Have you ever been stuck somewhere without any access to power? I’m thinking about situations like an outdoor photoshoot where you need to top up camera batteries and use a laptop running Adobe Photoshop. Or how about being able to carry on working when there’s a power cut? Back in the 1980s, we used to have UPS (uninterruptible power supplies), large boxes with massive rechargeable batteries inside that could automatically turn on and keep a computer running within milliseconds of a power cut.
Fortunately, these days, out laptops don’t gobble up quite so much power but it’s still useful to have a source of back-up power when you need it and many of us already use power banks for keeping our smartphones charged. But how about a power bank for your laptop and all the other rechargeable technology you use daily?
Zendure is a company specializing in innovative power banks, power supplies and hubs. It has just launched the SuperTank Pro on Kickstarter which it says is now fully funded to the tune of $300k+. SuperTank Pro provides up to 100W of power from a USB-C outlet and up to 138W total output that can be used for recharging laptops like the new Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch. It’s also ideal for topping up smartphones, tablets or even portable gaming consoles. It will work with most rechargeable devices with a DC voltage requirement up to 20V.
When fully charged, the SuperTank Pro has a capacity of 26,800mAh, which is enough to power the average smartphone for a whole week. The SuperTank Pro has a smart aluminum-ribbed case featuring an OLED display on the front that shows the amount of power remaining in the battery and a realtime indication of the power that any attached devices are drawing.
Using the four USB-C ports on the front of the SuperTank Pro, it’s possible to recharge or power up a range of devices simultaneously. Intelligent firmware inside the SuperTank Pro can be updated to cope with next-generation devices. Hopefully, the ability to update the SuperTank Pro’s firmware will mean the device can have an extended life before it eventually needs recycling.
I tried a prototype of the SuperTank Pro and I can confirm it does exactly what it says it should do. The thickness of the prototype case was a little bit thin for rugged use, but I’m hoping the production models will be beefed up and maybe fitted with reinforced corners like a flight case so that it can withstand use out in the field.
To give you an idea of how fast the SuperTank Pro can recharge a laptop like Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro, Zendure claims it can take the charge from 0% to 80% in around 90 minutes. There’s also a pass-thru charging function. The maximum output voltage is 20V DC.
Eagle-eyed readers will want to know how the SuperTank Pro gets charged itself. The answer is with Zendure’s SuperPort S4, a muscular power supply that comes with a selection of international power adapters. The SuperPort S4 Has three USB-C ports and one USB-A port that can deliver up to 20v @ 100W and so makes an ideal replacement for any power adapter used to charge a standard laptop with a USB-C charging port. The SuperPort S4 is available in black or white finishes and makes an ideal power adapter for international travellers.
It would probably make sense to buy the SuperTank Pro and SuperPort S4 together as a bundle as you do need a robust and powerful power supply to fully charge the SuperTank Pro. Having the S4 also means you can use mains power for your laptop when by a power outlet, and thus save the charge in the SuperTank Pro for times when there’s no electricity available.
Such a powerful power bank as the SuperTank Pro isn’t going to be light so users should budget’s 20.5oz or 580g weight in their carry-on baggage. All in all, both Zendure products look like an ideal solution for anyone who’s going to be working away from a stable power source for some time and who needs some power for mission-critical hardware.
If I have one criticism of the SuperTank Pro it’s that it doesn’t ship with a suitable power supply for charging it. So, anyone thinking of buying a SuperTank Pro will have to factor in the cost of the SuperPort Pro S4 as well for it to be usable. Fortunately, Zendure will be offering a bundle price for both products.
Pricing: The SuperTank Pro is currently on offer at $149 / £111 / €124 (regular price $249) while the SuperPort S4 power supply currently costs $69 / £57 / €57 (usually $99). Bundle price for SuperTank Pro and SuperPort S4 for $199 / £148 / €166.
More info: www.kickstarter.com
- Battery capacity: 26,800 mAh / 96.48 Wh
- Rated capacity: 17,000 mAh (5V 3A)
- Battery cell: 18650 Samsung 35E
- Dimensions: 124 x 74.5 x 45.5 mm / 4.9 x 2.9 x 1.8 inches
- Weight: 580 g / 20.5 oz
- Firmware upgrade: via PC USB-C port
- Display: OLED
- Case: Aluminum
- Finish: Silver
- AC Input: AC 100-240V 50-60Hz
- Output: USB-C 1: 100W max (PD 3.0) / USB-C 2: 100W max PD 3.0;45W (PPS) / USB-C 3: 20W max PD 3.0 / USB-A 22.5W max (QC 3.0 / SCP / FCP)
- Total output: 100W
- Weight: 222.5g / 7.8 oz
- Dimensions: 60 x 77.6 x 29mm / 2.4 x 3.05 x 1.1 inches