EXTERIOR AND DESIGN
Right off the hop you will notice the aesthetics. The FUEL+ comes housed in a sleek, smooth enclosure with a white and red colour scheme. Dimensionally it is a tad large, but small enough that it can easily fit into a deep pocket, or a purse. Patriot could have added another 1A USB port considering the size, but the two should suffice for the average consumer.
On the front we have the FUEL+ logo, while the back has the model name and specs of the unit. Note the matte red plastic is a coarser compared to the soft white – meant for extra grip and to prevent sliding.
The top of the unit is completely barren, and shows off the shiny glossy exterior. The bottom has the power button and four accompanying LEDs which shine blue:
The LEDs indicate the unit’s remaining battery and each tick represents 25%, hence going up to 100% for a max charge bank. Each LED will blink when gaining or losing charge as it moves to the next charge load. While this method is smarter than what we usually see, numerical indicators are always preferred for a more precise measurement.
One side of the FUEL+ has the microUSB input to charge the unit. The other has the all-important 1A and 2.5A USB charging ports. As far as we are aware, the FUEL+ line is the only one offering 2.5A output charging at this price-point, which equates to the same amperes provided by AC wall chargers. This means that devices connected to it will charge at the rate, speed, and efficiency as if they were plugged directly into a wall charger. Furthermore, the FUEL+ can charge devices connected to it while being charged itself; while quite standard, it is a feature worth mentioning.
Considering next-generation tablets and devices will bump up requirements to 2.4A, the larger FUEL+ packs are already future-proofed for upcoming industry standards. However the 7800mAh battery is the limiting reagent in the equation. Even if we look at the 9000mAh model, it is not enough, for say, the fourth-generation iPad’s 11560mAh battery when wanting to charge from dead to full. For smaller tablets and smartphones however, such as the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini, there will be no problems getting a plethora of complete charges.