Traveling often involves bringing along multiple devices, such as a smartphone, tablet, and laptop. However, access to a wall outlet may not always be available to charge these devices. This is why it’s important to add a power bank to your pack. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which power bank best suits your needs. Factors such as various charging specs, different ports, and included cables should all be considered before making a purchase.
To help with the decision-making process, PCWorld has tested and reviewed numerous power banks from different manufacturers across various price points and specifications. The curated list of favorites ensures that consumers can find the best value based on their specific needs. The recommendations provided have been thoroughly evaluated and tested by the PCWorld staff.
For travelers who require more substantial power to off-grid or during an emergency, there are recommendations for the best power stations. Updated in 11/22/2023, the review includes a hybrid power bank capable of charging laptops, the Anker 521 PowerCore Fusion 45W, which offers a 5,000mAh capacity and can also charge MacBooks and other thin-and-light laptops, as well as USB devices like phones, tablets, and earbuds.
The Anker 511 PowerCore Fusion 5K is recommended as the best budget USB-C power bank. It features a slim, compact size and serves as both a battery and a wall charger, although it takes up the entire wall outlet when used as a charger. Meanwhile, the PowerCore Fusion 5000 2-in-1 Portable Charger and Wall Charger, also from Anker, is ideal for devices using USB Type-A cables and can be recharged via a power outlet or MicroUSB port.
For a more stylish option with above-average efficiency, the Einova Laptop Power Bank is recommended. Its fabric-clad body, discreet battery-status display, and three USB ports, including one USB-C port, add flair to everyday carry.
In the realm of power stations, the RAVPower Portable Power Station 252.7Wh Power House is a top recommendation. It offers a small form factor, plenty of ports, and comes with a case and built-in flashlight, making it great for quick trips and off-grid adventures.
When it comes to testing power banks, PCWorld utilizes advanced equipment to ensure accurate and thorough testing. Factors such as battery capacity, efficiency, recharge time, and charging standard support are all carefully evaluated. Recommendations for choosing a portable power bank are also provided, including tips on what to look for and what to consider when evaluating a battery pack’s capabilities.
Finally, a FAQ section provides additional information on power banks, including the devices that can be charged, the mAh capacity rating, and the recommended battery capacity to look for based on specific needs.