Mophie Powerstation AC Portable Battery REVIEW
These days it can be very hard to find a power bank that will serve every single charging need you have. Devices require different amounts of charging current as well as different types of power delivery. Sometimes the single port power bank just won’t get the job done. That’s when you look for larger batteries that can accommodate the greater power needs of our ever-expanding list of devices. Mophie is a company I’ve trusted for a long time and because of that, when I decided to look for a product that could keep all my devices charged, I turned to them first. I was introduced to the Powerstation AC.
The Powerstation AC is an external battery that has powering options for all your portable devices. In addition to a USB-A 2.4A Quick Charge port and a USB-C PD 30W Fast Charge port, the Powerstation AC also provides a 100W AC port so that you always have a way to charge any device. It’s a 22,000 mAh battery that can provide up to 100 hours for smartphones, 21 hours for large tablets, 15 hours for USB-C powered laptops and 8 hours for DSLR cameras. It’s a bit hefty weighing in at 756 grams, but it’s got a slender profile and can easily be carried in a laptop bag. The Powerstation AC uses Mophie’s Digital Power Management system, which includes smart charging circuitry to communicate with every connected device so that it can deliver the most efficient charging option for your device. You have the ability to charge more than one device at a time and the LED power indicator will show you how much battery life the Powerstation AC has left. The battery is wrapped with a durable fabric wrap that has a soft feel to it and adds a nice classy, style to the power bank.
Naturally, the first thing I noticed about the Powerstation AC was its box. Mophie’s boxes are quite distinct. They are typically all black with white text and images of the product are embossed on the front and back. There are some basic product details included that describe the device’s main features (in this case it calls out the 100W AC Output, 30W USB-C PD Fast Charge, Additional USB-A port, and Priority Charging). The packaging for the Powerstation AC also calls out typical charging times for common devices like laptops, DSLR cameras, large tablets, and smartphones.
Inside the box, you will find the power bank and then the covering to the accessories and manual that has the words “mophie loves you” printed on its face. While this might seem kitsch to some, I find it refreshing that a product company attempts to connect with its customers so personally. The box contains the Powerstation AC, a Quick Start Guide, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and a USB-C to USB-C cable. The Quick Start Guide is illustrated and demonstrates the different ways that the power bank can be used. The warranty and legal information is also included in multiple languages.
The Powerstation arrived with approximately 50% charge on the battery. My 13-inch MacBook Pro (2016) was in need of some power and I wasn’t near an outlet so I plugged it into the power bank. I did attempt to plug it into the USB-C port using the provided USB-C/USB-C cable, but given that only outputs 30W, I didn’t expect it to charge the battery since my laptop needs 61W to charge. When I first plugged it in, the battery indicator in the menu bar showed that it was plugged into a power adapter, but not charging. After about 30 seconds, that icon changed showing that the battery was charging. Once I noted that the 13-inch would charge, I tested the charging capabilities on a 15-inch MacBook Pro (2016), which needs 87W of power delivery in order to charge. The Powerstation AC also charged it successfully. The tables below show the charging times for each laptop.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro was charged off of the Powerstation AC out of the box. There was only 50% battery power to start with. After about 40 minutes of charging, the laptop had gained 19% battery life. After the second reading was taken at 7:26, the power bank was only showing 25% battery. At the last reading, the power bank was at 0%. The spine of the Powerstation AC did get a bit warm (near the USB-C port).
13-inch MacBook Pro (2016) 7:09 23% 7:26 30% 7:37 36% 7:41 39% 7:48 42%
The 15-inch MacBook Pro was charged from the USB-C port of the Powerstation when the device was holding a 100% charge. After 2 hours and 15 minutes, the MacBook Pro had gained 57% battery life. During the reading at 2:11, we took a temperature reading using an infrared thermometer. Just above the USB-C port, it was 92 degrees and at the end of the spine, just above the Mophie logo, it was 80 degrees. This is certainly not the hottest power bank I’ve ever used, but it’s enough to note.
15-inch MacBook Pro (2016) 12:10 27% 12:25 28% 12:49 37% 1:12 50% 1:48 70% 2:11 77% 2:25 84%
In addition to these endurance tests, I also looked at the power delivery output current from both the USB-A and USB-C ports. I used a USB Digital Tester to take a few readings from the Powerstation AC when it was charging an iPhone 7, iPad Pro 12-inch, and a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Here are the results.
13-inch MacBook Pro (2016)
USB-C Port 19.50V/1.00A iPhone 7
USB-A Port 4.95V/1.43A 12-inch iPad Pro
USB-A Port 4.85V/2.28A
I did charge the Powerstation in two ways. The first was using the USB-C/USB-A cable that was provided and charging it through a USB-A port on a powerstrip. The USB port only provided 5V/1.2A to the connected device. So, it took an entire night to charge the power bank from 0%. The next time I charged it, I used the power adapter from my MacBook Pro (61W) to see if it made a difference in charging times. I found that after about one hour and 40 minutes, the power bank gained more than 50% of its battery life. I also found the pass-through charging does work when you are recharging the Mophie. The only downside to using the 61W power adapter was that the battery did get quite warm along the spine. Again, it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t touch it, but it was notably warm.
The Powerstation AC from Mophie is a great all-around power bank. It gives you the flexibility to charge multiple devices and the power to recharge even your laptop. It’s a great option for travelers and even though it’s a bit heavy, it’s not oversized so it fits in any laptop bag. I do feel that it’s price is a little high but would still recommend it to anyone who uses mobile devices on the go.
Originally published at macsources.com on May 9, 2018.