When searching for a power bank fit to charge a laptop or console, you need to keep two things in mind: can it deliver enough power to charge my laptop, and is the capacity high enough to give the battery a reasonable boost?
Laptops and consoles will not charge over a standard USB port: you need one equipped with Power Delivery or Quick Charge 4. These can go right up to 100W, but exactly how much you need depends on how much power is required by your device.
The best way to find this out is to check the spec of the wall charger that you use to power the device at home. Ideally you're looking for a figure in Watts, but it may be expressed in Amps and Volts, which you multiply together to get the rating in Watts. If you can't find it here, check the specification either on the manufacturer's site or in the paperwork that came with the laptop.
If your laptop or console charges over a proprietary cable rather than USB-C then you can still charge your laptop using a power bank, but you'll need to select a bank with an AC outlet to which you can physically plug in your laptop using its mains charger. In such a scenario the power bank simply steps in to replace your wall power outlet.
We've put together a range of articles to help you choose the best charging tech for the mobile devices you carry everywhere. You'll also like:
- For charging away from home: Power banks for phones & tablets | Power banks for laptops | Travel adaptors
- Best Wall & Desktop Chargers: For phones & tablets | For laptops
- For convenience: Best wireless chargers
- Best charging cables: Micro-USB | USB-C | Lightning
Best Laptop Power Bank Reviews
1. Zendure X6
A 45W USB PD power bank from Zendure, this X6 has the added functionality of performing as a USB hub while connected to your laptop. And it builds in an LCD readout of exactly how much power remains and four full-size USB outputs, one of which is Quick Charge 3.0-compliant.
Why is it not top of our chart? Quite simply, price. But if you can afford to spend £74.99 on a power bank for your laptop then you won't be disappointed.
Looking a little different to previous Zendure power banks, its softer design is still as tough and rugged as they come. There's a 24-month warranty for peace of mind, too.
In common with all Zendure power banks there's also passthrough charging, incredible six-month standby, higher-than-average 80 percent efficiency and Zen+ tech that can deliver the optimum charge for your device.
The USB hub functionality is supported on two of the full-size outputs, offering data transfer at speeds of up to 480Mb/s. All four USB outputs can also provide power, with one at 18W and the other three at 12W, sharing a maximum output of 45W.
2. Dodocool 20100mAh Power Bank with 45W USB-C PD
Unfortunately this Dodocool USB PD power bank appears to have gone off sale in the UK, though it's still available in the US. If you can get hold of one then do so, because it is a great deal.
It appeals to us because it has a higher output than most power banks marketed as 'laptop power banks'. Rated at 45W it will charge a USB-C MacBook, but also our Mi Air 12 that refuses to charge from typical 30W USB-C PD power banks. It will even power our Mi Notebook Pro, though it can't charge it at the same time.
The Dodocool is notable for a couple of other reasons. First, that USB-C output also works as an input, and if you were to charge it using your USB-C PD laptop charger you'll fill its battery in just three hours. With passthrough charging support you could even charge another connected device at the same time.
That's quite amazing when you consider this is a high-capacity 20,100mAh bank - though you won't actually see that much power delivered to your devices. The industry-standard efficiency lies between 60- and 70 percent, so expect a maximum 14,000mAh. How many times that will charge a laptop depends on its battery capacity.
Second, there are two additional USB-A (full-size) outputs, which means you can charge up to three devices at once. These two ports have a combined output of 12W, so they'll work faster with only one device connected.
So it's fair to say the Dodocool is a very functional device for charging your mobile devices, particularly laptops. Unfortunately, it doesn't perform quite so well in the looks department.
This is a chunky rectangular black plastic slab some 481g in weight and 188mm long. It's not going to fit in a pocket, and neither will it go unnoticed in a bag. It's very large for a 20,100mAh power bank, but laptop chargers aren't known for their compact dimensions.
3. Charmast 26800mAh Power Bank
The Charmast 26,800mAh Power Bank is a PD charger which can power MacBook models from 2015 to 2017 with USB-C charging (it doesn't support MacBook Pro models however). It can also be used to charge Nintendo Switch consoles and Apple or Android phones. At 430g there's a slight weight to it, but it certainly is not heavy.
The power bank has a slim build which makes it ultra-portable to carry in a bag (it even comes with a carrying case) – it just won't fit in your pocket because it's slightly tall. There's also a rubberised coating to it, which gives it additional grip and resistance from skidding on a flat surface.
The Charmast power bank has three charging inputs: microUSB, Lightning and USB-C. The USB-C port also doubles as a power out. In addition to this, it has three female USB-A power out ports, so you can connect different types of cables to charge various (well, up to four) devices simultaneously.
It conveniently come with charging cables too: two USB-A to microUSB, one USB-C to USB-C, and one Lightning adaptor which you can attach to the microUSB head to charge Apple devices, or to even charge the bank itself.
