At a glance
– Hybrid battery and wall charger
– Capable of powering a laptop
– A touch heavy—not as comfortable to pocket
The Anker 521 PowerCore Fusion 45W is the kind of hybrid power bank you want with you on the road—it’ll power most devices, including a thin, lightweight laptop. (Yes, even MacBooks.) And it takes minimal space in your bag.
I’m a big fan of hybrid power banks—you’re covered whether you’re near or far from an outlet. But while I like lighter pocketable models when roaming close to home, I prefer a beefier version for traveling with a laptop. I can keep a phone topped up as I’m on go and then charge the laptop at my destination. The Anker 521 PowerCore Fusion handles both jobs well while taking minimal space.
Further reading: See our roundup of the best portable power banks. Go there for details on competing products and our testing methods.
Anker 521 PowerCore Fusion specs and design
Like Anker’s other power banks, the 521 has a straightforward design. Shaped like a (mostly) square brick, it has two USB-C ports at the front and a set of charging prongs at the back. On the left side is a circular button with four indicator lights. Each light represents 25 percent of the battery life; when recharging the power bank, the lights all turn solid upon reaching 100 percent charge.
Inside is a 5,000mAh battery offering 18Wh of power. When using the battery, the USB-C ports can deliver a max of 20 watts (9V/2.22A). They also support 5V/3A (15W) charging. Total output is capped at 5V/3.6A. Anker says the battery’s capacity will remain at 90 percent after 500 charge cycles. This power bank comes with a two-year limited warranty.
The Anker 521 FusionCore is a solid, affordable addition to a travel or business bag.
This power bank is also rated as a 45 watt charger. It supports 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/3A, and 20V/2.25A charging, making it as compatible with laptops (primarily the thin-and-light variety) as tablets and phones. It’s also compatible with the Nintendo Switch.
This power bank is relatively small, though dense. It measures 2.79 × 2.34 × 1.22 inches (7.1 x 5.9 x 3.1 cm) and weighs 7.04 ounces (200g). The black version has a matte finish which is unfortunately not resistant to scuffs. Despite careful handling during the review, my sample unit already has visible light wear. You can also buy the 521 in white and several fun pastels: light blue, lavender, and sea green.
How does the Anker 521 PowerCore Fusion perform?
When plugged into a wall, the 521 can simultaneously recharge itself and USB devices requiring under 35W output. If a device requires more than 35W output, then the 521 will first charge that piece of gear before recharging its own battery.
The Anker 521’s battery is 90.3 percent efficient. (Currently, the average efficiency for all portable batteries we’ve tested is 84 percent.) In more concrete terms, you’ll get about 3,600mAh when charging a device at 5 volts (5V), or 2,000mAh at 9V. For modern phones, that’ll stretch battery life while out and about, but you’ll get another 50 percent charge on average.
You can top up the battery in about 2 hours and 20 minutes. (In fact, my tests were pretty dead-on the mark.)
Should you buy the Anker 521 PowerCore Fusion?
I see the Anker 521 FusionCore as a solid, affordable addition to a travel or business bag. You can pocket it, but it’s not quite as comfortable as, say, the smaller, slimmer Anker 511. In exchange for that larger, heavier footprint, you can charge most lighter devices, including laptops, and you can extend your battery life too. You never need worry about not having the right gear on you to stay powered up. And it doesn’t take much space, either.