Anker PowerCore+ 20100 External Battery Review

Product by:
Anker

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On November 9, 2015
Last modified:November 9, 2015

Summary:

If you have a USB-C compatible device, the new PowerCore+ 20100 is the perfect compliment for staying charged on the go. The USB-C port can provide up to 3 amps of power to compatible devices. No USB-C gadgets in your arsenal? No problem: there are also 2 Power IQ USB ports for charging phones and tablets at maximum speed.

Anker is getting into the new USB-C standard with the PowerCore+ 20100. In addition to 2 USB charging ports, it also features a USB-C port for both charging your devices and for recharging itself.  Please note that there are two versions of the Anker 20100 power bank: the PowerCore+ (this product) and the PowerCore. Check out the differences at the bottom of this review.

PROs

  • 20,100mAh capacity: This is one of Anker’s larger units. The 20,100mAh of power is enough to recharge an iPhone about 7-8 times and an iPad about 2 times. This makes the unit great to have on hand when you’re traveling or camping and you won’t have access to a power outlet for a few days.
  • USB-C port: The PowerCore+ (note the “plus”) 20100 features a USB-C port. It is used both for input (to recharge the power bank) and for output (to charge a USB-C compatible device, such as the latest MacBook).  If you’re using it to charge a MacBook, you’ll want to hit the power button on the Anker unit first before connecting your MacBook (otherwise, your MacBook will charge the power bank instead).   A USB to USB-C cable is included with the unit so you can recharge the power bank with your existing USB wall charger.
  • What’s new with “PowerCore”? If you’re familiar with Anker’s products, you may be wondering what’s new with the “PowerCore” line. Anker’s PowerCore batteries feature new Panasonic battery cells and a matte finish (as compared to the shiny finish on the Astro line). They also feature “VoltageBoost” to send a more stable current through your charging cable, even if it’s not an OEM cable (but for best performance, always try to use the original charging cable or an MFi-certified cable).
  • Compact size: The PowerCore+ 20,100 has a solid brushed aluminum finish. It’s not a fingerprint-magnet like some of Anker’s earlier power banks. While it may be too big for your pocket, it fits nicely in a backpack or laptop bag. Please note that even though it’s compact, it does have some weight to it.
  • PowerIQ: This smart identification technology from Anker means that the unit can adapt to basically any device you plug it into it. In my video, you can see that the PowerIQ port provides 1 amp to my iPhone 5S, which is the maximum it can handle. I then use the same port with my iPad and the Anker unit adapts, providing the 2 amp charge that my iPad needs to fast charge. Please note that the total power output maxes out at 6 amps, with 3 amps dedicated between the 2 USB ports, while the other 3 amps are dedicated to the USB-C port.
  • 2 USB ports: This allows you to charge two devices at the same time. For example, you could charge your phone and a tablet at the same time, or you could share the second port with a friend to charge both of your phones simultaneously. If you have a USB-C device to charge as well, then you can charge all 3 at the same time.
  • 2 amp input: An external battery with this 20,100mAh capacity could take about a whole day to fully recharge if using a computer USB port or a phone charger. However, this Anker unit has a 2 amp input, so it can charge a lot faster (approximately 8-10 hours). You will need a 2 amp charger to get the fastest charging speed, such as the charging brick that comes with an iPad or one of Anker’s own USB desktop chargers. Don’t worry if you only have a 1 amp charger (like the charger that came with your phone) as it will still recharge this Anker unit, just at a slower rate.
  • Charge gauge: Tapping the power button shows the remaining capacity of the Anker unit using LEDs on the button itself. This makes it easy to see if you need to charge the unit before your next trip.
  • 18-month warranty: I used Anker’s customer service one time in the past when I had an issue with a charger and they were friendly and efficient.

CONs

  • No Micro USB input: If you’ve used power banks in the past, it is important to note that there is no Micro USB input on the Anker PowerCore+ 20100. It only has a USB-C input. A USB-C cable is included with the unit.
  • AC charger not included: This is typical with most power banks, but I thought I would point out that there is no AC charger included with this unit. You can likely use the power brick that came with your phone or tablet. In a pinch you could use your computer’s USB ports, but recharging can be extremely slow from a computer USB port (especially if it is an older USB 2.0 port).

If you have a newer device that supports USB-C, this power bank is a great compliment to keeping that device charged on the go. Even if you don’t have any USB-C compatible devices, the PowerCore+ 20100 is still a solid power bank with two Power IQ USB ports. It’s compatible with most smartphones and tablets and is great to have on hand for camping trips, extended hikes, or if you just want to be prepared for a power outage.

Check out the Anker PowerCore+ 20100 on Amazon

Anker PowerCore 20100 DifferencesWhat’s the difference between the PowerCore+ 20100 and the PowerCore 20100?

The PowerCore+ 20100 (note the “plus”) incorporates a USB-C port.  The regular PowerCore 20100 uses a standard Micro USB port for recharging.  So if you have USB-C devices, you’ll want to go for the “plus” model.    If not, you can pick whichever unit is on sale as either model features two standard USB charging ports.

— Sample provided for review

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