Q: I recently read your review of the jHub Ultra power bank from Modern Portable. In checking the company's website, I discovered that a new model was released in mid-February called the jHub Elite. I plan to purchase several jHub chargers for graduation and birthday gifts. Do you have insight on what is better and different about the new model? It is slightly, but not significantly, more expensive. I can buy either.
A: After I received your e-mail I checked out the Modern Portable website and ordered a jHub Elite. I use it regularly and can share my thoughts, starting with a short definition of a power bank.
A power bank is a rechargeable battery pack you can use anywhere to charge phones and other USB devices. The jHub Ultra is a small, pocketable power bank with modern styling, small size and excellent power capacity. It is a simple product that gets the job done for less than $15. If you start with a fully charged phone and a fully charged Ultra, you should be able to make it through the day without running out of power.
I also should note that Modern Portable has a customer service department and so far has been accessible and responsive when dealing with customer needs, which is not typical for manufacturers of value-priced power accessories. Most of them do not even have a customer service department.
Compared with the jHub Ultra, the jHub Elite is quite an advanced product. Though lightweight, it has twice the power capacity and two charging ports instead of one. The two ports can charge devices simultaneously. One of the ports is a 1-amp port (same as the Ultra), but the other is 2.1-amp fast-charging port, which will charge an iPhone 6 even faster than the wall charger included with the phone. The 2.1-amp port is ideal for tablets as well. The jHub Elite also has a soft-touch off/on button and power meter with charging indicator and is finished in nonslip matte black material that looks and feels very nice. You feel quality when you hold it in your hand.
The Ultra sells for less than $15 and the Elite for less than $25. Given the additional advanced capabilities for about $10 more, it is probably an even better deal than the Ultra. It's like getting a BMW at a Chevy price. Website www.outdoorlife.com put the jHub Elite on its "eight traveling must-haves" list, so it seems to be making other fans.
I think you should base your decision on size. The Ultra works well in a pocket. The Elite is better suited to use in a bag or on a table, where it can charge two devices at once. If your grads are continuing their studies, I would strongly consider the Elite. It seems ideal for students. They can put it in their backpacks and keep all their mobile devices charged, effortlessly and conveniently.
As for me, I'm glad I bought the jHub Elite. It combines with the jHub Ultra to make a great team, meeting all my charging needs for less than $40. I have the pocketable Ultra for amusement parks, sporting events or walking around town. The Elite goes everywhere I take my messenger bag, gym bag or briefcase to ensure that my iPad, Bluetooth earphones, action camera and phone never run out of power. See them at www.modern portable.com.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.