Belkin builds the first power bank with a Lightning charge port

If you're an iOS device owner like me, you probably have a number of Lightning cables floating around. Those cables are great for charging iDevices directly, but they're useless if you also happen to have a small fleet of battery packs to power your stuff through trade shows and the like. The average portable charger needs juiced up with a Micro USB cable, leading to a big tangle of incompatible wires in my bags and a frenzied search for that one Micro USB cable in the house on the eve of big trips.

Belkin stands ready to make life in Cupertino's walled garden easer with the inelegantly-named Boost Charge Power Bank 10K with Lightning Connector. The company claims this juice pack is the first to be MFi-certified with a Lightning connector for charging. That means its charging port uses the same connector as every other recent iDevice, a convenience that many will probably be willing to shell out a rather exorbitant $60 for.

As its name suggests, this power bank has a capacity of 10,000 mAh. According to the folks at MacRumors, who got their hands on one of these power banks, the pack has a 2.4-A fast-charge port for devices with big batteries and a 1-A port for smaller cells like those in an iPhone. The site says customers can get their hands on a Boost Charge pack of their own starting in early August.

Comments closed
    • LeoScott
    • 1 year ago

    When I first read the headline, I had visions of a power bank hooked to a lightening rod to capture electricity from a lightening strike. LOL

    • rika13
    • 1 year ago

    As a connector (layer 1 stuff only) Lightning is better. The connector is better for the actual use of “stab it at strange angles in the dark”.

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    I’m confused. Aren’t almost all lightning cables USB-A on the other end?

    What are lightning-to-lightning cables for and do they serve any purpose whatsoever outside of the iDevice ecosystem, where even Apple can’t stick to a standard (USB-C on Macbooks, for example).

    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    People these days complain about needing to have a ton of different cables for charging phones and for charging the powerbank itself, but this isn’t even an issue if you only use standard USB-A to micro USB cables. Those cables work great charging both the powerbank and devices with the powerbank. Yes it’s not reversible but so what. Look before you plug it in; it’s not that hard. It came along first, and then Lightning and USB-C came along because people thought it would be great to have reversible cables, and it’s lead to this situation and people are complaining again.

    • elites2012
    • 1 year ago

    belkins got bought by foxconn. i no longer trust their products like i used to. im sure their no longer as reliable as they used to either.

    • hungarianhc
    • 1 year ago

    I think it’s a little late for a product like this. It should have been out two years ago. These days, I can get a battery pack that charges via USB-C, AND it can supply USB-C PD to my laptop. That convenience far outweighs being able to charge it with lightning.

    • Kretschmer
    • 1 year ago

    Why does Apple still use a proprietary connector?

      • Neutronbeam
      • 1 year ago

      Because it’s APPLE, duh. πŸ™‚

      • the
      • 1 year ago

      Because everything else wasn’t invented there.

      • ronch
      • 1 year ago

      Because Apple products and proprietary stuff are for awesome people and Apple is all about proprietariness. Awesome Apple people don’t transfer photos via Bluetooth to commoners like us who make do with common, off-the-shelf stuff like ordinary micro USB cables and ordinary Bluetooth that can connect with everyone else, except awesome Apple people.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 1 year ago

      Prior to Type-C there was not a good option. Now that USB 3.1 type C is here, I think they might switch over.

    • DancinJack
    • 1 year ago

    Meh?

    The iPhone REALLY needs to go USB-C. All the Macbooks/Pros come with USB-C now. Just another port for literally no reason except the fact that it’s already there. Especially now that we have USB-PD and way, way more options with USB-C, it makes Apple’s stubbornness to stick with Lightning quite lame.

      • albundy
      • 1 year ago

      why? i think apple is doing a great job alienating its loyal customers with lightning and no headphone jack. i cant wait to see what they will remove next!

        • DancinJack
        • 1 year ago

        Alienating? iPhone X was the best selling phone of 2017. I think they’re doing just fine.

        • blastdoor
        • 1 year ago

        I thought they were premature in removing the audio jack, but ultimately I agree with where they are going.

        Next to go — lightning port. The iPhone will end up being totally wireless. That will make water and dust proofing easier, it will reduce failures associated with dirty, gummed up ports, and it will make the devices more secure.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 1 year ago

      I don’t disagree with you. I was hoping the X would start that trend, to be honest. How’s the audio over USB? I assume 3.5mm-less Android phones support it?

        • blastdoor
        • 1 year ago

        I can imagine that the other end of the lightning cable might switch from A to C, but I predict there will never be a USB port on the iPhone. As noted above, I predict the lightning port will just be removed and there will be no ports. Next stop after that is the elimination of any physical buttons on the side. The end point is a seamless slab of glass.

          • cygnus1
          • 1 year ago

          Actually, Apple already sells Type C to Lightning cables, to allow modern Mac’s to connect to iOS devices. The 8 and X both support “fast charging” from a USB-C Apple charger which I’m pretty sure means they just support USB-PD. The only Apple branded charger sold on their site shown as compatible with the 8 and X is their 30W Type-C charger.

          It’s also been rumored that with the next iPhones, the supplied charger will be a Type-C charger and some crazies believe the Lightning port will be switched to Type-C too. The charger I could see happening, the port on the iOS devices, not so much.

