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 charge a rapid charge a laptop or tablet multiple times. 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 plug your laptop's wall charger into!
After several days of testing portable laptop chargers, we discovered the Jackery Supercharge 26800(available at Amazon for $79.99) is 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. If you're in the market for a battery that delivers the most power for the least amount of money, we recommend the Aukey PB-Y7 Power Bank(available at Amazon).
These are the best power banks for large devices we tested ranked, in order:
Jackery Supercharge 26800
ZMI Powerpack 20000
Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD
Omnicharge Omnimobile 25,600 Pro
Mophie Powerstation USB-C XXL
Aukey 30000 mAh USB-C Power Bank
Mophie Powerstation AC
Ravpower Turbo RP-PB043
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The Jackery Supercharge 26800 has an output rate of 45 Watts, which is enough power to charge a large tablet or laptop. It charged our test Chromebook at the same speed as the power charger. The power bank also comes with a charger and a USB-C to USB-A adapter, which is great because it works as either a USB-C to USB-A or USB-A to USB-C.
The Supercharge 26800 can store over 26,000 mAh of power. Considering it's not the largest battery in this roundup, that's pretty impressive. The metal case feels mighty sturdy as well. The drawback is that it only has two outputs, a single USB-C and USB-A port, which means you can only connect to two devices at once.
The Aukey 30000 mAh Power Bank has one USB-C port and two USB-A ports, one of which supports QuirkCharge 3.0, allowing for faster charging for compatible devices. It also comes with a micro USB port, which can be used for charging. This is useful, as a USB cable will give you extra juice.
Unfortunately, the Aukey 30000 is hobbled by the low amount of power it delivers via its USB-C port. While other devices are capable of delivering up to 60 Watts, the Aukey 30000 is limited to 30 Watts. While it can handle most smartphones and tablets, you won't be able to charge a larger laptop like a 15-inch MacBook Pro at full speed. That said, it'll get there in time.
I’m Richard Baguley, a veteran tech writer who has been testing and breaking technology for over 20 years. I’ve tested and rated pretty much every piece of technology out there over that time for publications such as Reviewed.com, Wired, PC World, and many others.
For this roundup, we focused on testing battery packs that offer between 10,000 to 30,000 mAh of power storage. That’s enough juice to charge a laptop at least once in the case of the former and multiple times in the case of the latter.
We used the Total Phase USB Power Analyzer, a small device designed to record how much power is delivered from one USB device to another, to measure the power being absorbed while the batteries were charging, and then used it again to measure how much power each battery could output to devices connected to it. For our testing purposes, we used an 11-inch iPad Pro, an iPhone XS, and a Samsung Note 8 Smartphone—one-by-one and, where possible, charging together.
Finally, we measured the maximum amount of power each battery could deliver by running them into USB dummy loads. These are testing devices that pretend to be power-hungry smartphones.
What You Should Know About Portable Charges
A USB battery pack allows you to transfer a store of energy from one device to another, similar to how a laptop charger designed to be plugged into a wall socket does. In this case, however, The lithium batteries inside these packs store electrical energy in chemical form, which can then be released in a controlled manner. Connected to these lithium batteries is a charge controller, which is a small computer that controls the flow of power in and out of the battery.
When a battery pack's power reserve has been depleted, you'll need to recharge it before using it again. Most of them don't come with chargers. Instead, manufacturers assume you'll already have a USB charger from a cell phone that you can use to charge your USB battery pack.
Why Can’t All USB Battery Packs Charge a Laptop?
Recently, laptop manufacturers started exclusively equipping their machines with USB-C ports. Where the previous version of USB carried a limited amount of power (up to about 18 Watts), USB-C ports carry up to 100 Watts, which is enough to charge the larger battery of a laptop.
USB Power Delivery (called PD for short) can be used with any device such as tablets, laptops, cell phones, etc. It's basically designed to handle higher voltages in a safe manner. Unfortunately, not all USB battery packs come with PD charging, even if they have USB-C ports.
What To Look For in a Power Bank
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 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.
Other Power Banks for Laptops We Tested
ZMI USB PD Backup Battery & Hub
The ZMI Powerpack 20000 packs quite the punch, as it stores about 20,000 mAh of juice. It can deliver this power at a maximum rate of 40 Watts over the USB-C connection using the Power Delivery (PD) standard. It's not as fast as the Goal Zero Sherpa P100D, but can charge most laptops at a decent speed. The ZMI charged my own power-hungry Chromebook almost as fast as the plug-in power adapter it came with. When the Chromebook reached full charge, the ZMI still had enough juice left over to charge the laptop's battery two and a half times more.
The two USB-A ports also support the QuickCharge 3.0 standard. This can deliver 18 Watts each, which is enough to charge an iPhone XS at full speed. However, there's one limitation here. The battery can only deliver about 45 Watts across all of its outputs. If you're charging two devices at once, they'll need to share the load, so charging may be slow.
With its 25,000 mAh battery, the wide selection of ports, and wireless charging pad, the Sherpa 100PD has a lot to offer. The USB-C port can deliver 60 Watts of juice, which is enough to charge a large laptop. The battery can output over 90 Watts in total, which means you can charge multiple devices at once and at full speed. All of this power comes at a price, though (literally!).
This is the most expensive battery in our roundup. If you've got a flexible budget and need to charge multiple gadgets at once, then this battery might be a worthwhile buy. Otherwise, you may want to check out one of the cheaper options on this list.
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.
With its fabric-clad exterior, the Mophie Powerstation USB-C XXL looks more like a purse than a battery. The only obvious sign of its real nature is the ports and the LED power indicator. This battery is roughly the same width and height as an iPhone XS.
This 19,000 mAh battery can output about 30 Watts of power, which is a little on the low side for charging laptops and bigger tablets. Other less expensive devices can output 45 or 60 Watts of juice, which is much faster.
Unfortunately, this battery’s 30-Watt maximum output means it’ll struggle to charge two things at once, especially if one device draws a lot of power.
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 Powerstration 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.
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.
Not only is the RAVPower Turbo RP-PB043 the cheapest battery we tested, but it also has a 20,00 mAh capacity. This power can be transferred into other devices via its two USB-A ports or single USB-C port. One of the USB-A ports supports the QuickCharge 3.0 standard, which offers 15 Watts of output. The USB-C port is limited in comparison to the other batteries in this roundup, as it can only output about 15 Watts of power. That means much slower charging than the other batteries that can output 30 Watts or higher for a high-power device like a laptop or large tablet.
Because of this, we really can’t recommend this battery to anyone who wants to charge a laptop on the road. It might be fine if you are taking an iPhone on an extended trip, as it can charge the smaller battery at a decent speed.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.