We love Just Mobile as much as we fancy all-things aluminum, and both make a great team to bring us some of the most useful accessories iDevice users can ever wish for. Just Mobile's Gum Plus was a cute little battery pack with a decent amount of juice packed into it to triple the lifespan of your iPhone but not nearly enough to bring an iPad to its maximum self. At last, we've got something that promises to fully charge an iPad or iPad 2 and still have enough power to keep on charging. Just Mobile's answer is the Gum Max. A supercharged, hyped-up battery pack with - close your eyes for this, 10,400mAh of sheer power waiting to be let lose on your iPad.
As always we're going to be the judge of that, so jump past the break for the full review!
The Gum Max is in many ways a larger version of the Gum Plus on the outside. Constructed from top and bottom aluminum and a black middle plastic which goes along with the MacBook Pro theme quite nicely as well as the iPad itself. Other than the obvious difference in size - double the size of the Gum Plus yet portable enough to be carried everywhere you go, weight and battery capacity, the Gum Max has all the good features of its little brother and will cost you $110, with the Gum Plus priced at $70 and only packs 4,400mAh.
Just Mobile includes a short charging cables with the Gum Max which are both on the slim size comparable to what Apple includes with current iDevices so you won't have any trouble charging your iPad using the included USB to Dock Connector charging cable. The Gum Max is charged over USB with its dedicated micro-USB to USB charging cable that you'll have to plug into your own wall adapter when it comes time to recharge this aluminum-clad monstrosity. At this level of battery capacity, I would have expected the Gum Max to come with a USB wall adapter for faster charging instead of having to rely on a computer or display USB port.
On the downside, the Gum Max is so power hungry when it comes time to recharge that it requires all the power out of your USB port which some may not be able to cope with. Using a 27" LED Cinema Display with one external hard drive connected to recharge the Gum Max has brought up an odd message saying the Gum Max was drawing too much power and other USB ports have been disabled due to that. This is an issue with recent iMacs as well. All the signs that Just mobile should have included a small USB wall adapter for charging with the Gum Max.
The two battery packs are so very much alike that Just Mobile has disappointed us once again by not adding some sort of rubber feet at the bottom for traction. That aluminum bottom isn't going to look that scratch-free for long and at the same time it couldn't care less about sliding around like an ice cube melting on hot summer days. We like a clean design as much as you do, but not when it means sacrificing form and functionality. Is it really too much to ask? Also, the number of USB outputs for charging up gadgets hasn't increased with the Gum Max and still remains on only one. With such a large battery capacity it would have been sweet to see two USB outputs at most to set a little bigger difference between the two battery packs.
In order to keep you informed of the Gum Max's internal battery state are 8 bright green LED indicators lined up next to a button which when pushed turns charging on and off as well as turning on the battery LED gauge to let you know how much juice is left. I like that Just mobile borrowed the idea from the MacBook Pro's side battery indicator that shines thru the aluminum. The two are very similar to one another. Charging status will be shown via the status LEDs blinking the remaining battery state of the Gum Max.
Finally to test out the Gum Max and reveals its true potential I've used an iPad 2 as the test subject. Before charging it using the Gum Max, the battery was drained completely until the iPad shut itself off from dehydration. Charging the iPad 2 with it being connected to WiFi, push notifications and emails set to 15 minutes while the screen was off, the Gum Max unleashed its pure power and was able to successfully fully recharge the iPad 2 with some extra power lefts in it which was enough to charge an dead iPhone 4S back to about 40%. As advertised, and I couldn't be any happier to find out a battery pack actually perform as it was intended.
Even though the Gum Max was really marketed as an iPad battery pack charging device, it can literally charge any device over USB with all of its 10,400mAh of battery goodness. Without trying too hard, the Gum Max fully recharged an iPhone three time and still had enough in the barrel to keep on rampaging.
All in all the Gum Max is one of the best performing battery backup packs for the iPad that we've reviewed and works just as intended. Striking design that matches Apple's portables, an exceedingly large battery capacity and a good price are what make the Gum Max a valuable battery pack of choice all things considered. Just Mobile does it again, but next time we expect all the above to be included.