We charged the power bank using a USB-C 18W Quick Charging PD wall charger and it reached full charge in about 3 hours, though Charmast suggests it should take 11 to 16 hours if you're charging with a regular wall charger.
The Charmast charger supports Quick Charging 3.0 too at 12V (otherwise the standard is 5V), but you will have to use the orange USB port (labelled Output 3 on the device) or the USB-C port to charge. Keep in mind though, if you're using the Quick Charge port and one of the standard USB-A ports together, they will both charge at 5V. You will need to unplug the standard port for the Quick Charging port to deliver the higher 12V power again.
The Charmast power bank is a solid option if you want a massive 26,800mAh of back up power. It's slick, portable and charged our devices quickly in our experience.
4. RavPower PowerStation Series 20100mAh Portable Power Outlet
The eagle-eyed among you will notice that this isn't actually a USB PD power bank, but it is a standard power bank with the addition of an AC outlet that is capable of charging your laptop.
Let's start with the obvious: at 69x69x146mm this power bank isn't going to fit in anyone's pocket. RavPower instead supplies a soft mesh case for carrying the power bank and necessary cables, plus a tough zip-up case that can hold it and the required external DC charger (you don't use Micro-USB to refill this portable charger). We also found a carabiner clip in the box, which can be attached to the strap on the case.
There are two reasons for its size: first, it is a huge capacity 20,100mAh (74.37Wh) power bank with enough juice to fill an iPhone 7 six times, a Galaxy S7 4.5 times, or even a 12in MacBook 1.3 times; second, there's lots of clever charging tech inside.
The key difference between this power bank and those that cost a fifth of the RavPower's price is the 65W three-pin AC outlet and 19V/1.6A DC input. It might have a huge capacity, but over the DC input it will charge in just four hours. By comparison a standard power bank of this capacity would take at least 10 hours to refill. Meanwhile, the plug socket on top lets you plug in and power anything from drones and action cameras to printers and laptops, provided they draw less than 65W.
For phones, tablets and other USB gadgets there are two USB outputs: one USB-C, which runs at 5V/3A, and one 5V/2.4A iSmart USB output. There's no support for Quick Charge but both are fast-charging ports, with the iSmart output able tor recognise the type of device plugged in and deliver only so much power as it requires.
To switch from USB power to the AC outlet you simply press and hold the power button for three seconds to turn it on. This power button can also be tapped to show how full is the power bank, with five LEDs in a strip around its belly each representing 20 percent, or 4,020mAh.
In reality it's not quite 4,020mAh, because not all of that 20,100mAh is available to your devices. Some energy is always lost through heat and voltage conversion, and the industry-standard efficiency rating is around 65- to 70 percent.
There's also a 27,000mAh version with a European two-pin plug.
5. Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD
USB Power Delivery can offer up to 100W in either direction. But the 'up to' here is important: this Anker power bank offers 22.5W, which means it will charge your USB-C laptop only if it meets that requirement.
The 12in MacBook (which ships with a 29W adaptor) apparently does, though our Mi laptop does not. You'll need to carefully check the spec of your laptop, or perhaps the charger you're currently using, to see if it will be supported.
The Anker PowerCore Speed offers 20,100mAh of power for keeping your devices going, and as such is a lower-capacity and cheaper alternative to the 27W 26800 PD. But in design - and, of course, capacity - it looks more like the Anker PowerCore 20000, a slightly cheaper device but one with two USB-A ports and no support for USB Power Delivery.
You'll pay £49.99 for this Anker PowerCore Speed 20,100 PD in the UK, or $79.99 in the US. Although our review sample shipped with a 30W USB-C PD mains adaptor (with US two-pin plug), we don't believe it comes with one in the UK. This should explain the difference in price, since you'll pay upwards of £20 for such a plug in the UK.
Even so, a penny short of £50 for a device that offers insanely fast charging - and recharging (in just four hours), with USB-C PD also supported on the input. There's also peace of mind associated with buying from Anker, which is one of the best-known brands in the power bank market.
Of course you won't actually see 20,000mAh in real terms. Power banks typically operate at between 60- and 70 percent efficiency, so you might get around 13,000mAh for charging your devices.
The design is Anker's standard fare, a rectangular plastic brick with a matte finish and softly rounded corners. Four LEDs are used to show how much capacity remains, which doesn't give an especially precise impression when each LED represents 5000mAh.
The power bank is pretty heavy at 371g, which is understandable given the capacity, but it's elongated design makes it feel bulkier than it is. You'll find it more practical carrying the Anker in a bag than a pocket.
On the side is a button that activates these LEDs to show you what there is at a glance, though charging is automatic when you connect your device. You can add two if you like, with two ports found at one end: one is a USB-C PD port, and the other a 10W USB-A output with PowerIQ (tech that identifies your device type and delivers the optimum amount of power).
You can't charge a device a recharge the Anker power bank at once (passthrough charging), though the USB-C PD input means having to charge each device separately is less of a hassle.