I rarely leave the house without a bag filled with technology. At a minimum, it's a laptop and a phone. Typically, you can add on another phone to that. Plus Bluetooth headphones, often a camera, and supporting accessories for everything. That all requires power; lots of it. And that means I'm always on the lookout for new and innovative mobile batteries to keep everything charged up.
Since I started using a MacBook Pro with USB-C charging, I've kept a USB-C Power Delivery (PD) battery in my backpack to charge up the laptop when reserves are low — and in turn be able to charge up a USB-C PD phone quickly (and several times over). Right now, the Mophie Powerstation USB-C 3XL is the best tool for the job. It's my go-anywhere, charge-everything battery that has a permanent placement at the bottom of my backpack.
Power you need
A powerful battery with the capacity and output that'll never let you down.
This isn't just any battery, it's the only battery you'll need to keep powered up on the go. The Powerstation USB-C 3XL has amazing 45W power output for your laptop, while also offering standard USB-A for your phone without any compromise. The capacity is big enough to easily charge up your laptop and phone with power to spare, and it has a robust and stylish case.
- 45W USB-C PD output
- 45W USB-C PD input for quick recharges
- Fantastic build quality
- 2-year warranty
- Incredibly expensive
- Fabric covering will fade over time
- Only two power outputs
I recognize that a battery of this size is complete overkill if all you need to charge is phones, or even tablets, while you're away from wall outlets. But if you have a laptop, 26000mAh is right in the sweet spot. It's enough capacity to fully recharge my 13-inch MacBook Pro while in use, meaning it can easily top up a laptop while also giving a full charge to a phone over its USB-A port at 5V/2.4A. It even has just enough output to maintain a 15-inch MacBook Pro with dedicated GPU during heavy video editing.
It simply provides peace of mind knowing my laptop won't die for the entire day.
Moreover, the capacity simply provides peace of mind to know you always have an ample amount of capacity left even when you've been using it off and on throughout the day. I regularly go on overnight trips and bring just this battery and a standard phone-size wall charger with me, and have no concerns about being able to use my laptop for hours and hours over the course of the two days. Knowing I can plug into this huge battery with fast output has alleviated much of my battery anxiety with my MacBook Pro.
The only real downside to this battery is that it can only power two devices at once, while some of the competition offers three outputs. Mophie chooses to use one USB-C port purely for input — and charges up the battery at a rapid pace with 45W — and then a single USB-C and USB-A for output. It's a niche situation when I need three outputs at once, and I'm willing to take the trade-off in order to have this high of output for my laptop (which itself has USB-C for output if needed, remember).
At 1.13 pounds, the Mophie is hefty to carry around. I can easily tell the difference between picking up my backpack with and without the battery in it. But I counteract some of that added weight by not having to carry my MacBook Pro's wall charger for short trips where the battery alone will do. And Mophie hasn't been wasteful with the design here — there's no added bulk, and the hardened plastic case feels solid while being lighter than competing metal-cased batteries (Anker's weighs in at 1.27 pounds) of similar capacity.
It's heavy enough that you notice it in a bag, but the capacity and output are well worth carrying around.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about Mophie's fabric covering on such a utilitarian device, but I've actually come to like it. I've seen some Mophie batteries with this same fabric that have been used for several months, and they definitely start to show some wear, but at the same time the fabric makes it a bit easier to grip and removes the chances you'll scratch or dent a table (or floor) by dropping it.
Look, the Powerstation USB-C 3XL is absurdly expensive for what it is. Mophie has never been a value-focused brand, but one that makes high-quality products at correspondingly high prices. The 3XL costs a whopping $200, which is just way too much for most people to justify spending on a battery — particularly when you can get an Anker 26800mAh battery with 30W output for $130 or a RavPower battery with the same specs for just $80. Both are even cheaper than Mophie's 19000mAh version of the battery.
But right now, that extra money for the Mophie battery is getting you something unique: that 45W USB-C output, on top of all of the battery's other redeeming qualities. If you wait several more months, the competition will probably catch up and offer 45W USB-C at a lower price. But for now, Mophie is at the top of the heap and has locked down a spot in my bag everywhere I go.
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