Natasha Drake, May 14th, 2021
Rugged And Refined: The Design Behind the Ultra Fast Power Bank
There are many options if you need a power bank, from hardy power stations designed for natural disasters, to tiny credit card-sized battery packs that give just enough juice to get you an Uber after a night on the town. In our modern, connected world, power banks are a must.
But a high-capacity, high-wattage device that provides robust power, stands up to a little rough-and-tumble, and looks sleek? Einova designers noticed that there wasn’t a satisfying option on the market. If you needed a power bank equally suitable for the boardroom, a long-haul flight, or a multi-day camping trip, you were out of luck.
And so our design team went to work. The result? Einova’s Ultra Fast Power Bank, a 20,000mAh, 63W high-end powerhouse that has enough style and watt power for Silicon Valley, yet is still tough enough for your next trek out to Yosemite. It can handle being out in the elements and still look great.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the smart design touches that make the Ultra Fast Power Bank the ideal portable power station for digital nomads, business travelers, and nature lovers alike.
The problem of portability
The most important requirement of power bank design is easy portability. But lithium batteries create unavoidable weight, so Einova’s first design challenge was to craft a 20,000mAh backup power with the overall weight reduced as much as possible.
(We also were careful to make sure that the battery was safe for your carry-on: airline industry regulations for external battery packs are limited to 100Wh. The Ultra Fast Power Bank easily meets this at 74Wh.)
At the same time, the Ultra Fast Power Bank needed a body that was strong enough to adequately protect the delicate electronics inside. Increasing the thickness of the plastic body would have added protection, but it would have upped the weight. Conversely, settling for a thin plastic frame would have kept the power bank lightweight, but would have been woefully insufficient for more demanding use cases.
And so, instead of simply plastic, we looked to the natural world. We needed something strong, durable, yet not adding excessive weight. That something was linen canvas.
Canvas: light yet strong
It was a brilliant solution. A combination of a plastic frame, covered by canvas fabric, created the same surface strength as a thicker piece of plastic alone would. Imagine a sandwich: the canvas and a thin, strong layer plastic shell are the bread, protecting the delicate electronics inside. The canvas and plastic shell reinforce each other, building strength without adding to the overall weight of the product. In the end, the external walls of the battery pack are thin, lightweight, and strong.
Textured is better than smooth
In addition to its strength, the canvas adds a welcome textural element to the power bank, something seldom found in a tech accessory.
You’re bound to have experienced this before: you need a device. You know it is somewhere in the bottom of your bag or backpack. You reach inside — only to fumble around for a minute or more, perhaps even emptying out the contents one by one in frustration.
Wrapping the power bank in canvas solves this problem. It’s instantly recognizable under your fingers. By differentiating the power bank’s outside texture, the problem of finding the power bank tactilely is solved.
Water resistant and strong
There were other important features inherent to the canvas. In addition to adding to the surface strength, the linen canvas was also water resistant — an important consideration, as the Ultra Fast Power Bank would be used outdoors. The canvas also doesn’t tear. Toss the pack around on the beach, on a rock outface. Slide it across gravel or sand. The fabric’s weave remains smooth and completely intact.
Along the frame you’ll feel something soft — soft as in soft touch. This special finish to the plastic is not only pleasurable under the fingertips, it also resists scratches and fingerprints compared to easily marred, cheaper finishes.
Importantly for an item meant for the outside, the carefully chosen grey colored canvas easily hides dirt. In a world where most tech accessories are black and white (literally!), the grey is a sophisticated and understated alternative.
“A whopping 74 Wh never looked so good—or small. The size of a thin paperback (and weighing just 1 pound), it packs enough punch to fully recharge your laptop, and then some.”
Most power banks neglect to add this feature, choosing instead relying on automatic powering on and off. While the Ultra Fast Power Bank has this as well, we added a specific power on/power off function, allowing you to save energy and battery life, even when your device is plugged in.
Easy-to-read LCD display
The standard design solution for power banks are rows of LED indicator lights to signal remaining battery life. Though this is a cheap and easy-to-implement solution, the LEDs can be notoriously difficult to read accurately. Einova’s solution? An LCD display. The screen displays the remaining battery life in one unmistakably clear number.
The striking octagonal shape was a holdover from an earlier prototype, before we settled on canvas, when the plastic body was originally covered in a geometric pattern. Though the idea was eventually discarded, the unusual shape of the screen was so appealing that we incorporated it into the final product design.
The Power Bank of the Future
What’s in store next for the iteration of the Ultra Fast Power Bank? The LCD display might become a touchscreen, for one: imagine being able to receive notifications from your phone on your power bank.
In the next year, also be on the lookout for limited-edition collaborations with artists. The grey canvas will remain just as strong and versatile, but with a little more pizzazz and colour — a great way to celebrate movement and adventure as we emerge from the pandemic lockdowns. More time on the go and less time on the couch! No matter where you plan to travel in 2021, the Ultra-Fast Power Bank and its groundbreaking design will make sure you’re powered up.