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article imageReview: Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26,000

By James Walker     Apr 8, 2015 in Technology
The Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26,000 is a massive portable power bank that can charge pretty much anything including phones, tablets and even laptops. With USB and DC out in various voltages, the Pcastle is the power bank for the heaviest of users.
In the box
The Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26 000mAh
The Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26,000mAh
The Pcastle comes packaged in a large, sturdy box. Lifting the lid reveals the Pcastle itself, nestled securely in the top of the box. In the base of the box you will find the short user manual, power adapter for charging the Pcastle with and numerous connector tips that will let you charge just about any device you can find. A welcome accessory, you will also find a soft green padded carry case to keep your power bank in.
First impressions
First impressions are very positive. The Pcastle is not a small unit but with such a large battery inside this can be expected. It weighs 665g and at 20x125x185mm is roughly the same size as a large external hard drive.
The weight never appeared as much of an issue in my testing though. Although much smaller and lighter power banks are available, the Pcastle is clearly designed for use by — pun aside — power users. The weight isn't so much that you will notice it too much but the Pcastle is unlikely to be carried around with you each day. In my testing, I used it on a few long days out when my various devices required extra power away from the mains.
Design
The Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26 000mAh
The Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26,000mAh
In my testing, I quickly became a fan of the finish on the Pcastle. Although a black unit is shown on the box, I was shipped an "Iron Gray" one. To quote the box, it is very stylish and elegant-looking and it does appear to be a premium product. The all-metal body seems sturdy and resilient to several drops. The brushed aluminium on top is very attractive and makes the device a bit more interesting than just a standard power bank.
The front of the device contains the power button that starts the charging output. A ring of LEDs indicates how much power is left and a separate row of LEDs shows which voltage is being used for the DC output. This is altered by a switch on the top of the unit that changes the voltage between 12V, 16V and 19V DC output, depending on the device you are charging. The USB port always outputs 5V at 2.1A so you can charge devices quickly with their "fast charging" capabilities over USB.
The included mains charger can take the Pcastle from empty to fully charged in under 6 hours. This is quite a remarkable feat given the size of the power bank.
Charging devices
The 26,000mAh will be enough to charge pretty much anything you could own. I never managed to run it down completely in my testing and you could charge most devices many times over. I charged my laptop and Nokia Lumia 1520 phone from it without even one LED going out.
I can envisage the Pcastle being very useful during a power cut. My Lumia 1520 has a 3,000mAh battery — one of the largest units in any smartphone. Still, if I powered only the phone, the Pcastle could provide over eight full charges before giving up the ghost. As the Lumia can last 24 hours on one charge before I even start disabling things, it is easy to see how having such a large power bank handy could be a useful advantage.
My aging 2011 laptop has a battery rated at 4,400mAh. Again, the Pcastle could provide nearly six full charges, each of which would give me a solid five hours of usage of the laptop. More modern laptops can last much longer than this.
Compatibility
The Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26 000mAh
The Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26,000mAh
It isn’t just laptops and phones that you can charge though. The myriad of connectors in the box provide charging tips for numerous different devices including Apple products, Sony's PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo DS. There are so many that I simply don't recognise them all. Of most use to me and many other people will be the micro and mini USB tips but it is really nice to have so many options included in the box.
Summary
Overall, I really like the Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle. Although not suitable for everybody, if you are looking to store large amounts of power for later use then you should definitely consider it. It certainly isn't perfect and I did encounter a few niggling issues in my testing though.
For example, the DC in to charge the Pcastle and the DC out to power your devices are identical connectors positioned next to each other on the top of the unit with no clear labelling. Inevitably, this leads to fumbling about trying to find the right one.
The Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26 000mAh
The Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle 26,000mAh
Additionally, the plastic voltage selector switch is hard to move and feels much cheaper than the rest of the unit. I can't imagine the rubber feet on the base will stay around for long as they are stuck on with what seems to be very weak glue and move when placed on a surface.
These complaints aside, the Pcastle could power pretty much anything many times over. The wealth of charging tips provided means you won't need to buy extras to charge your devices and the attractive aluminium finish adds a certain element of class and style to what would otherwise be a rather dull unit. If you need a huge external power bank to rely on in emergencies, look no further than the Intocircuit Power Bank Pcastle.
More about intocircuit, Power, Bank, pcastle, Battery
 
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