Review: Snow Lizard Power Tek SLPower 7 Charger

Portable USB Battery Features Dual Inputs, Fast Charging

Image © Snow Lizard

If the impromptu flash mobs that congregate around airport outlets are any indication, getting juice for portable devices while traveling is kind of a big deal. Heck, get to an airport during peak travel times and you’ll see grown men and women staking territory around those electrical outlets like power hungry belligerents in a game of Total War. Yep, better get those eyes of yours off my juice supply if you know what’s good for you, buddy. It’s especially important for someone such as yours truly given all the hardware I lug around during my trips. As a veteran of many a cross-country and international flight, my list of travel gadgets typically includes smartphones, an MP3 player, portable gaming devices and a tablet such as the iPad. As such, a power source is always high up on my list of priorities when putting together my travel “strategery.”

Then again, an electrical outlet isn’t always accessible during a trip. Maybe some dude with a Napoleon complex decides to hog an outlet for an hour. Perhaps there’s no outlet available at all. In any case, such scenarios make portable batteries such as Snow Lizard’s SLPower 7 an important part of any traveler’s selection of travel gadgets. Now, through the years, I’ve looked at my fair share of portable chargers and batteries on this site. This includes my longtime workhorse, the Just Mobile Gum Plus or even more unique variations such as the solar-powered Pico Freeloader or the Scosche Boomstream charging speaker. Like these aforementioned portable batteries, the SLPower 7 sports a USB-based charging system. Designed to work with today’s range of popular devices, the SLPower 7 can charge practically any device that can be powered through a USB connection such as smartphones or even tablets. Still, there’s one — or more accurately, two differentiating factors that set apart the Snow Lizard from many of its competitors.

Unlike most other portable batteries, the SLPower 7 comes with two USB connector slots instead of just one. This is great for folks who travel with a lot of devices and don’t want to butt bicornes — er, heads — with the little tarmac Napoleon by the airline gate. It’s even better for folks with multiple devices such as a personal phone and a work phone because you can charge both of them at the same time.

The SLPower 7’s multitasking abilities work especially well with its high capacity of 7,000 milliamp hours — or mAh for handsome devils too lazy to type milliamp hours over and over in their review (I wonder who that could be). To put that in context, the iPhone 4S and 5 use batteries a little over 1,400 mAh, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is 2,100 mAh and an iPad 2 is just a smidgen below 7,000 mAh. During a trip, I was able to charge my iPhone 4S twice, my Galaxy S3 once and an MP3 player once before the SLPower 7 ran out of juice. Charging speed for devices is also quite fast and I was able to significantly charge both my phones at the same time in just a couple or so hours. Another positive about the Snow Lizard is that it retains its charge for days so you don’t have to worry about constantly plugging it in to keep it at full capacity when not in use.

Downsides include a 7-hour charge for the battery itself so just plug it overnight. It also charges newer iPad models with bigger batteries just halfway. Lastly, the Snow Lizard is not compatible with 19-volt tablets. Despite its issues, however, the Snow Lizard SLPower 7 is a solid USB-based charger that gets the job done. If you’re interested in a portable battery with a relatively high capacity that can juice up multiple gadgets, then this one’s worth a look.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Long-term update: Three years after my original review of the Snow Lizard charger, the device is still going strong and continues to hold a good charge. As someone who has seen many chargers either break or start losing juice over the years, the Snow Lizard's performance is impressive. If I had to score it again, I'd lean toward giving it an extra half star given how well it has held up.

For more gadget juicing options on the road, check out our articles on portable chargers.