I didn't expect to like the Paick Noble Power Bank portable charger at first. It is crafted out of aluminum, resembling an iPhone-sized MacBook Air and certainly looks like it could have come from Apple. I was worried that the makers might have put an emphasis on form over function. For example, the two USB ports weren't even visible, no matter how hard I looked. It was like one of those flying saucers in a 1950s science fiction film, such a The Day the Earth Stood Still, where the door isn't obvious until it opens!
Well, I noticed the subtle button on one end and pushed it. The black translucent "door" opened, revealing two USB ports and a microUSB port for charging the device itself. The manufacturer cites this mechanism as a way to keep the ports clear and dust free, but I just think it's cool, in a DeLorean or classic gull-wing Mercedes kind of way!
There are also LEDs behind that black door that indicate how much juice is left. The door itself even has a touch sensitive button to turn on the power.
Despite the compact form factor, the Paick Noble stores 6000mAh of power, enough for my iPad Air, which is being charged by the unit as I write this. While I appreciate chargers with built in Lightning connectors, it would be hard to type with a charger sticking out of my iPad. The Paick lets me provide my own USB cable, so I can set the charger next to me while I type.
A battery pack is necessary given that I tend to use my iOS devices more than their internal batteries will allow. Such chargers used to be an important but boring piece of equipment. Paick proves they can be as stylish as the gadgets they power!