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Today I learned they make delightfully retro cassette tape power banks

Jul 17, 2023

By Sean Hollister, a senior editor and founding member of The Verge who covers gadgets, games, and toys. He spent 15 years editing the likes of CNET, Gizmodo, and Engadget.

As a ‘90s kid who dreamed of being an ‘80s adult, this immediately commanded my attention: you can now charge your phone with a cassette tape.

Shenzhen accessories manufacturer Remax has apparently been on it for over a year, debuting “10,000mAh” batteries that look like classic cassettes. Depending on the color — yellow, red, or the new green 2023 model — you can charge them up with USB-C, micro-USB, or even an Apple Lightning cable, then output up to 22.5W over USB-A or USB-C to fast-charge a phone.

The $20-$40 batteries aren’t quite as nifty as I originally imagined. While they do awesomely come with their own transparent cassette tape cases, they’re definitely larger than a classic cassette, and there’s no spinning parts to fiddle with.

The original yellow and red models also don’t have a good place to put your charging cable — something remedied on the new green version, which adds pull-out flexible 20W Type-C and Lightning cables while ditching a weaksauce LED flashlight and the micro-USB input.

The reason I’m not instantly plopping down my own $25: I suspect I’ll be disappointed by their charge. While they may nominally contain 10,000mAh batteries, the fine print shows a “rated capacity” of just 5200mAh, and the red model, at least, only promises 300 charge cycles before that capacity wanes.

Still, super cute stocking stuffer, and should probably be good for one full charge of a single phone at a time. I’ll leave you with a brief YouTube hands-on I spotted with last year’s yellow variant — Paul here was pretty impressed with the overall feel.

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