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Best battery packs for students: keep your laptop and phone charged all day

Jackery Explorer 300, Baseus Blade, Chromebook
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

A student’s smartphone and laptop are more than just things used for entertainment when classes start back up. These devices are lifelines to schedules, communication with the school, and getting work done, of course. 

Sure, they are used for mental breaks, too, and all of that screen time will drain the batteries quickly. But you don’t want to be tethered to an outlet to recharge. That’s where having one of the best battery packs for students can really save the day.

Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker PowerCore III 10K Wireless

Best Overall

Reasons to buy

+
18W Power Delivery wired charging
+
10W wireless charging
+
Very well built
+
Extremely reliable

Reasons to avoid

-
On the pricey side for 10,000mAh
-
Only two charging ports

Picking out the right battery pack for your needs is about knowing what you want to charge and how many watts are needed to get the device the juice it needs. Anker makes some of the best portable chargers and power banks, with the PowerCore III 10,000mAh portable charger being one of the top models. 

There are two ports for charging devices — a USB-A port with PowerIQ 3.0 to ensure your device charges safely and quickly, and a USB-C port capable of up to 18W of PD power. The 10W wireless charging pad on the top makes this battery pack even more versatile. It means you can skip worrying about bringing a cable along, or more likely, when you forget one, you will still be able to charge up your devices.

For all this well-made charger has going for it, at 10,000mAh, it is on the high side for pricing. But many less expensive options lack the wireless charging capability. You’ll also get a built-in stand to prop up your phone while charging. 

It would be nice to see at least two USB-C ports to go along with the USB-A, but the wireless pad helps. If you need to charge a laptop, this probably won’t be the battery pack for you — we have that for you on the way.

Baseus Blade 100W portable charger

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Baseus Blade 100W Power Bank

Best for laptops

Reasons to buy

+
Capable of 100W of output
+
The slim profile fits in bags very well
+
LED display offers helpful info
+
Four ports to charge from

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless charging
-
The display may be confusing for some

When you want big power but don’t want to haul around a bulky battery pack, the Baseus Blade is a great option to consider. With 20,000mAh of battery capacity to pump out up to 100W of power from the available four charging ports — two USB-A and two USB-C — it can handle powering almost anything you ask. I’ve been using this for a few months now, and love its portability and the power potential of it.

While you won’t get wireless charging on this battery pack, it does offer a helpful display to show you how much battery percentage is left, the remaining charge time, and the output rate. However, the output rate is shown in volts and amps, whereas most devices indicate the charge rate in watts. To calculate the watts, you simply multiply the volts and amps, but showing watts would likely be preferable for most.

The slim design of this charger makes it perfect for sliding into a bag with your laptop and other books you may have. The Baseus Blade is one of the best USB-C power banks for your charging needs.

BioLite SolarPanel 10+

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

BioLite SolarPanel 10+

Best solar charger

Reasons to buy

+
Very thin and light
+
Built-in 3200mAh battery
+
Solar panels recharge the battery
+
Kickstand and sundial ensure optimal charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Only 3200mAh battery
-
Slow charge rate

If you plan on spending a lot of your school time outdoors, then you may prefer something lighter than your typical battery pack to haul around. You might also like something that will utilize your environment to help keep your modern devices powered up. That’s where the BioLite SolarPanel 10+ comes in. 

The fold-out solar panel is about the size of a notebook when collapsed. It unfolds to offer 10W of solar power generation to refill the built-in 3200mAh battery pack used to recharge your phone via the USB port. I’ve really enjoyed using this when camping because of how portable it is. The built-in kickstand makes it easy to prop up and even hang from my bag while hiking to keep charging the battery while on the go.

This solar charger isn’t going to fast charge anything, as it is only rated at 10W, and the relatively small 3200 cell is likely only enough to refill a phone once. But the sundial on the solar panel ensures that it is getting the optimal sun angle to recharge ASAP. This also isn’t a cheap device, but it is very well built and offers power and portability that many other options don’t

Zendure Supermini S20 Otterbox Cable

(Image credit: Android Central)

Zendure SuperMini

Most compact

Reasons to buy

+
Fun color options
+
Smaller than a credit card
+
Capable of 18W or 20W PD
+
Offers a low-power mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Peculiar port placement
-
The max wattage is shared between ports

For those times when you are heading out and don’t want to bring a bag with you, but still want a charger available — the Zendure SuperMini is the perfect pocketable companion. This pint-sized battery pack offers 10,000mAh at up to 18 or 20W of power (model-dependent). When I say it’s small, I mean this thing is the size of a credit card. So, sliding this into a pocket is definitely a possibility.

