A turbo-charged portable battery which you can recharge in minutes, the ASAP Dash ensures you'll never run out of juice on the road.
Portable gadget chargers can save the day, ensuring your smartphone and other gadgets don't run flat before you make it back home. They're especially useful when you're travelling, using GPS and other features which tend to drain your battery.
There are plenty of portable gadget chargers on the market and they typically hold enough charge to recharge your phone several times. The trouble is that once the gadget charger runs flat it takes several hours to recharge – leaving you in the lurch if you forget to charge it up the night before you need it.
No time to spare
This is where the rapid-charging US$89 ASAP Dash can come to your rescue. It features a 5000 mAh battery, enough to completely recharge an iPhone 6 twice or a Samsung Galaxy S6 one and a half times.
What's really impressive is that you can completely recharge a flat ASAP Dash from a wall socket in only 15 minutes. Even a five-ish minute top up before you walk out the door should give it enough juice to recharge most phones once.
The aluminium ASAP Dash is surprisingly slim and light considering its capacity, tipping the scales at 179 gm and only 13 mm thick. It comes with a slender AC adaptor, car charger and a combination micro-USB/Lightning cable which is handy for technologically blended households. You can also charge it via a micro-USB, albeit much slower.
Put to the test
Four subtle blue lights on the side of the unit tell you how much charge it's holding. Putting a pre-production sample to the test it delivered on its charge time promises, reaching a quarter full in around two minutes and half full in four. From here it eased off slightly, reaching three quarters full in 11 minutes and completely full in an impressive 14.5 minutes – with an auto-disconnect to prevent overcharging.
The ASAP Dash can't recharge your gadgets as quickly but it's still no slouch, auto-detecting your device's requirements and delivering up to 3.1 Amps to satisfy power-hungry devices. It's USB Type-C compatible and supports the fast charge times promised by many new smartphones, although it doesn't support Qualcomm Quick Charge.
Even if your gadgets don't support these new standards the ASAP Dash can revive them more quickly than a standard 1 Amp wall plug while meeting its promised total capacity.
Batteries don't last forever and you'd think those fast charge times might take their toll on the ASAP Dash, but it's reportedly good for up to 1200 recharges – which is more than you'll get from your average portable charger.
So what's the verdict?
The ASAP Dash is currently an Indiegogo crowdfunding project which ends in April, I tested a pre-production sample with the final production units expected to ship in June. Backing any crowdfunding project comes with a certain amount of risk, but the ASAP Dash seems like a relatively safe bet considering that it's raised five-times its target and sample units are already available for review.
It delivers on its promises but once you allow for the exchange rate the ASAP Dash is not cheap, even when they throw in free delivery to Australia and accessories like the car charger. You really need to place a high value on that rapid recharge time and/or the 3.1 Amp output, otherwise you'll find better options elsewhere in terms of higher battery capacity, official Quick Charge 2.0 support and the ability to recharge several gadgets simultaneously.
That said, if you're the kind of person who leaves things to the last minute then the ASAP Dash might be your perfect travel companion – a charger which you can grab literally five minutes before you walk out the door. Even a quick top-up at the airport while you drink your coffee should give you enough energy to get through a busy day.