Review: A portable battery with USB Power Delivery

by @edent | # # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~139 times.

The fine folks at Poweradd have sent me one of their gadgets to review. This is their 26800mAh USB-C power bank with Power Delivery.

It’s pretty similar to most normal portable batteries – but because it has USB-C-PD, it can charge MacBooks, Nintendo Switches, and other high-power devices! Let’s take a look:

In the box

A big black battery.

Big black battery - larger than my hand.

A weird hybrid cable.
Triple headed cable.

It is USB-A to Micro-USB and has adapters for USB-C and Apple’s Lightning. It isn’t a USB-C PD cable.

There’s also a carrying case, but the battery feels rugged enough to shove in pocket or backpack without any further protection.

Spec

The batteries hold roughly 100Wh of power. That’s about enough to charge an iPhone 6 times. Or a MacBook Air twice. Because of its huge capacity, it takes roughly 4 hours to fill from empty.

It has a lot of ports!

Ports on a battery.

The USB-C port is bi-directional. That means it supports Power Delivery in both directions. It will charge the battery, or power a device.

There’s also a micro-USB socket if you want to charge it the old-fashioned way.

If you don’t have USB-C gadgets, there are a pair of regular USB sockets. Both can be used at the same time for charging multiple gadgets.

Finally, there’s a button to press which lights up some LEDs. That lets you see how much power remains. Handy!
A small row of LEDs lighting up.

For spec nerds (like me) here are the power levels.

ConnectionPower
Type C
input & output
5V⎓3A9V⎓3A12V⎓2.5A15V⎓2A20V⎓1.5A
USB 1
output
5V⎓3A9V⎓2A12V⎓1.5A
USB 2
output
5V⎓2.4A
Micro USB
input
5v⎓2A

Testing

This battery can power THREE devices at once! I had the USB-C slot charging my laptop, the USB-A slot charging my phone, and the other USB slot powering my headphones.

Both my Linux laptop and Chromebook charged via USB-C PowerDelivery. I didn’t do a full load test, but it appeared to be giving out 30 Watts.

It had no troubles powering the Nintendo Switch.

It happily recharged all my USB-C gadgets, and my legacy USB things.

The unit charges via USB-C as well. I left it for a few hours and it was completely full. There’s also a micro-USB socket if you want to charge it slowly. The LEDs blink upwards as it charges.

Because of its large capacity, you should check whether you can take it on an aeroplane. Current rules suggest it is suitable for carry-on luggage.

Verdict

For £25 on Amazon you get a lot of battery. It is big and heavy – but that’s a limitation of the technology. There’s no PD cable included, but you probably already have one if you have a lot of gadgets.

The USB-C Power Delivery is a game-changer. You can take this battery with you and be sure it will charge even the most demanding of devices.

5 thoughts on “Review: A portable battery with USB Power Delivery

  1. James says:

    Interesting! It looks exactly like an Anker product but a fraction of the price

  2. Chris says:

    Pretty good but 30W max is quite a low wattage for today’s laptops. (Looks perfect for your use case however).


  3. Daniel Grey says:

    I don’t need it but I definitely want it. To have a PD power brick that can actually provide a decent current is nice. Wonder if it supports the higher Huawei charging standards fully.

  4. Stephen says:

    Does it support pass-through charging?

    In other words, if you’re using the micro-USB out and (dis-)connect the battery from/to a charger, does the output of the battery cut out?

    1. @edent says:

      It appears to support it. I had some devices plugged in, and the battery plugged into the wall. My devices charged. I can’t accurately measure if the battery is charging while doing so – but I suspect once the peripherals are charged, the battery will continue to charge.

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