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GadgeTell Review: Limefuel L130X Battery and Case

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Until our mobile devices are able to deliver the kind of battery life to keep up with our consumption and demand, external battery packs will remain an important accessory in gadget arsenals. Right now, one can find batteries in practically every shape, color, and capacity across so so many brands.

Most people enjoy getting a good deal. When it comes to battery packs, it takes the right combination of technology, capacity, and physical size/shape within a price tier for it to deliver a great bang for your buck. Of course, anyone who simply needs additional energy on tap can get that with almost any battery pack out there.

But if you’re one who won’t settle for mediocrity, then Limefuel batteries are for you. Born through Kickstarter, Limefuel has driven forward momentum and success through smart features and overall excellence.

Battery Design

The Limefuel L130X has a design that’s becoming a choice standard for external battery packs of its capacity. The flask-shaped device holds nicely in the hands when picked up. This version in white is smooth and possibly even a bit slippery. But if you’re into color coordination with your (Apple) gear, white is the way to go.

Limefuel L130X LED

“flashlight”

All of the ports are located on the one end along with the “flashlight” LED. The flashlight works ok in a pinch, but most mobile users will find that a flashlight app (or their smartphone screen) provide far more illumination than the Limefuel battery, which is akin to that of a basic keychain light. Smartphones are typically within quicker reach than an external battery as well.

Have a tablet (or two)? No problem. The Limefuel L130X battery provides 2.4A output per port, which is perfect for tablets and such. Sure, the overall 13000mAh capacity provides only a partial charge to most tablets, but even half a full charge is darn good. Limefuel batteries have pass-through charging, so you can charge other devices at the same time the battery is refilling itself, all from a single outlet.

Limefuel L130X cable

Hybrid cable

The Micro USB input port is 2A, which lets the Limefuel L130X charge up 33% to 100% faster than most other battery packs out there.

This is a big deal in terms of convenience, especially for an external battery with significant capacity. The difference will save many hours while waiting for the battery to be full again, which is especially critical for power users.

The included cable is a combination Micro USB and 30-pin. It works well. I used a Practical Meter by PowerPractical to test the cable on the Limefuel L130X. It delivers about 7-8W of power to charge the battery back up, which isn’t too shabby. I have a few other cables which can give a full 9-10W of power (but also many more which do only half that amount).

The Limefuel L130X features the standard 4 LED indicator for battery life, with each green light indicating a 25% threshold. You have to face the LEDs straight on to read it correctly. Looking at them at a slight angle can and will make more LEDs appear than there really are.

Battery Performance

This Limefuel battery automatically turns on when something is plugged in, and automatically shuts off when it hasn’t detected an output for a few seconds. The green LEDs light up with any incoming or outgoing charge activity so you know when the battery is working and when it’s done.

Limefuel L130X batteries

Anker Astro, Limefuel L130X, Lenmar Helix

Another important feature of the Limefuel L130X is the overcharge and over-current protection. The battery is smart enough to deliver the proper amount of amps demanded by each connected gadget, and not more.

\The output stops when the device is full. Remember that just because a device states an input of 5V at 1A doesn’t mean it’s going to draw exactly that much.

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.

Limefuel case battery

Smartphone and battery tucked in

After fully charging the Limefuel L130X right out of the box, I tested it out with my HTC Evo Shift 4G with the stock 1450mAh battery.

The Limefuel delivered 722% total charge to the HTC battery, which is equivalent to 10469mAh. So that puts the out-of-the-box efficiency at 80.5%. Not bad!

While the efficiency didn’t increase with additional cycles, the Limefuel L130X did maintain a consistent efficiency rating right around the 80% mark.

So what can one do with 10469mAh of battery energy? That’s good for 3.37 full charges to a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (3100mAh), or 7.27 full charges to an Apple iPhone 5 (1440mAh), or 0.90 full charges to an Apple iPad 4 (11560mAh), or 2.32 full charges to a 7” Kindle Fire HDX (4500mAh).

Case Design

In addition to their lineup of external batteries, Limefuel also has a carrying case for your gadgets. The case is a good size, able to fit one 13000mAh Limefuel battery or two of the smaller 6000mAh models. It works well to protect many external hard drives or media devices too.

Limefuel case open

Opened up

The outer part of the case is durable and holds its shape well. The zipper pulls are rubber-encapsulated metal, which is far more durable than a rubber-only pull.

Nothing screams “cheap” like zipper pulls that tear apart quickly. The zippers themselves glide smooth and don’t snag when going around the corners.

All the seams of the Limefuel case are stitched well. I took the time to tug at everything to see what I could pull apart, to no avail. I didn’t find any loose threads to snip off either. All in all, it’s durable and well put together.

The inside part of the case is lined with a thin, soft felt to keep contents free from scratches. There is a single elastic band to help keep a device in place. It only works ok. It would be a lot more effective if it had more tension, and a second band couldn’t have hurt much either. But, of course, it’s better than nothing.

The other interior half of the case features a mesh pocket. I like the netting, especially how it’s not so tight to make inserting or removing objects a pain. This pocket is great for holding cables, accessories, or even smartphones. I can fit my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in the mesh pocket, the LimeFuel L130X battery under the elastic band, and then zip the whole thing closed without problem or worries of crushing.

Verdict

Not too long ago, Limefuel was but a mere Kickstarter project. Today, they are carving out territory in the very crowded external battery market. Quality features, smart engineering, and excellent efficiency ratings are the reasons why Limefuel products stand that much taller than most.

Limefuel case closed

Case closed!

The physical size and battery capacity of the Limefuel 130X make it ideal for everyday use. It’s easy to pocket in bags or backpacks, and provides more than enough energy to last even a power-user through the day.

Pair it with one of Limefuel’s cases to keep it stored with any loose cables or accessories you might need.

Don’t be tethered to an outlet while you work or play! Snag yourself a long enough cable, and find that cozy spot in the house or freshly shaded seat outside.

Having two ports on the battery means you can share with someone else, if you’re so inclined. If all this wasn’t competition enough, the price of the Limefuel L130X beats out several other 13000mAh-capacity external battery packs made by quality brands.

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