You probably own at least one USB battery pack to keep your phone and tablet charged up during long trips, but what about AC-powered electronics like your laptop, or your camera battery? As it turns out, there’s a battery pack that can charge those too, if you can find space in your bag.
RAVPower’s new 27,000mAh battery pack includes the USB and USB-C ports you’ve come to expect, but also a 100W AC plug glommed onto the side. 100W isn’t going to power like, a microwave, but it should be sufficient for most laptop power supplies, and it’s a bit more powerful than the 85W outlets that you see on the few competing products that exist.
Now, let’s get the obvious out of the way. This thing is big. Like, really big. I didn’t have a banana for scale, but here it is next to my iPhone 7 Plus.
It also weighs 1.9 pounds, which doesn’t sound like that much, but you’ll definitely feel it in your bag.
And speaking of bags, you won’t want to keep it inside one while you’re using the AC outlet, because it has a vent and a surprisingly loud cooling fan that kicks on after a few minutes of AC outlet use.
Most annoyingly, you’ll also need to carry around a 3-prong to 2-prong outlet adapter for most laptop chargers, as the battery pack isn’t thick enough to accomodate a grounded outlet. Luckily, it ships with a carrying case with some extra space, so that shouldn’t be a deal killer.
That’s not to diminish what RAVPower’s done here. These are all understandable and necessary compromises for attaching a 110V outlet to a portable battery, and if you’re willing to put up with them, it really does work as advertised.
I charged my 2015, 13" MacBook Pro (74.9 watt-hours) from 0-100% as fast as I would have from a regular outlet, and still had a little bit of juice left to spare. I shouldn’t have to tell you that in certain scenarios, that would be an incredible convenience, and well worth the bulk. Personally, I don’t encounter those situations often enough to justify the $170 price tag, but if you do, then sure, go ahead and buy this thing.
Update 8/4/17: We also checked out the 20100mAh version, which depending on the layout of your bag may be easier to deal with. Still needs a power adapter though.