Tech Gadgets

Best USB-C Power Banks: Best Power Delivery (PD) portable chargers

With the world moving towards USB Type C ports, it’s now the time to get yourself an USB-C Power Banks. We’ve compiled a list of best USB Type-C Power Banks with Power Delivery (or PD) for multiple use-cases. We hope that with our list of best USB-C Power Banks with PD, you will find the perfect portable charger for your needs.

List of best USB Type-C PD Power Banks

ProductBattery sizePortsPrice
Best USB C Power Bank:
Anker PowerCore III Elite
25,600mAh2 × USB Type A
2 × USB Type C
Check now
Best Budget USB C Power Bank:
RAVPower PD Pioneer 20000mAh 60W PD 3.0
20,000mAh1 × USB Type A
1 × USB Type C
Check now
Best USB C PD Power Bank for phones with wireless charging:
AUKEY Basix Pro Wireless Charging Power Bank
20,000mAh1 × USB Type A
1 × USB Type C
Wireless Chargin
Check now
Best Slim USB C Power Bank:
Anker PowerCore+ 10,000
10,000mAh1 × USB Type CCheck now
Best USB C Power Bank with AC outlet:
RAVPower 27000mAh 85W Power House
27,000mAh2 × USB Type A
1 × USB Type C
1 × AC Outlet
Check now

Best USB C Power Delivery Power Bank: Anker PowerCore III Elite

Anker latest product for 2020: PowerCore III Elite

Our first impression is that the Anker PowerCore III Elite is really slim. No 25,600 mAh power banks are this slim. For comparison, The Anker PowerCore III Elite is just 0.94 inches at its thickest point; meanwhile, the AUKEY USB C 10,000 mAh is 1 inch thick. How can Anker squeeze a battery that almost triple the size in to suck thin housing? At first, we thought they might sacrifice something here. But that’s not the case: Anker didn’t sacrifice anything.

The Anker PowerCore III Elite’s housing is a smooth brushed metal and feels really good in the hand. The Power Core III Elite features 4 USB ports, all come with IQ charging: 2 USB Type-A, 2 USB Type-C. The USB Type-C ports will be used as both input & output. The battery inside is a 25,600 mAh, which is huge, and also flight-allowed. The Anker PowerCore III Elite’s battery took about 4-5 hours to a full charge (with 87W PD input), that’s reasonable, given the size of the battery.

The Anker PowerCore III Elite is a no-compromise power bank. It supports variable wattage charging, that means it can charge from your wireless earbuds to even laptops, and at the same time. The USB Type C ports allow 65W PD output, that is enough to power your Macbook for several hours.

4 ports (USB A & USB C)
Huge battery at 25,600mAh
Can charge laptop with 65W PD output
Quick recharge with 87W PD input
TSA approved
High price
Get a bit hot charging laptops

Best Budget USB C Power Delivery Power Bank: RAVPower PD Pioneer 20000mAh 60W PD 3.0

RAVPower PD Pioneer 20,000mAh

RAVPower is known for their offers of affordable products with high quality, making RAVPower one of the best brand for value products. The RAVPower PD Pioneer 20,000mAh is no different, in-fact, the RAVPower PD Pioneer 20,000mAh is in the PD Pioneer series of USB Type-C power banks: 10,000mAh, 15,000mAh, 20,000mAh. This series of products feature: USB Type-C input & output, PD output; with the same design language. The differences from those products are in the output wattage, as well as the size of battery (and overall product’s size).

The RAVPower 20,000mAh checks most of the boxes: high capacity battery (just shy of little to the limit on flight), PD on both input & output, Type-C & Type A ports. However, RAVPower only equipped the 20,000mAh (as well as the 15,000mAh, 10,000mAh) power bank with just 1 USB Type-A port & 1 USB Type-C port.

But all in all, the RAVPower 20,000mAh is perfect power bank for anyone with really affordable price. Please note that although the title of those products on Amazon does not include “PD Pioneer”, but they’re indeed belonged to the PD Pioneer series.

