Review: Mophie powerstation AC Portable Power Pack | iLounge

Review

Review: Mophie powerstation AC Portable Power Pack

A-
Highly Recommended

Company: Mophie

Model: powerstation AC

Price: $200

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Jesse Hollington

Announced earlier this year, Mophie's new powerstation AC is the company's latest external power pack, a high-capacity solution designed with Apple's latest iPhones and MacBooks specifically in mind. Powerstation AC packs in a 22,000 mAh battery along with high-speed charging for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X and an AC power port for connecting other electronic devices.

In addition to the unit itself, powerstation AC comes with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging the battery pack itself, along with a USB-C to USB-C cable that you can use to charge newer MacBook models or other USB-C based devices. A USB-C to Lightning cable is not included, so you’ll need to supply your own if you want to use powerstation AC to take advantage of full speed charging for an iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X, although the USB-A port still supplies a full 2.4 amps, so your standard Lightning cable can still be used as well, and of course that’s as fast as you’ll get for older iPhone and iPad models anyway.

We have to admit as well that powerstation AC is one of the more attractive external battery packs we’ve seen, with a fabric wrap that makes it comfortable to hold. Mophie also advertises it as helping to keep it from scratching other devices that it may bump up against in your bag, although it’s worth keeping in mind that the fabric doesn’t completely cover the corner edges, so you’ll still want to be careful about just tossing it into your bag. As much as we liked the feel of the fabric, we found it to be a mixed blessing, as it picks up dust and dirt more readily than an all-plastic casing would, and we suspect it will be more subject to wear over time. Of course, we’re not sure how much we care about those aesthetic concerns for something as utilitarian as a battery pack, but they’re worth pointing out nonetheless. Personally, we liked the look overall and found it a refreshing change from most high-capacity batteries we’ve seen. Even though the fabric design would seem to lend itself to some variety, at this point Mophie only offers powerstation AC in a basic grey/black color.

On one end of powerstation AC you’ll find a recessed power button and the AC power port, covered by a soft rubber flap that is held closed magnetically. We liked this design, and the AC power port is also much lower-profile than most we’ve seen, blending right into the side rather than standing out. Around the corner from the AC power port are the USB-A and USB-C ports, with the former providing up to 2.4 amps of power for standard USB devices, and the latter providing 30 watt USB-PD charging capabilities for 2017 iPhones and recent model USB-C MacBooks. Mophie promises that powerstation AC can provide about 15 hours of additional power to a typical USB-C laptop, and up to 100 hours for a typical smartphone. A button and four LEDs above the USB ports provide a way to check the charge level of the battery pack .

The AC power port on the end is a GFCI-protected outlet that can deliver up to 100 watts of power, although we were unable to confirm whether it uses a pure sine wave or modified sine wave output, although at only 100 watts of power output we’re not entirely sure that’s going to matter for most users. It’s also worth noting that powerstation AC only provides 100 watts of output in total, so while you can charge using all three ports at once, the 100 watts of power will be shared between them. Mophie also includes its “Priority+ Charging” feature here, allowing you to plug powerstation AC into the wall with a device being powered from it and ensure that the device is fully charged first before the battery pack is topped up.

Mophie’s powerstation AC is a solid power pack option that has both a nice design and supports modern charging standards for the newest iPhones and MacBooks. It may not seem inexpensive, but from a price-per-mAh point of view it’s actually quite reasonably priced against other solutions we’ve recently looked at, such as MyCharge’s AdventureUltra, and with powerstation AC you’re not only getting 8,600 mAh more capacity but also USB-PD support and a higher-wattage AC power port for only $80 more. If you need this kind of power and charging performance, powerstation AC is hard to beat.

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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