The big trend in portable batteries at 2018’s CES was actually years in the making: consolidation. Thanks to both battery engineering improvements and the popularity of USB-C, it’s finally possible to carry a single battery pack to recharge your phone, headphones, tablet, and laptop. You’ll just have to choose the form factor you prefer.
One of the best minimalist solutions at CES is the IconConnected Power Sleeve from Incase, a company better known for bags than power accessories. The SoCal-based design shop cleanly integrated a 14,000mAh USB-C and USB-A battery — plus a charging cable compartment — into a dark gray laptop sleeve resembling its earlier, battery-free Icon. It will be available in 13-inch and 15-inch laptop sizes.
A minor hiccup: Incase doesn’t advise you to charge a laptop while it’s inside the sleeve; the outward-facing ports can be used to more than fully top off a 12-inch MacBook, a 13-inch MacBook Pro, or any smaller USB-connected device. You’ll have to wait until later this year to get your hands on the IconConnected Power Sleeve, which will debut at $200, something of a premium given its capacity.
Mophie is one of the industry’s best-known battery designers, and PowerStation AC is the company’s most powerful charger to date. Embracing the recent “gray fabric coating” trend, PowerStation AC’s otherwise black plastic frame looks like a small paperback book, but hides AC, USB-C, and USB-A ports on its sides; short USB-C and USB-A cables are also included in the box. Heavy and dense in the hand, the 22,000mAh cell promises to supply a small laptop with up to 15 hours of USB-C PD 30W charging power, a large tablet with 21 hours using 2.4A USB-A charging, or an hour of 110V/100W output through the rubber-topped AC outlet. It’s available now from Mophie for $200.
Exciting might be a strong word to use for an all-in-one battery, but it’s rare to find a portable, cable-free charging solution. That’s the appeal of myCharge‘s new 20,000mAh myCharge All Powerful: Unlike rivals, it includes not only USB and AC charging ports, but also a wireless Qi charger with 10W of power. That means you can drop recent iPhones and Qi-equipped Android devices directly on top to recharge, as well as Qi-compatible wearables and accessories, no USB cables required.
Note that the “All Powerful” name means “extremely versatile” rather than “maximum in power.” Unlike the 100W port on PowerStation AC, All Powerful’s AC port will let you charge devices with 65W or smaller power needs, including medium-sized laptops. Similarly, the USB-C port tops out at 3A, and the USB-A port at 2.4A. myCharge All Powerful is planned for release in April at $200.