Best value & affordable
High capacity battery
Can charge laptop with 60W PD output
Quick recharge with 30W PD input
TSA approved
Included USB C to USB C cable
Plastic housing
2 ports (USB C & USB A)

Best USB C PD Power Bank for phones with wireless charging: AUKEY Basix Pro Wireless Charging Power Bank

AUKEY Basix Pro Wireless Charging Power Bank

The AUKEY Basix Pro Wireless 20,000mAh is a perfect power bank for phones: foldable stand for hand-free viewing, large battery capacity, wireless charging, 10W wireless charging & upto 18W wired charging. Wireless charging is perfect when you want a hand-free experience, although we’re not a fan of wireless charging with power banks.

One might look at the numbers and said: 10W & 18, that’s pretty low, isn’t it? But that’s exactly the point. Because of low charging power (both wired & wireless) made the AUKEY Basix Pro Wireless powerbank a perfect power bank for phones. Most phones on the market can only take a charging power current from 15W – 20W. Keeping the wattage down meaning less heat from the charging process, and that will improve product’s life.

Wireless charging
High capacity battery
Foldable-stand
TSA approved
Screening showing battery’s percentage
Plastic housing
2 ports (USB C & USB A)

Best Slim USB C Power Bank: Anker PowerCore+ 10,000

Anker PowerCore+ 10,000

Anker PowerCore+ 10,000 is another product from brand Anker. What makes this product different from the rest is the built-in USB Type-C cable. We found this is a great addition to the power bank as the cable can be tucked-in the powerbank itself to be hidden from plain view. Because of the built-in cable, we won’t have to carry around another cable. This is extremely helpful because often we will forget bringing a cable with ourselves.

The size & weight of the Anker PowerCore+ 10,000 are other points that we really love. The Anker PowerCore+ 10,000’s size is at 5.89 x 2.7 x 0.57 inches (15 x 6.8 x 1.2 cm); meanwhile the weight is just at 7.5 ounces (212 grams). That’s incredible slim & lightweight.

Ultra Lightweight & slim
Comes with USB-C cable built-in & a pouch
PD charging
TSA approved
Plastic housing
2 ports (USB C & USB A)
Looking for the slimmest PD – PIQ wall charger? (with amazing technologies as well)

Best USB C Power Bank with AC outlet: RAVPower 27000mAh 85W Power House

RAVPower 27,000mAh Power House

Last but not least, we got the RAVPower 27,000mAh AC Outlet power bank. This is a different power bank from the rest that I mentioned in this article: it has an AC outlet. With the 85W AC outlet, you can charge most of your laptops (even your laptops don’t have USB-C PD). The AC outlet is covered with a soft plastic cover that prevent any unwanted incidents when touching the AC outlet.

On the side, you will find 1 USB Type-C with PD, 2 USB Type A, and a power button. The power button acts as a trigger to the LED indicators on the top side of the power bank to show current amount of power on this power bank; it also acts as the button to activate the AC outlet. So you will have double the protection from the AC outlet. On the other size, you will find a classic DC input, which is unfortunate, because we hope to use the USB Type-C as an input port as well. RAVPower took into the account of heat when using the AC outlet, so they integrated a vent with fan on the opposite side of the AC outlet. Charging the RAVPower 27,000mAh Power House with the DC input took from one light (about 15%) to full took us about 6 hours.

On real life usage, we found that the RAVPower 27,000mAh Power house got a bit warm when charging through AC outlet, but that’s expected. Nonetheless, the air ventilation seems to be doing great job, and the noise is kept at minimal level and barely noticable. 27,000mAh is also the top limit that one can bring on a flight, according to TSA guidelines.

AC outlet
Very efficient air ventilation
High capacity
TSA approved
Plastic housing
Large & a bit heavy than others

How to decide which powerbanks is worth buying?

We pick the best powerbanks based on several factors:

  • Brand
  • Maximum battery capacity
  • Power current discharge (preferable PD – Power Delivery)
  • Ports (both input & output ports)
  • Technologies, or more specifically protection technologies
  • Form factor – portability, aesthetic, functionalities, level of convenience, accessories

We will discuss and get into details with each and all of those factors so that you will have a better understanding the reasons behind our picks.

