Review: Anker’s latest portable battery is a perfect, polished powerhouse
The perfect charger for the person that stays on the go.
It’s a common misconception that portable batteries are all the same. That they grimly perform the same task with a sense of generic anonymity, the sole factor of differentiation being the capacity they can carry. As the latest Anker Powercore+ 26800 PD charger proves, that simply isn’t true.
Powercore? More like powerhouse. This portable battery is nothing short of a beast, packing a massive internal capacity, plus a versatile arsenal of ports that will charge anything you throw at it.
Canny readers will have already figured out that the Anker portable battery boasts a 26,800mAh capacity and supports the USB-C PD (power delivery) standard
In practice, this means that it’s big and fast enough to power larger devices (like laptop computers) while out-and-about. And it delivers on that point, proving more than capable of replenishing my 2019 MacBook Air and Huawei Matebook Pro X laptops.
During my time covering consumer tech, I’ve tested a number of batteries from a variety of brands. And while many manufacturers shout about their batteries’ ability to charge laptops, the reality isn’t always nearly as impressive. Many deliver juice as a trickle, causing my laptop to deliver the dreaded “battery charging slowly” warning.
This charger is different. The Anker Powercore+ 26800 PD delivers 45 watts of power through its built-in USB-C PD port, which is on par with what you’d get with many standard wall chargers. The power adapter supplied with my MacBook Air, for example, is only rated to 30 watts.
And honestly, as someone who regularly travels for work, this performance is welcome. I spend a lot of time sat in economy-class purgatory, often with a near-dead laptop and no in-seat power ports to save the day. The ability to faithfully replicate the performance of a standard wall outlet, therefore, is hugely helpful.
The Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD comes with two 15W USB-A ports, which are more than adequate for recharging smaller devices, like e-cigarettes, tablets, and phones
That said, if your phone supports one of the newer USB-C fast charging standards, like Qualcomm’s CQ 4.1, you’re probably best using the smaller USB-C port.
One thing this charger does extremely well is thermal management. Unlike some of the cheaper units I’ve tested in the past, Anker’s latest doesn’t feel perceptibly warm while powering more energy-intensive devices, like laptops.
Another problem faced when using portable batteries is the excruciatingly slow time it takes to recharge them from empty. This issue is particularly noticeable on high-capacity batteries, where recharging can often take longer than 24 hours to complete.
Fortunately, the Powercore+ 26800 PD itself can be charged via its built-in USB-C PD port in just 3.5 hours. Of course, to take advantage of that, you need a compatible power adaptor. The unit being reviewed includes a 60W Anker PD charger, saving you from having to buy one separately. And that’s handy, because these regularly cost between $30 and $60 on Amazon.
It’s hard to wax lyrical about portable batteries, because they’re so fundamentally utilitarian. Unlike the latest smartphone, they’re unlikely to make your heart go aflutter with excitement.
That said, I really like Anker’s latest charger and it affirms my decision to recommend them above any other brand to family and friends. This model comes with oodles of accessories (like a wall charger, USB-C to USB-C cable, and travel pouch) and performs like a trooper.
The biggest problem is the price, which many find a bit hard to swallow. At $140, this model is undeniably expensive, especially compared to other products within Anker’s repertoire, and indeed, from other brands.
That notwithstanding, the Anker Powercore+ 26800 PD is an undeniably premium product. Punters who get this are effectively paying for the performance and polish it carries. If you can afford it, you should buy it.
A sample was provided to KnowTechie for the purpose of this review.
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