Mophie kicked off 2018 with the release of its new powerstation AC external battery pack. This on-the-go power supply caught the eye of Mac users with its impressive 22000mAh capacity, USB-C PD support and the added bonus of an AC outlet. As the ultimate review test, I took Mophie’s latest release to Las Vegas in my CES backpack as the lone power supply for my MacBook and Nintendo Switch.
A port for every product |
Power banks are a necessity these days, for better or worse, as we try to keep all of our gear juiced up. The problem is, finding the right one for your needs can be a tricky proposition. That’s why Mophie’s latest offering is arguably the most full-featured power bank ever released.
Having an external battery with USB-A and C support is basically a minimum requirement for technophiles these days. But with the advent of USB-C PD, our recommendations are quickly evolving.
Mophie hits it out of the park with the inclusion of both USB standards along with an AC outlet. The latest powerstation covers your typical smartphone accessories along with just about any other gadget that’s in your bag. That peace-of-mind for travelers is well worth the extra cash required for Mophie’s latest release, which sells for $200.
Understanding USB-C PD and AC |
When I initially covered the release of powerstation AC, one of the biggest reader comments was the frustration of its 30W USB-C outlet. Apple hasn’t done much in the way of simplifying the charging process with 29W, 45W, 60W, 61W, 85W, and 87W wall charger varieties currently available.
Mophie’s new battery pack only technically charges the 12-inch MacBook at full-speed, while more powerful varieties are limited to trickle charges. This isn’t an issue on products like Nintendo Switch and the like.
Mophie makes up for this limitation with the inclusion of an AC outlet. Thankfully, this skips any limitation found on the USB side of things and delivers a full-on charge to your MacBook Pro. A full 100W of power is delivered via the GFCI outlet which has a nifty plastic cover over top that keeps things looking neat and tidy.
Powerstation has a feature called Priority+ Charging, which uses pass-through charging to power-up any connected devices first and foremost. This comes in particularly handy during events like CES, which you can simultaneously power up an iPhone, Apple Watch and MacBook along with the powerstation AC overnight. Waking up each morning to my full arsenal of gear ready to go, along with a back-up power supply, sure was nice.
Performance, design, and price |
Mophie claims to add up to 100 hours of additional battery life to an iPhone, while more energy intensive devices like iPad Pro and USB-C laptops get between 15-20 hours. In fact, the fine print goes as far to say that 90W laptops will only receive an extra hour of use when connected. That 22000mAh sure goes fast. In my use case, where I was topping off multiple devices as needed, it’s difficult to provide exact data on how powerstation AC performed.
I leaned on this external battery pretty hard during my flight out to Vegas, as I spent most of the time responding to emails and working on content.
As I mentioned earlier, the battery wasn’t able to keep up with use via the USB-C port, but my 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook did charge fully via the AC port. The trade-off is that you’re adding Apple’s large USB-C wall charger to an already beefy battery pack. Managing all of that in a tight airplane seat wasn’t exactly comfortable.
Overall, powerstation AC performed admirably during my week at CES. I can’t say that any particular feature stood out, but that’s what you want from a battery pack. It lived up to expectations and didn’t let me down when I needed it most.
Any complaints on my end center around the large footprint and hefty price tag. Mophie wants $199.95 for its newest battery pack, which is going to be a tough pill for most consumers to swallow. The 30-watt output coupled with an AC outlet are notable, but with a price that’s double in comparison to Anker’s high-end $100 battery pack with 22.5-watts.
You’re going to have to be willing to pony up the extra cash in return for an on-the-go solution for any device. For most, it’s just not worth it. That said, Mophie delivers once again with a top-grade design and premium materials. Those willing to pay the premium price tag will be pleased with the result.
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