The problem with power bank is the market is so crowded with many unknown brands. Most of those brands are shady, with no known source for validation (such as official company website). Many brands come straight out from rebranding power banks from manufacturer in China, such as the brand Q. That does not mean any brands from China is in such low quality, but quite the opposite. Established brands from China produce high quality products, but not just that, they also offers affordable price, most of their products are quite easy on the wallet.

For the sake of our readers, this is the list of known & approved brand that we compiled from several sources, with proven product quality, and most important that they have official store on Amazon.com:

We will gradually update the list as new contestant enters the power banks – portable chargers market.

Which ports should a powerbank has?

Power banks traditionally has 2 type of ports: ones for input & ones for output.

Let’s talk about input first. Input ports are used for charging. The type of port determined how fast a power bank can be charged.

Cheap power banks usually make use of micro USB port for charging. Typically, you’ll see a micro USB port can deliver 0.5A (2.5W) for charging (over USB 2.0 protocol/standard). An 10.000mAh will take about 4 hours to charge over micro USB. The larger the powerbank, the longer it will take to charge. For a 20,000mAh power bank, it may take over 8 hours to charge over micro USB. Let that sink in for a second. Micro USB over USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 can theoretically deliver more than 0.5A, but you will hardly find any power banks that implement more than 0.5A. That is because of cost of production factor. When you deliver more power, you will need better protection technology, licensing, etc. That will drive the cost of products.

What you actually use is to look for portable chargers with USB Type-C for charging, more specifically USB Type-C with Power Delivery. USB Type-C with PD can deliver a electrical current of 5A (100W). That’s 10 times more than micro USB. For example, the RAVPower 26800mAh power bank will take about 4-5 hours to fully recharged. That’s the same amount of time it takes to recharge a 10000mAh over micro USB.

USB Type-C PD Cable

To utilize the charging over USB Type C PD (for both charging from powerbank and to powerbank), you will need a USB Type C PD cable. You can find a USB Type C PD cable as low as $8.

What battery capacity should you buy?

Battery capacity depends solely on your preferences. That being said, there are 2 things about battery capacity that you should keep in mind before buying a power bank:

  • The larger battery capacity, the heavier the powerbank. An 10000mAh power bank may weight between 0.4 lbs to 0.5 lbs (or 180 gr to 230 gr); an 20000mAh power bank may weight between 1.2 lbs to 1.5 lbs (or 540 gr to 680 gr).
  • Most airlines allow you to carry 100Wh power bank in your carry-on. On a typical power bank with 3.7V output, that will be a little more than 27000mAh (there is a formular to calculate from mAh & voltage to watt hour, but we won’t get into details here). If your power bank exceeds the 100Wh limit, you will need an approval from airline.

Don’t buy under 10000mAh power bank, because we find them only last 1-2 full charge, and the price between an 5000mAh and an 10000mAh is not significant.

Which lowest output wattage should you go for?

If you have single device, it’s easy, just choose the right wattage for your device by reading the user manual. Most user manual will have the charging wattage in the first few pages. But in case you have multiple devices, always go for the power banks with highest wattage that your device can consume.

For example, if you have an iPhone X & an iPad Pro, always go with 30W output power banks, because that’s the highest wattage input charging for the iPad Pro.

Most phones support 15W-18W charging, some phones support fast speed charging upto 30W. If you have tablets, then always go for 30W. From the iPhone 8, Apple has already supported fast charging, allow up to 30W with compatible USB C to Lightning cable. Theoretically, you can fast chage your iPhone with 50% more battery in just 30 minutes.

Some ultra light & ultra thin laptops, such as Macbook Air, Dell XPS 13, can operate on 30W charging, but it’s recommended to get at least 45W power bank. Some higher performance laptops, like the Macbook Pro, will require at least 55W.

TLDR:

– Get 18W if don’t need fast charging (although that defeat the purpose of USB C PD);
– Get 30W if you want fast charging or you have tablets;
– Get 45W if you have ultra portable laptop;
– Get 60W for the rest cases

Teleshoppr

Power Delivery or Quick Charge

Qualcomm Quick Charge is a proprietary technology / standard / protocol that is developed by Qualcomm. Along with technologies from other company, such as: Oppo VOOC, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging, etc; that makes the fast charging available to the mass public before the appearance of USB Power Delivery. The majority of those proprietary technology only delivers a power current of 18W maximum.

