The problem with portable smart devices like smartphones and tablets is that they don’t sip power, they gulp it down! Often, after only a few hours of usage, battery levels start to dive well below the comfort level of the end-user. There is nothing worse than being out and about away from that wall charger of sustenance for your device. If you are like me, whenever possible, you keep your smartphone fully charged and plugged in, but sometimes you know that you will be on-the-go for hours, away from the ability to charge. But you can be proactive. You can bring a portable battery charger. But that poses another potential problem – remembering to charge your portable battery. And that takes time to do as well. This is where the ASAP Dash, a portable, pocket-sized battery charger, professes that it can come to the rescue. And I will tell you why.
The ASAP Dash, currently an Indegogo campaign, has some pretty bold claims – that it will charge “up to 16x faster than standard chargers on the market today.” This is something that actually is important to understand. First though, let me clarify that being a gadget freak, I typically don’t support Crowd Funding campaigns. There are just too many really cool ideas out there and I really don’t have deep pockets. In this case, the ASAP Dash team sent me out a late prototype of their battery charger, one that is very close to what will eventually be released. So, my disclaimer – my observations and results may be different from what end users of the final ASAP Dash provides.
How the ASAP Dash Works
It’s important to understand two sides of “fast charging.” There is one side – the charging of your smartphone, for example, where some phones (I believe some Android phones have this capability) to charge a portion of their battery quite quickly but then to get to 100%, it will take a bit longer. Also, for the iPhone 6/6S, if you use a higher amperage charger (a 2.1 amp versus a 1 amp), your iPhone will charge faster. On the other side, there is the battery charger itself. Some newer portable battery packs like the ASAP Dash, have the ability to do a rapid charge. That is to say, you plug them into the wall and they will fully charge in a fraction of the time non-quick charging batteries would, or your smartphone would.
Think of it this way, you could fully charge up the 5,000 mAh battery of the ASAP Dash in literally 15 minutes. To do a full charge on an iPhone 6S Plus could take over an hour. The iPhone 6S Plus contains a 2750 mAh battery, by the way. And some other portable batteries can take several hours to fully charge depending on their capacity.
So I decided to test the ASAP Dash prototype and the claims. The first problem I ran into was actually my own. I have a habit, as I mentioned, of having all of my portable smart devices fully charged. So I had to wait around for the charge on my iPhone to drop. (Obviously, this is no fault of the ASAP Dash which was standing by at the ready.) What I wanted to test was after fully draining the ASAP Dash, how long it would take to fully charge it back up to capacity.
While I waited for my iPhone to drain, I decided to explore the ASAP Dash a bit more. It is quite small and can easily slip into your pocket. It measures 4.8″ long by 2.5″ wide and is only 0.51″ thick. It’s made out of hard anodized aluminum and is quite light-weight and the prototype seems quite sturdy.
On one side is a port for the wall charger. There is a micro USB input port which allows you to charge the ASAP Dash at 10W using a USB outlet. Then there is the USB port that you put your devices USB charging cable in. This port outputs up to 3.1 amps, higher than the iPad charger which is typically 2.1 amps. This port supposedly is “future proof” for devices which may require a higher amperage (like 3 amps). But this also means that for the iPhone 6/6S, you benefit from faster charging of those devices as the ASAP Dash will output 2.1 amps. For older phones, it will output 1 amp. Lastly, there is a power button.
It’s important to spend a second on the power button as it serves two purposes. If you simply plug in your charging cable and connect your smartphone, the ASAP Dash won’t begin charging it. You need to actually press the power button to initiate the charging process. Once you press the power button, the charging begins. Also, when you press the power button, there are 4 blue LED lights which display the remaining charge in the ASAP Dash battery.
I finally fully drained the ASAP Dash and decided to do a non-scientific time test of how long it would take to charge it. Note, I only did one test. Once I had the ASAP Dash showing just 1 light with no power being output, I plugged it into the wall and started a timer. While it is hard to exactly tell when it was at full capacity, I kept pushing the power button to watch the LED lights hit all 4. It took about 14 minutes (granted, it wasn’t “completely” drained – I got impatient waiting)!
Some Other ASAP Dash Specs
The ASAP Dash Indegogo site is full with all sorts of other important geeky facts and specs. Here are a few that I thought were more noteworthy (note: I cannot verify any of these but are stated on their site):
- Many, many cycles – up to 1,200 charge cycles, 4x longer than industry standard
- 3 Colors – it comes in Gunmetal, Silver and Gold to match your preferences
- Included Accessories – it comes with a car charger, a dual USB cable for Apple Lighting & Android connections, and a wall charger (my prototype didn’t come with the dual USB cable unfortunately)
- Customized Protection Circuit Board (PCB) – has a much higher energy conversion speed for fast charge with lower wattage
- Short Circuit Protection – automatically shuts off if there’s a voltage overload
- Overcharge Protection – the ASAP Dash will automatically disconnect the power function when at 100% power. Similarly, if the device you are charging hits 100%, the ASAP Dash will stop charging it.
- Air Travel Approved – you can take the ASAP Dash on the plane
Pretty nice right? Well, my kids think so. I usually keep the ASAP Dash fully charged and every day, it magically disappears when they get home from school and reappears when it is time for bed. They use it to charge their iPhones while they are doing homework. They like the fact that they can keep their phones next to them, untethered from a wall plug.
Having a portable battery solution for your smartphones, tablets, GoPro’s or other USB-charged devices in my mind is critical. You never know when you will be near a plug to charge them up. While there are plenty of portable batteries available on the market, many of these are bulky or heavy, or take hours to fully charge them up. This is where I feel that ASAP Dash has the potential to shine. The fact that you can fully charge up a portable battery in literally a quarter of an hour, and that portable battery holds a few charges for your device (depending on the device), it’s hard to argue against not having an ASAP Dash.
As of this writing, the ASAP Dash is in its final funding round, having raised $24,654 (82% of its $30,000 goal). While I’m not encouraging you to fund it, I do recommend that you check it out, especially when it begins to ship. And, the fact that I could test out a prototype, I can say that it does live up to many of the claims. The final version specs and benchmarks may vary, obviously.
Regardless, this HighTechDad is happy to have a quick-charging, portable battery solution for my power-hungry portable devices. Kudos to the ASAP Dash team for tackling a problem that so many gadget-lovers face daily – the ability to get a quick charge on the go.
HTD says: The ASAP Dash is a quick-charging, light-weight, small, portable battery that will make plug-hunting a thing of the past, keeping your devices charged on the go.
The ASAP Dash is a quick-charging, light-weight, small, portable battery that will make plug-hunting a thing of the past, keeping your devices charged on the go. While I only had a prototype, it seemed to function pretty well, for a time. However, as time went on, it wasn’t really holdling a charge very well. Also I dropped it and the casing came off. But again, this was a PROTOTYPE. So, I’m not sure if the ASAP Dash has fully entered the market yet as there is a new website promised (as of 2/28/17). So…the ratings are based on the prototype only.