Planning on using your laptop while on the road? A small portable charger might be fine for keeping your smartphone and wireless earbuds charged, but you’ll need something a little bigger to help your power-hungry portable laptop and tablet stay juiced. A large power bank, like the ones featured in this guide, can rapidly charge a laptop or tablet multiple times (of course, they're capable of providing a full charge to your smartphone and other rechargeable devices, too). Many come packing multiple ports, allowing you to charge a number of devices, all at once. Some even offer a 110V AC socket that you can use as a power source for your laptop's wall charger!
The Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD(available at Amazon) seems to be the best portable charger for your large devices, offering the best balance of power storage, power output, and flexibility for those who need power on the go.
The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD
Capacity: 25,000 mAh
Ports: One USB C port, Two USB A ports
With its 25,000 mAh battery, a wide selection of ports, Qi wireless charging pad, and rugged build quality, the GoalZero Sherpa 100PD has a lot to offer.
The 100PD's 60 Watt USB-C port is equipped with Power Delivery—a technology that optimizes charging rates, depending on the device connected to the port—allowing for faster laptop, tablet, and smartphone charging times than many other batteries in its class. This USB-C port is also used to charge the battery. If you're using the battery in a locale where charging it using a USB-C power adapter is impossible, GoalZero offers a number of compatible solar charging solutions to see that the 100PD can be topped off in the field.
In total, the 100 PD is capable of delivering 90 Watts of power. Happily, GoalZero makes it easy to use the battery to its full potential, as the battery pack is packed full of other ways to provide power to the portable devices in your life. In addition to its single USB-C port, the 100PD also comes equipped with a Qi wireless charging pad, built into the top of the battery's housing, which makes charging compatible smartphones and true wireless earbuds a simple affair. Users can also make use of the battery's two 2.4 Amp USB-A charging ports to juice up a vast variety of other devices. With the ability to charge so many devices, simultaneously, it could be hard to estimate how much power the 100PD has left to offer as it works. GoalZero sorted this issue out by including a battery percentage meter in the battery pack's control panel.
There's not much to complain about with the 100PD. However, at 1.4 pounds, it's far from the lightest power bank out there. The heft can be blamed upon its outstanding build quality. However, its weight could be a dealbreaker.
Ports: Two USB A ports, One USB C port, One DC Port
Weighing a little over a pound, the Omnicharge Omnimobile 25,600 Pro is a large battery. It feels sturdy and capable of withstanding some rough treatment. Its feature set includes a wireless charging pad for your smartphone and a variable DC output for your laptop. This is great news for anyone with an older laptop, as they don't typically support USB charging. While the Omnicharge can charge most laptops, you have to buy the proprietary laptop power cable and connector in order to do so.
The Omnicharge’s USB-C port delivers 60 Watts of juice while its two USB-A ports support QuickCharge 3.0m at 18 Watts each, allowing you to charge mobile devices like iPhones and tablets. We had no trouble simultaneously charging a Chromebook over USB-C, an iPhone XS with the wireless charger, and wireless headphones over USB-A.
Ports: One AC outlet, One USB A port, One USB C port
The Mophie Powerstation AC is the largest battery we tested and the only one that comes with an AC converter. That means you can plug a 110V AC power adapter into it like the ones shipped with older laptops. It’s also capable of powering low-draw AC electronics such as radios and lamps. Plug high-draw devices such as a refrigerator or microwave into it and, well, not a lot’s going to happen. You should know that using the AC/DC converter will drain this battery faster than if you were using its USB ports. If you do have an older laptop that you’d like to power on the go, the Omnicharge Omnimobile, with its variable DC power output, is a better choice.
In addition to this, our research found that when charging devices via the Powerstation AC’s USB-A or USB-C ports, which deliver 30 and 18 Watts respectively, fell behind a number of the less expensive batteries we tested, as they were able to deliver more power.
