In­to­cir­cuit Power Castle PC13000 and PC15000

Tech Advisor - - CONTENTS - Marie Brewis

Larger-ca­pac­ity, up­graded ver­sions of the PC Ad­vi­sor Rec­om­mended PC11200, the In­to­cir­cuit Power Castle just got even bet­ter with the PC13000 and PC15000 power banks, which are ideal emer­gency charg­ers for your phone or tablet away from the mains.

These two power banks are iden­ti­cal to each other in ev­ery way other than their price, ca­pac­ity and weight. With one rated at 13,000mAh ca­pac­ity (ex­pect around 70 per­cent ef­fi­ciency, so 9100mAh) and the other 15,000mAh (10,500mAh), you’re talk­ing about a dif­fer­ence of whether you can charge your iPhone 5s six- or seven times.

Both mea­sur­ing 128x71x22m­m, the up­graded Power Cas­tles are just a cou­ple of cen­time­tres longer than the older PC11200, match­ing its width and depth. And they’re not much heav­ier ei­ther, at 308g for the PC13000 and 323g for the PC15000 (the PC11200 weighs 280g). With just £3 be­tween them, whether you buy the £26 PC13000 or £29 PC15000 will come down to your bud­get and how much emer­gency bat­tery power you re­quire.

These up­graded mod­els are now faster to re­fill, with a 7.5W- rather than 5W-rated Mi­cro-USB in­put. This is handy, given that the Power Castle doesn’t sup­port passthroug­h charg­ing (the abil­ity to si­mul­ta­ne­ously charge it­self and an at­tached de­vice). No charger is supplied in the box, as is stan­dard for power banks, but you can just use which­ever charger you’re us­ing for your phone or tablet.

The faster of the two USB out­puts now sup­ports SmartID tech­nol­ogy, in­stantly recog­nis­ing your spe­cific de­vice and en­sur­ing max­i­mum charg­ing ef­fi­ciency. This port is a fast-charg­ing 10.5W out­put; the sec­ond is rated at 5W and bet­ter suited to charg­ing smart­phones than tablets.

If you plug in a USB de­vice to ei­ther of these ports the In­to­cir­cuit will au­to­mat­i­cally spring to life, and once charg­ing is com­plete it cuts the power sup­ply. The on/ off switch is not used for start­ing and end­ing charg­ing but for ac­ti­vat­ing the blue back­light on the LCD dis­play, which fades af­ter 30 sec­onds to save power.

In other re­spects the new Power Cas­tles are the same as the older ver­sion, and that’s no bad thing. We love the brushed-me­tal alu­minium al­loy de­sign, with curved edges that feel com­fort­able in the hand even for a power bank of this size. Not that the pair are large for high­ca­pac­ity power banks, although you won’t want to carry them in a pocket. They feel sturdy, too, but the 12-month war­ranty is re­as­sur­ing.

Our favourite fea­ture, though, is the afore­men­tioned LCD dis­play. This is a rare find in the ma­jor­ity of cheap power banks, and in­cred­i­bly use­ful. Whereas most such de­vices use a quar­tet of LEDs to es­ti­mate how much power re­mains, whereby each LED could rep­re­sent a chunk as large as 6000mAh, with the Power Castle’s LCD panel you know ex­actly how much power re­mains at all times.

The dis­play will show you which out­put is in use. These ports have their own le­gends, but if you’re us­ing the power bank in the dark this may be use­ful. Also help­ful in such a sit­u­a­tion is the built-in LED flash­light, which you turn on and off with a dou­ble-tap of the on/off switch. Lastly, the dis­play will tell you whether the power bank is charg­ing it­self (IN) or a con­nected de­vice (OUT).


The new In­to­cir­cuit Power Castle PC13000 and PC15000 are nicely de­signed, rep­re­sent­ing ex­cel­lent value and fast, easy charg­ing for your phone and tablet away from the mains. The LCD panel is a great in­clu­sion.

We love the brushed-me­tal alu­minium al­loy de­sign, with curved edges that feel com­fort­able in the hand even for a power bank of this size

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