You’ll get a USB-A and USB-C port with this charger, but oddly enough, they are on opposite ends of the battery pack. This means that using them both simultaneously could be a bit tricky, depending on the situation. 

Speaking of charging simultaneously, that max output wattage is shared between the two ports. So, if you have a device that needs as many watts as possible — charge it alone.

Anker PowerHouse 100

(Image credit: Anker)

Anker PowerHouse 100

Best with an AC outlet

Reasons to buy

+
Large capacity
+
AC outlet
+
Built-in flashlight
+
Up to 100W output

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Heavy

Since not all laptops charge over USB-C, a wall outlet can still be necessary. For on-the-go power with an AC outlet, look no further than the Anker PowerHouse 100. Packing a massive 27,000mAh cell, this portable charger offers up to 100W of output from the built-in AC outlet to juice up nearly any device. You’ll also get two USB-A ports and a USB-C port for flexible charging options.

Of course, it will get heavy when you have a battery as large as the one in this battery pack. Not so much that it’s too much to haul around, but at nearly two pounds, you will know it’s there. 

You’ll also be paying a pretty penny for this kind of power. But, the convenience that the PowerHouse 100 offers is impressive. Plus, you will be able to recharge your devices with it, and there’s also a built-in flashlight for getting around in the dark

INIU 22.5W 10,000mAh battery pack

(Image credit: INIU)

INIU Portable Charger 10000mAh

Best budget option

Reasons to buy

+
Compact size
+
Helpful display
+
Good power output
+
Built-in phone stand

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one USB-C port
-
No wireless charging

This compact charger has much to offer at a price as compact as the device itself. The INIU charger packs three ports — two USB-A with 22.5W output and a single USB-C port for 20W — inside of a case not much larger than a credit card. With 10,000mAh of battery capacity available, you’ll have enough juice to recharge your phone several times.

The single USB-C port generally isn’t a major issue, but as it is the port used for recharging the battery pack, it takes away that option to power up your phone. However, INIU has found a way to include a large display for showing battery stats and a stand to put your phone in for easier viewing while charging.

Jackery Explorer 300

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300

Best power station

Reasons to buy

+
300W of power output
+
Massive power capacity
+
Lots of port choices
+
Compact for its power potential

Reasons to avoid

-
Too big to toss in a book bag
-
Pricey

When you know you won’t be around a power outlet for a long time and still need to get work done, picking up one of the best portable power stations might be the ticket. While many of these units are quite large, the Jackery Explorer 300 is really compact, considering what it’s capable of.

When I reviewed this unit, I was so impressed with its power potential and relatively small size that it earned a permanent spot in my camping setup. This 293Wh, 293,000mAh battery cell can pump out 300W of power from the dual AC outlets, twin USB-A ports, a single USB-C port, and the 12V car socket. While the display is better than nothing, you won’t find an estimated recharge or discharge time on it.

Power output and capacity like the Explorer 300 offers don’t come cheap, but this kind of portable charger is about more than just charging up a phone and is just one of the reasons to own a portable power station. While you probably won’t haul this unit around everywhere you go, it can come in handy in a power outage or when you want to ditch the power grid for an off-site study session.


Study where you want

Education can happen anywhere; these days, paper books are used less and less. This means you’ll want to be sure the devices you need to get your work done have plenty of charges. But even the best-laid plans can come undone and leave you with a laptop or phone running low on battery, and having one of these battery packs with you can really save the day.

Aside from getting the right portable charger for the student in your life, it’s also important to have the best USB-C charger and a great USB-C cable to make sure that you’re able to use the full power potential from your new battery pack. Now that you have power when and where you need it, that excuse of my battery died will be more difficult to get by the teacher.

Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.