I love using CES as a time to not just get ideas of what to expect in the coming year, but also to test new products. And what better place to test a big-ass battery? I submit that there is none. This year, I went with a 20100 mAh pack from RavPower, and man did it deliver the power.
If you didn’t catch it, that was a Power Delivery joke. This battery not only packs over 20K mAh, but has 45-watt Power Delivery sent over a USB-C port. It also uses this port for input, though that’s limited to 30 watts, which can still charge the battery from zero to full in just 3.5 hours. If you need to charge it slower for some weird reason, there’s an input-only 18-watt microUSB port that I’m sure I’ll literally never use unless it’s an absolute emergency. But it’ll get you there in 5.5 hours if you’re in a pinch.
It’s also worth noting that I was originally perplexed by the microUSB port because I thought it was the only way to charge the battery. I was naturally incredulous…at least until I realized that the UBC-C port is for input and output. Since the microUSB port is in the center and clearly labeled as “input,” it’s a pretty easy mistake to make. Fortunately, it was just that—an oversight on my part. Woo.
Rounding out the port selection is a big ol’ USB-A port that can be used for both input and ouput, which means this can charge just about anything. If you happen to need it to charge the battery up, though, be prepared to do it overnight—it takes an eye-watering 9.5 hours to hit full capacity on this antiquated technology.
Now, with all the fun details out of the way (charging your battery is fun, right?), I want to talk about how legit this thing is out in the real world. And by “the real world,” I really mean “when hunkered around a table full of writers furiously banging away at their keyboards so they can get this story out before their next meeting.” That’s basically what CES is, at least from my perspective.
In short, it’s legit. Like, mad legit. Let me paint the picture for you: it’s breakfast, and the HTG/RG crew is nestled up next to each other at a tiny table at Starbucks. There are three laptops on this table, countless phones, and of course, coffee cups all over. We’re all busy writing and planning the day’s coverage. There’s a lot going on.
Of course, we all need our laptops to last the entire day after this hammer-it-out-through-breakfast session. So Michael, our Reviews Editor, says to me “I need to top my laptop off. Do you have that battery with you?” Yessir, you’re damn right I do. I pull the RavPower battery out and hand it to him. He tops his laptop off over the next, I dunno, half-hour or so, then gives it back.
But guess what? I’ve also been draining my laptop’s precious life juice for half the morning, so instead of putting the battery back in my bag, it just goes straight into my Pixelbook. Bam, now we’re working with power. (As an aside, I’d like to point out that not all portable batteries work with Chromebooks for some stupid reason, so shout out to RavPower for one that actually does).
Now that I’m topped off, we’re ready to roll. Meetings across various hotels in Las Vegas and a partial day at the Convention Center are in store for us. So after the first couple of meetings, I’m starting to get battery anxiety—my Pixel 4 XL is dipping below 50 percent, and it’s only 1:00 PM. Boy, this thing needs to last until at least 11:00 PM. Not gonna happen.
So out comes the RavPower battery (and a you-could-kill-someone-with-it Kevlar USB-C cable from Nomad), ready to juice up my phone. The battery goes back into my backpack with the cable leading into my pocket where my phone resides. Ah, that life-affirming USB cable into the pocket.
My phone hits full a short time later, the USB-C cable goes back into the bag, and we’re rolling on for the rest of the day. At this point my phone is full, the laptop is ready to go, and the battery still has plenty of juice to spare. Should one of my colleagues need some of that precious, precious power, I’m here for it.
Now, all that is to say one thing: if you’re looking for a kick-ass battery that can charge just about anything (save for the biggest MacBooks) and won’t break the bank, this RavPower battery is where it’s at. If it got me and my crew through CES, then it should be able to get you through whatever you can throw at it, too.
Here’s What We Like
- 45-watt USB-C PD charging for high-power devices
- USB-C input and output
- USB-A for charging non-USB-C devices
And What We Don't
- It's a big ol' hunk of battery, but what can you do
- The microUSB port labeled exclusively as "input" is a bit confusing at first