I’ve owned the DeWALT 12/20V MAX USB Power source (which I will not refer to as “the adapter”) for pretty mmuch exactly 11 months now, as my amazon cart will prove to you.
While my dependance on it has varied widely over that time, the recent Pokemon Go craze combined with an aging HTC One (M8) has got me using it on amore daily basis. I’ve been using it with my 2 DCB203 20V (MAX) 2.0Ah 40Wh lithium ion battery packs from my DeWALT XR combo drill/driver kit. Lets go over the pros and cons of this USB battery bankk solution and see if it’s got you covered, or if it’s best left a the jobsite.
Price – The adapter cost me 38.28 to my door, let call it 40 bucks, and you can buy battteries in as a 12V MAX if you want a smaller, lighter battery, or in 20V MAX if you want longer runtime, but with excess bulk. The batteries range from 40 bucks to upwards of $250-300, but many people already own one or more of these batteries from combo kits etc. All these factors really give the you a lot of flexibility.
Durability – The adapter is extremely durable, it’s survived many hip hieght falls and more than one from 8+ feet onto concrete floors. Both the battery and the adapter survive, despite the fact thaty they separate from each other on impact at what seems like mach 1 from the higher falls depending on how it falls. It’s designed with the jobsite in mind and it shows, I’d certainly rather it go flying than get destroyed on impact.
Battery Life & charge time – With my 2x 40AH drill batteries the dual 1.5A USB ports keep those amps-a-flowing for at 7-10 full charges of an iphone 4s. I can’t really use my HTC One (M8) as an example because it will die even while pluged into it’s factory charger. Having 2 batteries, as I’m sure most users will, is awesome for when you need more power ASAP. These lithium ion batteries charge extremely quickly, certainly much faster than you could ever drain them two 1.5A usb devices. Additionally the chargers load balance the batteries to some degree, and offer excellent diagnostics to let you know when a battery has gone south.
A face only mother could love – Look , I’ll admit, even I have difficulty carrying around a bright construction yellow battery charger with two usb cable sticking out of it, especially when you’ve opted for a larger battery and cant even get the thing in your pocket anymore. It’snot pretty thing this, that’s for sure, it looks like a giant USB growth is coming off od your battery, and it’s all bright yellow to boot. Did I mention it’s blindingly yellow?
Pocketability – I haven’t tried the device with any batteries other than the one’s that came with my drill/driver combo (the 20V MAX 2.0Ah 40Wh ones mentioned above), but I doubt it it fit’s in your pocket all that much better with a smaller battery. With my battery it’s almost as tall as it is wide at 2-3/4″ x 3″, although it does narrow to from 3″ to about 2.5″ after the battery. No matter what way you slice it, pocketing this thing sucks, I often use a smal backpack and a short usb extension cable, but it’s not really a great shape for a pocket, brief case, or even a purse really.
Price – Ya, I’m listing price as a con too! you can buy a decent USB battery bank for 40 bucks, although it won’t give you many of the advantages you get from having hot swappable batteries, it’s likely to offer more USB ports, FAST charging, charging the bank itself over USB, or whatever killer feature it is you need for your situation. It’s not likely to get the same mileage charging or be as durable though.
So, all in all the pros and cons tell the tale, if you already have the batteries, and use it on a jobsite, or just need extreme capacity, rapid recharging, and durability, than this may be th eticket for you. But if you want something sleek and sexy to fit in your pocket and not make it look like you’ve got a serious growth, than I don’t recommend it at all. Overall my experience with the DeWALT 12/20V MAX USB power source has been good, it lasts for ages, and has saved me from agonizing boredom on numerous occasions.