USB Power Delivery is developed by USB Implementers Forum, Inc, which is a non-profit organization. USB PD offers several advantages over other proprietary fast charging technologies:

  • Maximum of 100W charging (some modifications allow even higher charging wattage)
  • Bidirectional charging: one device can act as host or client for charging
  • Optimize power delivery when charging multiple devices: that means dynamic power level for differenct devices
  • Allow low power devices: so that there will be no problem if you plug a 10W device into a 65W charging port
  • Allow data flow when charging

TLDR: Get USB Power Delivery if your devices support USB PD

Teleshoppr

Form factor: size & weight

As we mentioned earlier, a typical 10000mAh wil weight approximately 0.4 lbs to 0.5 lbs (or 180 gr to 230 gr), and a typical 20000mAh will weight aproximately 1.2 lbs to 1.5 lbs (or 540 gr to 680 gr). So an 10000mAh power bank will weight about the same as an iPhone X, and an 20000mAh power bank will weight about the same as an iPad Mini. So keep that in mind. If you want to travel light or on a short trip, pick a 10000mAh, otherwise, always go for bigger.

The size of an power bank is actually not that important as we find that most portable chargers / power banks will fit nicely in your backpack. You will most likely to find power banks in 2 shapes: slim cubold or cylinder. Choosing which shape is up to your preference.

Power bank with built-in cables

Having built-in cable(s) for charging is super convenient. You won’t have to carry around cables to plug the power bank to your devices. But on the down size, if you want different type of cables on one power bank, it will take more space. And space is precious to power bank. One other disadvantage that we can think of is once the built-in cables broke down, it will be almost impossible to repair or replace those built-in cables.

But let’s face it, those built-in cable rarely broke down, and once they do, we think it’s also time to replace the power bank.

Despise all the advantages of having built-in cable, we only find one power bank (from known-brand) that has built-in cable: the Anker PowerCore+ 10000. We really hope to have more power banks with built-in cable in the market.

Wireless charging

We’re actually against the idea of wireless charging on a power bank. Wireless charging is based on the technology of inductive charging. Inductive charging is not power efficient as wired charging.

The Battery University website stated that wireless charging is just about 75% to 80% compared to wired charging. The Medium’s Debugger made some real-life tests. What they found is astonishing: wireless charging uses about 47% more power than cable. With that being said, you won’t want a mean of charging with that much ineffiency.

Wireless charging also add more points-of-failure to your power bank. They also heat up fast, and that may damage the internal of a power bank.

Howevery, for the sake of our readers, we’ve also put up a pick of best wireless charging power bank. This one wireless charging power bank that we feel that if you must pick up a wireless charging power bank, you should go for that one.

Can I charge laptop with powerbank?

The short answer is Yes & No. Certain power banks can charge laptops, most power banks on the market don’t unless that is stated on the manual otherwise. Most power banks under 20,000mAh won’t be able to charge your laptop.

The long answer is that depends on several factors:

  • Power delivery (PD): PD is ultimately required to charge your laptop. Luckily, all power banks in this article support PD.
  • Wattage: most laptops require at least 60W charging current. Some small factor laptops will require fewer than 60W, for example the Macbook Air (from 2015 and later) requires 29W or 30W charging power.
  • Battery capacity: more than 20,000mAh is preferable. Depends on your laptop, a 20,000mAh power bank will provide about an hour or two hours of battery time for your laptop.

Best USB C Power Banks: 2021 and future proof

The Lithium Ion (Li-ion) battery technology has matured quite well, and the last few years, there hasn’t been any significant advance in both Li-ion battery and battery technology in general. The most promising battery technology is the graphene battery is not in sight for the mass market for at least several years.

Instead we will have technology improvement in several different fields, such as: battery life, battery charge/discharge speed, protection tech, etc.

With that being said, current generation power bank / portable charger will probably sufficiently usable for next 4 to 5 years.

Conclusion

Our recommendations above are our sole opinions about the best USB Type-C Power Banks / Portable Chargers. Feedbacks from our readers are welcomed as we will continually update our list. We value your patronage and appreciate your confidence in us.

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