At just over four by two by 0.9 inches, the Mophie PowerStation PD is a small battery but, with its 6,700 mAh capacity, it packs a punch. This juice can be output through its USB-C or USB-A port, which delivers 18 and 14 Watts, respectively. This is an ideal battery pack for power users to use, during the workweek, or for keeping your smartphone powered up throughout a cross-country flight.
As its name suggests, the Powerstation PD also supports Power Delivery, which negotiates higher voltages and power outputs over a USB-C output/input with devices that support it. This results in faster charge times. This battery can deliver 18 Watts of power, which is enough output to charge two phones, simultaneously. Attempt to charge a phone and tablet at the same time, however, and you’ll find that your tablet will recharge at a snail’s pace. Some users may be disappointed by this battery’s lack of built-in charging cables. However, being able to attach whichever charging cables you need to in order to keep your hardware juiced offers significantly more versatility and future-proofing than built-in cables can provide.
The Zendure X6 has a 20,600 mAh battery that can output a maximum of 45 Watts, which is a little less power than some of the other batteries we tested. However, it comes with a 63 Watt charger that supports pass-through power. So, when you plug the Zendure X6 into a wall socket, it can still recharge and/or power any hardware that you've plugged into it with up to 60 Watts of power.
The battery offers four USB-A ports and a single USB-C port. Not only can it charge up to five devices at once, but it also delivers more than 45 Watts to all of its ports in total. Only one of its USB-A ports supports QuickCHarge, which delivers 18 Watts of power, while the other three are limited to just 12 Watts. This means you have to remember to charge high-power devices like cell phones using the former and low-power devices like wireless headphones using the latter. That's less than ideal.
Ever lost your charging cables? You won’t with the HyperJuice USB-C & Lightning battery thanks to its built-in Lightning and USB-C cables. When not in use, they tuck into the Hyperjuice, so their sensitive plug ends are protected. When the time comes to power something up, however, things can get a little awkward, as the cables are only four inches long. This can make it difficult to use attached electronics. Making a call on a smartphone tethered to a four-inch cable is not the best user experience. The HyperJuice, at 5.7 inches tall and just 0.6 inches thick, is relatively portable. You can easily slip it inside of a backpack or purse.
In addition to the pair of built-in cables, there's also a USB-C port. However, the port is designed for charging only, so you can’t use it to charge a third device. The built-in USB cable can also be used to charge the battery. When it's time for a quick powerup, just connect the HyperJuice to a charging laptop and the laptop will charge the battery.
Built-in USB-C and Apple Lightning cables
Can charge two devices simultaneously
Built-in cables are a short
How to Choose a Power Bank for Your Laptop
There are five things you need to look out for when buying a power bank for your laptop or tablet: capacity, power output, ports, and portability.
Capacity: The capacity is the measure of energy the battery can store. The capacity of a battery is recorded in milliamp-hours (mAh) or Watt-hours (Wh). Both of these measurements represent how much electrical energy the battery can release over time. 1 mAh means the battery can release energy at a rate of 1 milliamp for one hour. 1 Watt-hour means that the battery can release a flow of 1 Watt for one hour. Different manufacturers use different numbers for their products, but the bottom line is the bigger the number, the more juice the battery can store.
Power Output: The power output is a measure of how much power the The power output is a measure of how much power the battery can output at maximum. Measured in Watts, the higher this number is the better. If you're charging a laptop that can receive up to 60 Watts with a battery that can output only 30 Watts, it will take twice as long as it would with one that can give out 60W. A 60W battery will charge more devices at once than a 30W one at full speed.
Ports: Ports are used to connect the battery to the devices you want to charge. USB-A ports are large and rectangular and can be found on most gaming laptops. Some offer built-in cables that have plugs for micro USB or Lightning connectors. You usually see these types of ports on older Android devices or iPads. There's also USB-C, which can handle more energy than USB-A.
Portability: Portability is how easy the battery is to carry around. A smaller battery will hold less charge but will be easier to carry with you. A bigger battery will hold more juice (and thus will be able to charge your laptop several times) but will be harder to lug around.
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