On my article about working with the Surface Go, I found issue with using regular power bank that is insufficient to charge the Surface Go, to the point that it could throttle the processor when going below 20%. So right after I wrote that article, I went on to search for a power bank that support USB-C PD (Power Delivery).
However, not many power bank is up to the criteria that I needed. The first and foremost requirement is the size must be reasonable, as I’ll be taking it around along with the Surface Go, so anything beyond 20,000 mAh is out of question.
Another thing is, I’m looking for a more well-known brand, so I avoid generic power bank that has unknown brand name. This means I’ll be looking for the likes of Anker, Aukey and other reputable company in this space. I also wanted to be able to charge the Surface Go at full speed, so the USB-C PD must be able to output at least 24W.
The first candidates is the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD, which support 24W output. It’s a good candidate as I’m a fan of Anker power bank and have owned several of their products over the years. There is also an identical Nintendo Switch edition which also available in the smaller 13,400 mAh variant, but those appear to be in high demand.
Some other options I found, includes the ZeroLemon JuiceBox 20100 mAh that support a whooping 45W output, the Zendure A6PD 20100 mAh also with 45W output and finally, the Mophie Powerstation USB-C XXL with maximum 30W output.
I think I’ll be happy with either of these, but another issue with purchasing power bank is the shipping, it will cost quite a bit if I were to purchase from overseas as I’ll need forwarder to send it to me. For that reason, I then looking for those readily available in my local market and only the Mophie is available. It’s the most expensive of the bunch, but also the most premium looking, so I decided to get it.
The Mophie Powerstation USB-C XXL has only one USB-A port that can output a standard 5V/2.4A (12W) and a combined input/output USB-C port that support 30W both ways, or more specifically at 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/2A and 20V/1.5A. The total capacity of this battery is 19,500 mAh or 70.785 Wh. This means the battery is safe to carry on airplane as it is well below the 100 Wh limit.
The size of this thing is 150 mm x 83.75 mm x 23.20 mm and weight at 390 g. I quite like the size, as it is about the same size as my Samsung Galaxy Note8, although it is pretty thick. In fact, it is thicker and heavier than my Anker PowerCore II 20000. However, the build quality is solid, the fabric wrapping making it looks quite premium while at the same time allow it to grip to the surface of table better, much less slippery than my Anker.
I quite liked how it looked alongside the Surface Go alcantara keyboard cover. My platinum keyboard cover is certainly lighter in color, but they still looked pretty good together and both have a similar soft feel to touch. The rest of parts uncovered by the fabric is made of a quite solid plastic, a good choice in my opinion as it keeps the weight down.
In the package, Mophie was kind enough to include a USB to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-C cable. The latter which is pretty important, as getting a proper USB-C to USB-C cable could be tricky and a cable that is not up to specification might ended up frying your device. I’m happy to report that the included cable appears to be on a higher quality end, it feels better than those from Anker.
Let’s get into the performance, or more specifically the charging speed of this. First of all, I’m (again) happy to report that the Mophie will charge the Surface Go at full speed. I can keep using the Surface Go while at the same time, the computer will accept charge rate between 12W to 16W as reported by BatteryBar Pro. This is even faster than the included 24W adapter, which will have charge rate between 10W to 12W under usage. It will only took roughly one hour to charge the Surface Go from 30% to 100% this way.
The Mophie should have enough capacity to charge the Surface Go roughly one and a half times. For my usage though, I’m happy to get one charge off as that is sufficient to cover a full work day for me. The rest of the capacity? Of course, it will go to my phone. The regular USB port will charge my Note8 at regular speed, however the USB-C output will fast charge Note8 just fine. Also, I can confirm that the Mophie do charge the Nintendo Switch at a pretty high rate, possibly at similar rate as the included adapter.
As a regular practice to prolong battery lifespan of my devices, I avoided a complete drain of my battery, so I won’t test how fast it charge from 0% to 100%. A complete drain is unhealthy for any Lithium-based battery so avoid it whenever you can, even better if you could keep it around 25% to 75%.
From a full charge, the Mophie will charge my Surface Go from 30% to 100%, Note8 from 25% to 75%, and Onkyo Granbeat from 25% to 75%. At the end of the day, the Mophie will still have one light off from the four available, which means it has at most 25% battery remaining.
Also, the Mophie never felt hot when charging my Surface Go at full speed, it only gets a little warm but nothing alarming. Still, it’s a best practice to keep any battery in a place with complete airflow whenever it was charging or discharging.
Overall, I’m happy with how the Mophie Powerstation USB-C XXL performed. The build quality is great and the fabric-wrapping added a quite premium feel to it. The size a bit large for a battery that has 19,500 mAh capacity, but it still is quite reasonable and doesn’t feel too heavy to carry around. I would wish it to get a bit thinner and have an extra USB port, but maybe next time.
The only problem is probably the price, at $149.99 MSRP, this is one of the most expensive power bank around. But if the price is no object and you are looking for a Surface Go companion, I think this Mophie Powerstation is one of the best available choice.