. But that was just out of the box.
The efficiency increased with each cycle. In the end, the peak efficiency performances averaged out to 83.6% (20064mAh), with a high of 86.1% and low of 82.8%. That’s pretty darn good, if you ask me. Considering that I was using a teeny cup (HTC Evo Shift 4G battery) to drain out the keg (Limefuel L240X), the margin of error is likely greater than if a tall beer stein (a tablet, perhaps) were used instead.
So what can one do with 20064mAh of battery energy? That’s good for 6.47 full charges to a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, or 13.9 full charges to an Apple iPhone 5, or 1.73 full charges to an Apple iPad 4, or 4.45 full charges to a 7” Kindle Fire HDX.
A lonely smartphone can last for DAYS with a single Limefuel L240X external battery. If you need marathon performance, you don’t need to look much further than this. Because of the high capacity and amp output, the L240X is exceptionally ideal for those who own and use tablets and/or multiple devices.
An external battery of this caliber is great for camping, backpacking, car rides, plane trips, or anytime power is not going to be readily available.
The capacity versus weight of the Limefuel L240X gives it an edge over the competition in terms of build quality and handling.
One doesn’t need to travel somewhere far to make the L240X useful. As a smartphone gamer (tablet gaming applies as well), I enjoy being able to play wherever I feel like. Garage, backyard hammock, wherever.
A long USB cable with the battery is all I need to stay untethered from a wall socket during my gaming sessions. If all I ever needed was one external battery, the Limefuel L240X 24000mAh external battery is an easy, go-to choice.