Packed with games, e-mail, Internet, music, and video, Apple's iPod Touch is one of the best portable time-wasting tools ever conceived, but its built-in battery isn't practical to recharge on-the-go. The Mophie Juice Pack ($99) offers power-hungry iPod Touch owners a stylish and practical means of doubling the device's battery life.
Constructed from matte black plastic with a green interior, the Juice Pack's unique design fits onto your iPod Touch like a case. If the iPod Touch wasn't already so thin, we'd feel the need to complain about how the Juice Pack doubles the total thickness of the player. In truth, we thought the extra bulk added by the Juice Pack made our iPod Touch feel more substantial. The Mophie Juice Pack also adds an extra inch to the bottom of the Touch, obscuring the iPod's dock connection and relocating the headphone jack to the bottom left.
The back of the Juice Pack includes a battery life indicator with four LEDs, clearly influenced by the design of the indicators found on Apple's laptop batteries. Because the Mophie Juice Pack needs to be charged separately over its mini USB connection (cable included), the battery indicator is a handy way to glean how much charge you have left. Fully charging the Juice Pack takes around three to four hours.
The Mophie Juice Pack is the most stylish iPod battery pack we've seen, and at nearly $100, it darn well better be. It also works like a charm, taking our power-depleted iPod Touch up to full charge in the same time it would take to charge over USB. In situations where both the iPod Touch and Juice Pack are both fully charged and connected to one another, the iPod Touch drains power from the external battery before drawing from its own supply.
Our only criticism of the Mophie Juice Pack is its high price price tag. If you don't mind sacrificing style, you can find dangling, obnoxious iPod battery chargers for around $30.