From the purveyors of portable power, the new Anker Powerhouse II 400 provides plenty of options to support adventures and is ready for emergencies at home as well. A bigger brother to the Powerhouse 200 we looked at last year, the 400 has more capacity with 388Wh and packs some other neat features. Head below and watch the video for a closer look at all the ins and outs.
At $399, the Powerhouse II 400 is priced competitively. The older 200 is still $260 on Amazon and some of the competition from Jackery, a popular alternative to Anker, is right around that same price with their Explorer 300 coming in at $350 and the Explorer 500 available for $499.
Powerhouse II 400: design and dimensions
With a dark gray, black, and blue colorway, the Powerhouse II 400 shares a similar overall aesthetic as the older 200. While Jackery goes for a higher visibility orange and gray scheme, Anker keeps it more subtle.
While the main body measures 10 x 5.5 x 6 inches, the hard carry handle on top of the power station adds another 1.6 inches to the top of the overall footprint. This is different than a feature that I loved on the Powerhouse 200, which is the soft handle can lay flush on the top of the case when not in use, making it much more compact for transport.
Flashlights built into power stations like this aren’t uncommon, but one neat addition to the Powerhouse II 400 is a large, soft ambient light on the back of the unit in addition to a more typical flashlight on the side. With three levels of brightness, the soft, warm light can help light up a table at night, and because of its very warm color temperature, I would imagine it’s aimed at illuminating the scene around a campfire.
On the front of the Powerhouse II 400 is a wide and informative display. On the left is information for power coming in and remaining time until the power station is back to top capacity. In the middle is a large percentage indicator, and on the right the PowerHouse II 400 will display how much power is going out and how much longer it can power that load. Having those estimates makes using it much more convenient.
Anker Powerhouse II 400: video
Ins and outs
Also on the front are all of the ins and outs for the Powerhouse II 400. On the left side is a 12V car socket with a dedicated power button for that output. In the middle is a dedicated section for three USB-A ports, a 60W PowerIQ USB-C port, and a DC input for charging the Powerhouse II 400 with the included wall plug.
Finally, on the right side of the power station is a single AC outlet. With something this size, it would have been nice to see an additional outlet like that found on the Explorer 300. The 400 has only gained a single USB-A output over the older Powerhouse 200.
Another thing to keep in mind here is that this outlet is only capable of outputting up to 300W. So on their website, Anker warns that it probably won’t power things like microwaves, hairdryers, or air compressors. If you’re looking for a nice power station for a van line, you might want to check out the larger, more powerful, and much more expensive Jackery Explorer 1000.
Using the Anker Powerhouse II 400
Of course, uses for the Powerhouse II 400 vary greatly. It’s perfect to keep around the house in case of emergencies, but because of its portable nature is at home on any road trip or adventure. One of my favorite ways to use these power stations is to pack them along when I’m out shooting photos. It’s always handy to have extra juice for camera batteries, drone batteries, computers, and phones.
Recharging the Anker Powerhouse II 400
While charging the Anker Powerhouse II 400, the display will let you know how long it’s expected to get back up to 100%, which is very handy. The Powerhouse II 400 can also be charged by solar, thanks to its MPPT or Maximum power point tracking to get the best efficiency. Anker has their own panels, but the Jackery Solar Saga 100 also works very well for other Powerhouse 400s. The only downside here is that it can only recharge up to 65W. That will still get the power station topped off in the same time as a wall outlet, though.
Overall, Anker has delivered another great portable power station with the Powerhouse II 400. I enjoy the simple and understated design as well as the handy features like a flashlight and ambient light. If you need more than 300W at any given time, you’ll want to look at a bigger unit like the Explorer 500 or 1000 from Jackery, but for most situations, I imagine the 400 will suffice.
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