        • psuedonymous
        • 1 year ago

        [quote<]How's the audio over USB?[/quote<] four options: 1) Passive adapter. Uses the internal DAC & amp inside the phone, how well it works depends on how well those were implemented. Same situation as with connecting headpohnes to a 3.5" jack, just a different phyiscal port shape 2) Active adapter. Same situation as with using USB OTG and a separate DAC & amp, just in a more integrated form-factor 3) Passive headphones. Same as option 1, but the adapter is integrated into the headphones (i.e. they have a Type C plug on the end) 4) Active headphones. Same as option 2, but they have the DAC & amp integrated into the headphones/cable. Option 4 is the really interesting bit. When you consider DAC + amp + driver as a set unit rather than discrete parts, then you can characterise the response of the amp + driver and compensate with the DAC (and ubiquitous digital signal processing) in order to produce a perfectly linear response to input, or indeed any arbitrary response to input (e.g. replicate a famous valve amp's 'sound'). You can also do it a lot more cheaply than with discrete parts, as you no longer need the signals between DAC & amp and between amp & driver to be linear to maintain linearity for the whole system. Personally, the convenience of Bluetooth audio (and, when not using cheap parts, extremely minimal difference in actual audio quality) makes it much of a muchness, and I haven't bothered with cabled headphones on a smartphone for years. If I want Hi-Fi, then I'm going to source it from something other than a smartphone in the first place, so the point is moot.

          • Ikepuska
          • 1 year ago

          I’ll agree with wireless audio only IFF latency is 100% solved consistently in all signal noise environments. At least for me any perceptible latency is maddening, and not everything is like MPC-HC where I can tune the lag.

      • godforsaken
      • 1 year ago

      preemptive TLDR, I hate apple, and their proprietary BS, but, their connector quality is miles better than USB

      As a long time support of the down with all apple products (and their proprietary bs) initiate, this has always been a sore subject for me.. I’be been biased against apple all my life even before trying one.. and when I dated a spawn of satan who had an macbook that she dropped so I had to fix it, actually coming in contact with one of those computers solidified the deal… however..

      there are two things I begrudgingly found better about apple by a large margin.. their in store support was good.. and… their connectors (not the cords mind you, just the point of actual interface).. I effing HATE all generations of USB aside from the original.. the lightning connection is fantastic (and the macbook’s magnetic connector is a godsend to all those who trip on their cords, potentially ripping the leads from the motherboard).. mini, micro, and the new USB-C connector, all are an inverse female connector, which means their pins are about as thin as a strand of hair.. flimsy as all hell, every phone I’ve had trouble with them, the second I got my galaxy S6 I grabbed a QI charger on amazon… the lightning connectors are actual 100% male connectors, which gives them 3 times the surface area for the leads, allowing much beefier pins, and a much stronger hold in the phone, you feel it grabbing, you don’t have to wonder, like the pansy a… usb connector, if it might slip out at the slightest movement… god, why am I still typing this, Ima put a tldr up top and shut up

        • GrimDanfango
        • 1 year ago

        I’ve found the complete opposite.
        On my iPhone 6S, the piddling little retention clips inside the lightning port got so worn down after 2 years of use, that I could only charge the thing if I left it dead-still on a table. So much as breathing on it would cause the cable to fall out.

        With USB, I could have just replaced the cable, as that’s where the retention clips are.

        Switched to a USB-C phone, and it’s rock-solid.

        I miss the iPhone though… I ended up just annoyed enough by certain Apple nonsense that I wistfully wanted to return to Android… but now I’m back, I realised it was just “grass is always greener” effect, and I miss the effortless quality feel… except the rubbish thunderbolt port πŸ˜›

    • JosiahBradley
    • 1 year ago

    For literally half the price you can get an USB-C pack from tronsmart. [url<]https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KNJQZ4W[/url<] is the Apple tax really worth it?

      • cygnus1
      • 1 year ago

      From someone with almost all Apple mobile devices, nope, it’s not. The MacBook and HP laptops both charge off of USB C. I use this giant one: [url<]https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LRQDAEI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_.UTpBbNXW75FC[/url<] Can charge literally every portable device I have, including the laptops and it can charge via the same chargers as the laptops. Type C is the future.

    • frumper15
    • 1 year ago

    Maybe it’s the first MFi-certified one, but I’ve been using this Aukey one for a couple years with a lightning port for charging: [url<]https://www.amazon.com/AUKEY-20000mAh-Lightning-Portable-Dual-USB/dp/B0176HQ1O8/[/url<] It is super convenient as none of my devices use the Micro-A port that most battery banks use so a single power brick+lightning cable is nice.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 1 year ago

    That would be nice for our family to have a single cable to take with us. Right now we take 3 cables with the Anker. 2 lightning cables for charging phones and 1 USB for reacharging the Anker. Dropping down to 2 would be fabulous.
    Note, for use on weekend trips/vacations, the Anker works great (I think it is the 23k mAh (what a stupid unit of measure)). We don’t have to bring wall-chargers or extension cords. The Anker will charge both of our phones 3-4 times, which is more than enough for a long weekend camping or away from any wall power.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 1 year ago

      How geeky would it be to build a modern power bank into a [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_DynaTAC<]DynaTAC 8000X[/url<]?

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