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In the last few years, one product category has quietly become one of the most important in our daily lives: portable power banks. Also referred to as USB battery packs, power banks provide our smartphones and other mobile devices with a much-needed midday charge. For the most part, you're stuck using a charging cable in tandem with a power bank, but what if you could cut the cord there too? The LUXA2 TX-P2 10,000mAh Wireless Power Bank lets you do that through the power of Qi. And it improves on its predecessor in just about every way.

A Bigger, Badder Wireless Power Bank

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The main idea behind the TX-P2 from LUXA2 Thermaltake Mobile, announced in late February, is not completely novel and unique. Indeed, the company already had the TX-P1 as part of its product line. The core functionality remains unchanged: you get a portable power bank with an integrated Qi wireless charging mat. However, there several changes and improvements worth noting.

The most obvious is the change in color from silver to black, but it's the differences under the hood that are more important. Yes, even more important than the included "dual function" elastic that can serve as a wristband or to hold your charging smartphone in place.

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First, the capacity has been doubled. The original TX-P1 has a capacity of 5,000mAh, while the not-much-larger TX-P2 boasts 10,000mAh of portable power. Not accounting for efficiency losses, that should be enough to charge most phones about four times. Second, the USB output has been upgraded from a 1A port to a 2.1A port, making for faster wired charges. And yes, you can use the USB charger at the same time as the Qi charger.

Another big difference is that you couldn't use the TX-P1 as a regular Qi charging mat before. The architecture was such that you'd just end up draining the battery, even if it were connected to a power source. With the TX-P2, you can charge your smartphone via Qi while the TX-P2 is connected to a wall outlet or your computer's USB port. No issues there.

There are a couple more aesthetic changes too, like moving the LED indicator lights to the side. This makes a lot more sense, because the lights at the top of the TX-P1 get obscured when you place a phone for charging. The lights themselves are also different, giving you a total of six LEDs: four blue lights to indicate charge level, a green light to indicate Qi usage, and a red light to show power is on. All said, the LUXA2 TX-P2 does everything the TX-P1 does, but it does it better.

Harnessing Your Qi on the Go

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In practice, it's a matter of personal preference whether a Qi-enabled power bank makes sense for you. If you plan on sitting at a coffee shop and you have a flat surface available to you, it's easy enough to place both the TX-P2 and your phone on there for a quick charge.

When you're on the go, however, it can be a little cumbersome to have such a huge brick in your pocket. The included elastic is functional, but it's awkward and somewhat unsightly. While it may not exert too much pressure on your smartphone display, I still felt a little uncomfortable using it this way. And if you turn to using a regular USB charging cable, the uniqueness of this Qi-enabled battery is effectively nullified.

Beeeeeeep!

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Aside from the increased capacity and altered aesthetic, perhaps one of the more important changes between the TX-P1 and the TX-P2 is the "beep" used to indicate that the Qi connection has been established. The "beep" on the TX-P1 is very loud and shrill, while the TX-P2 has more of a pleasant tone to it. You still can't disable it, which is unfortunate, but at least it's an improvement. I uploaded a video comparing the beeping sound to YouTube if you want to hear the difference.

MEGATechie Back in Black or MEGATechie Weird Wire Cutter?

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If nothing else, you have to give credit to LUXA2 Thermaltake Mobile for taking a chance on products that are a little outside the box. There's the massive LUXA2 P-MEGA with its incredible 41,600mAh capacity, for example. And while so many other companies have portable power banks, you'd be hard-pressed to find one with integrated Qi capabilities.

The LUXA2 Thermaltake Mobile TX-P2 retails for about $60. It may not be for everyone, but it accomplishes everything it sets out to do. The higher capacity, improved 2.1A USB output, and Qi passthrough charging pad capabilities make it a marked improvement over its predecessor.