myCharge Adventure Ultra: A portable battery than can charge smartphones and laptops (review)

It’s inevitable that one day you’re going to need portable power. You could be on a business trip and need to recharge your smartphone, laptop or tablet. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you could be travelling for vacation where you’ll need power to keep your gadgets alive to keep your kids happy. Or in recent events, Hurricane Harvey and Irma exposed the need for portable power when the only option for staying in touch was through smartphones. A dead smartphone meant survivors had no way of contacting emergency personnel. No matter the situation, the need for portable power is at its highest. We all rely on mobile technology, and now there’s finally a portable power bank that can do it all: the myCharge Adventure Ultra 13400mAh portable charger.

myCharge Adventure Ultra 13400mAh Portable Charger Specs:

  • Capacity: 13400mAh
  • Built-in AC power port (recharging the power bank)
  • Dual USB-A ports
  • USB-C port
  • Pass through charging: allows for charging of the battery and connected devices at the same time
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 in x 5.8 in x 4.1 in
  • Product Weight: 1.05 lbs
  • Total Output:  AC 110V 45W
  • Output by Port
    • USB-C Port: 3.0A
    • USB-A Port #1: 2.4A
    • USB-A Port #2: 2.4A
    • Total Shared: 3.4A
    • AC Port: 45W
  • Comes with an AC charger cable

The myCharge Adventure Ultra is one of the most versatile options when it comes to powering portable devices. I’ve used and reviewed over 20 different power banks over the years, but none quite like this one from myCharge. It’s a standard power bank when it comes to the definition of a portable battery, but this one can output up to 45W of power through an AC three-pronged port. It’s the same port found all throughout your home in the walls that lamps, TVs, microwaves, refrigerators plug into. It is limited to output power though at 45W, which is typically enough power for the latest 2-1 laptops, Surface Pros, or even the 12in Macbook from Apple. It won’t run appliances like microwaves or coffee makers since those demand much more power than it can put out, so don’t expect to be making hot coffee with this on your next camping trip. It can also charge all of your portable devices that rely on microUSB, Lightning and USB-C like your smartphones, wireless headphones and speakers, and portable gaming consoles.

The myCharge Adventure Ultra has a plastic housing with a LCD panel in the front to monitor power output and remaining battery level. It weighs in at just over a pound, where it gets most of its weight from the large 13400mAh internal battery. Even though the plastic housing scratches quite easily (in my backpack), I prefer the use of plastic over metal. It’s much lighter in weight and that means more to me than a sturdier metal build.

There’s really nothing spectacular about the build – it is just a battery bank. It’s design is utilitarian and simple and serves its purpose quite well.

Usage

I have a day job as a chemist that has required a bit of travel as of late. I have to attend conferences and work with external collaborators more often as my role matures in the biotech that employs me.  That means having power to keep me connected, especially on my Lenovo Yoga 370 and on my Galaxy Note 8 is more important than ever these days. On my last week-long trip, I found myself delayed for five hours at the airport in San Diego. If you have never been to the San Diego airport (Southwest terminal), you can take my word for it that it is way too small for the amount of travelers that pass through it. There’s maybe 20 charging stations and all of them were occupied by others and I couldn’t get access to them. That was okay with me though, since I had the Adventure Ultra with me to keep me powered up.

My Lenovo Yoga 370 has an estimated battery life of roughly 7.5 hours, but I typically get 3-4 hours because I have the model with the fastest processor. I also don’t take advantage of energy savings like turning down the brightness on my display, mainly because my eyes are getting worse with age. When I was stuck at the airport, the myCharge power bank kept me going strong. I used it to power my Note 8 as a hot spot while I worked on my laptop. When my laptop died, I let it charge for an hour while I ate and took a call, and came back to it at 50% charged. The Adventure Ultra is capable of charging the Yoga at maximum speed (45W) when it’s not in use. I used the myCharge power bank several times throughout the trip and it powered my laptop two and a half times before I needed to recharge it at the hotel.

There are thousands of portable power banks that you can buy that are good for tablets and smartphones, but very few as capable as the Adventure Ultra. Having the standard AC outlet is vital to road warriors like me who need a little more power for staying connected while actually doing work.

I also took the power bank with me on a guys trip up to Bakersfield where I spent a long weekend with college buddies. We spent some time on the river, away from civilization, and the AdventureUltra kept our portable speakers and smartphones powered all weekend long. The music never stopped and neither did we.

If you’re wondering, how many charge cycles can a typical 2-1 laptop or a Macbook 12in, expect 2-3 full charge cycles before you need to recharge your power bank. If you’re using an iPhone X, Note 8 or Pixel 2XL you can expect up to five recharges before you’ll drain the Adventure Ultra.

Overall

The myCharge Adventure Ultra isn’t your typical power bank that you can find on Amazon for $20. This is a unique power bank that can not only recharge your smartphones, tablets and accessories, but it can also charge laptops (it can even power TVs up to 42″ for three hours). That makes it unique for people who need to do more than watch movies or play games, and it makes it a much more versatile option for staying powered up on the go. At one pound the battery is rather light weight compared to competitors, and the addition of USB-C makes this battery future-proof for the foreseeable future. At $129.99, the myCharge Adventure Ultra is priced competitively, but is a true bargain in the amount of work you can do by staying powered up while on the go. I highly, highly recommend the Adventure Ultra for those of you who demand more power from your devices.

Get the myCharge Adventure Ultra at mycharge.com, Best Buy and Walmart

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