Way back when, at CES 2016, I had the opportunity to meet face to face with the public relations specialists of GO PUCK – an active mobile accessories manufacturer. They provided me with a GO PUCK, a $79.99 charging kit that powers two devices with rapid USB charging for travel purposes and for review. After spending the past two months on the go with graduate school interviews throughout the United States, I finally have enough of an opinion to cover the device.
Technology is rapidly advancing and consuming our lives. We’ve, in a way, become slaves to our smart devices. They let us make phone calls, browse the internet, and perform menial tasks such as calculations and monitor our schedules for us. It’s a mobile computer, all in the palm of our hand. As technology grows, one facet about them that has yet to make any true advancement is battery life. I know many who complain and are forced to connect their phones to an outlet midday just to rejuvenate enough juice to carry them through the last several hours of that long eight hour work day. While batteries have yet to see significant increases and improvements, here comes devices like the GO PUCK to help try and save the day.
The design is based off of the idea that formed in founder Blake Fuller’s head. Recalling a conversation that took place at CES’s show floor, the representative and specialist whom I had spoken with regaled me with how Blake Fuller wanted to win a prestigious car race at 18 years old, with the idea of streamlining his car to reduce the weight by as much as possible, for speed. The thing is, car battery design had yet to change for decades, and still remained incredibly heavy at about 45 pounds. Fuller and a small team decided to innovate the field and created a battery that was only 11 pounds. In 2010, Fuller brought the same innovative mindset to mobile devices while drafting plans for a prototype lithium ion battery to be placed in a 2012 Indycar. Hence, the birth of GO PUCK.
When I look at these battery extenders though, I look for form factor, price, and effectiveness. Competitors like Anker or the China-based Xiaomi create high-quality products that come at an incredibly affordable price; $40 can easily net somebody a high-power 10,000 mAH charger. I use and carry them around all the time so that I never truly have to worry about power loss. What makes the GO PUCK special, then, and what makes it worth its $79.99 price tag? Is it worth it?
The answer is that it depends on your lifestyle. For a media writer like me, who ties my work down to desktop, laptop, and mobile computing, it has its usages but does not get to take full advantage of the GO PUCK. The real winners are those who participate in an active lifestyle and use devices such as the Go Pro camera line. The GO PUCK allows users to mount their camera onto the GO PUCK and extend the battery of the Go Pro or other such device with ease, and allows for easy travel usage with a handy clip that can attach to almost any backpack, bag, or belt.
The GO PUCK is powered by a 6600 mAH battery. It also weighs in at 0.18 kg, and is a 3″x3″x0.7″ device — roughly the size of a hockey puck. Go figure! It has a 1 amp input with a 2 amp output for rapid charging. With its black and white accents, it does stand out. It has a rubbery feel that gives it a good grip that doesn’t slip and slide around in the palm. The PUCK also has an LED indicator light, that changes between four colors depending on how much juice it has left. We must not forget that since this is an active user’s item of choice, it features shock and weather resistance. All in all, it’s pretty standard for what we’d expect of a powering solution, complete with two USB output ports in the back.
The GO PUCK charges at a fast clip. On average, it took about 90 seconds per 1% of charge on an iPhone 6s, leading to a little over two hours for a full charge from a next to depleted iPhone battery. The iPhone 6s was capable of being charged for me twice. An iPad Air (standard 32 GB WiFi model, Space Gray), charged once with a little bit of leftovers. Charging both devices simultaneously, however, yielded an unfortunate compromise that saw neither device being fully charged.
GO PUCK has made themselves a nice device with a beautiful aesthetic. With two different models, a 3X at 4,400 mAH and a 5X model at 6,600 mAH (review sample provided for 5X), the only question is, how big of a factor is weight for you? The weight does feel noticeable with the 5X, but it’s not a back breaker. It’s unobtrusive and does not interfere with daily activities. It’s a success in that book, but still falls a bit short of its competition in Anker and Xiaomi, who have both delivered a much more affordable price on their products. For those who desire a great aesthetic and a product that will survive the rugged lifestyle, this is for you, without a doubt.
Gamer Professionals would like to thank the team at GO PUCK for the meeting at CES and for providing the review unit of the GO PUCK 5X.