Powertraveller Mini-G: great robust battery for outdoors powering of two 5V devices at once
Powertraveller is renewing its robust Li-Ion battery range that is suitable for any type of environment. It released an upgrade to the Powergorilla, making this device 24,000mAh strong instead of the 22,000mAh older models were capable of. The recent release of the brand new Mini-G that is rated at 12,000mAh is the start of a flatter, more lightweight and newly designed offering.
The Mini-G is about half the size of the Powergorilla (190 x 110 x 18 mm), but is capable of charging two USB 5V devices simultaneously, with one of the two allowed to draw up to 2 amps, which should be enough for an iPad, for example. It can also serve as a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for a MacBook — powering the laptop while charging from the mains or a Solargorilla itself.
As it has a very small footprint, the Mini-G is a great device to have with you if you’re shooting video or audio outdoors and don’t want to drag kilograms of battery with you just to keep a few cameras going.
The Mini-G charger has a rubberised surface. It comes in a box with a whole set of converter tips and cables, but no storage case of pouch as the older models come with. That’s not insurmountable, but if you care about keeping the unit clean and scratch-free, I doubt if the rubberised surface on its own will perform well enough.
The Mini-G features multi-voltage technology with DC output settings of 12V, 16V and 19V. These outputs enable the Mini-G to charge more powerful electronics such as tablets, DSLRs and netbooks. There’s a nice LCD screen that indicates the chosen voltage, so you can’t go wrong on voltage.
With the Mini-G connected via the included 19V universal AC mains charger and the voltage set to 19V output, if the power supply from the electrical wall socket is interrupted, the Mini-G will stay permanently on.
It is also possible to charge both the unit via the AC mains supply and a device from the outputs simultaneously.
I tested the Mini-G with the GoPro HERO 5 on location. The unit weighs only some 350gr, so I could position it anywhere I wanted. The form factor was the only limiting factor here. However, the Mini-G is flat enough to be stuck in tight places. I managed to fix it to a QR-plate using velcro strips and a 430mm long cable tie. You could do that with the older Powermonkey Extreme as well, but those models have an ON/OFF touch surface that can easily sit in the way.
Of course, with a longer cable, you can place the Mini-G further away from the camera — which most people will want to do anyway. I had best results using a 1m USB-A to USB-A cable with Apple’s USB-C adapter. With that setup, I could even use my slider and have the Mini-G out of the way of the whole setup, powering the HERO 5 for hours on end.
Indeed, after having used it for over five hours now, it still isn’t half empty. Powertraveller claims you can charge a GoPro seven to eight times with the Mini-G, which I’m sure will hold up in court, but I take a slightly different approach — which, in my view, is more efficient and practical. I leave the HERO 5 battery charged inside the GoPro and power the device right from the Mini-G. For some reason that seems to draw less power than charging the HERO 5 from empty to full battery.
As with all Powertraveller’s products I have reviewed so far, the Mini-G is well-designed, robust and a great performer. And with two 5V USB outputs available for power simultaneously, you can power both a GoPro and a sound recorder, for example. The only thing I would like to see is a neoprene carry case to protect the rubberised shell against damage.
The Mini-G costs about €125.