Product: For the past week I’ve been using the Justin Case (Ultra-Slim) Rechargeable Power Case for the iPad. Essentially, the case is a folio-style cover for the iPad 2, 3, or 4 that includes a massive 11,600 mAh battery built into the cover which you can use to charge your iPad, iPhone, iPod, or pretty much any other portable device. The case also functions as a stand for your iPad.
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Performance/Features: The Justin Case performs two functions, and thus needs to be evaluated from multiple angles. First, as an iPad case. The product is made of a soft, synthetic leather material. While it doesn’t feel exceptionally premium, it doesn’t feel cheap or tacky either. The material makes it easily grippable and secure in your hand, while not collecting dust and dirt like some silicone cases will. The build quality follows suit and is fairly average. While I didn’t experience any issues in my testing, some of the seams aren’t particularly snug and I can see how extended wear and usage could cause some seams to separate over time, especially on the rear stand. That said, I do really like how the stand functions, securing to the back with magnets embedded in the case, and a support connecting the edge of the stand to the back of the case, making the stand extra stable. I had no problem accessing any of the iPad’s ports in the case, and a handy loop and flap on the front keeps the battery cover securely in place for travel.
As a battery, I was extremely impressed with the Justin Case. The cover of the case is dedicated completely to the battery, making it rigid and strong. Unfortunately, this also adds quite a bit of heft and thickness to the case when closed, almost doubling both. For perspective, held side by side, my iPad 3 in the Justin Case felt heftier than an 11” MacBook Air. However, I didn’t mind the tradeoffs, as the benefits greatly outweighed the drawbacks here. Innovative Technology, the makers of the Justin Case, claim that you can charge an iPhone 7 times off a single charge of the case’s battery, and an iPad 3 or 4 close to once. In my testing, I found these claims to be pretty accurate. I was able to get through the majority of a week using a single charge of the Justin Case, the charge it came with out of the box, as the sole power source for my iPhone. The case finally gave out during my 6th charge, slightly under the 7 charge number suggested by the manufacturer. I attribute this discrepancy due to the fact that while charging, I often used my iPhone plugged in, and the device was constantly receiving notifications in the background, eating up additional power. Similarly, I was able to charge my iPad 3 to about 70% off of one charge of the Justin Case, while it was turned on and receiving notifications.
Although I had only an iPad and iPhone to test with the case, you can charge many other devices like Kindles, Samsung and Blackberry phones, and more, because the case uses a USB port in the cover to interface with your devices, not connecting directly to the iPad in the case. To charge the case, a micro USB cable and AC adapter are included with the product, and a micro USB port resides right next its full-sized counterpart for charging purposes. A series of four blue LED lights are present on the inside of the cover and indicate the charge status of the case, with 1 being almost empty and 4 lights meaning the case is nearly or already full. A small button next to the lights will turn on the LEDs to display the charge status briefly and also turns on the case for charging. Innovative Technology claims the battery takes about 14 hours to fully charge when plugged into the wall due to its huge capacity, and the claim seemed to ring true. Plugging the case in at 1pm, I found that I needed to wait until the morning for it to be completely full.
The only problem that I encountered with the product during use is that charging seemed to inexplicably stop right before my iPhone was full. Often times when I’d plug my phone in before going to sleep, I’d wake up in the morning to find it sitting at about 93%, and not charging, as if the case automatically shuts off before the device is full. Whether this is an issue or a feature I’m not sure of.
Why: The Justin Case is a great product for those who frequently travel or can’t always get to an outlet to charge their devices. The high capacity battery is ideal for being off the grid for long periods of time. With light use, you could probably get over a week’s worth of battery charges for your iPhone out of a single charge of the case. That said, the Justin Case adds a considerable amount of bulk to your iPad, so you should think twice if you’re looking for a lightweight case.