TIWW: Mophie powerstation USB-C 3XL Review

Real world battery life on laptops doesn’t really reflect the reality of using a computer in a “normal” environment. Those numbers are the rosiest picture possible. Seeing as how I work outside a lot when I can and I don’t always have an outlet handy, my MacBook Pro 13″ battery life can drain to empty in about 2 hours.

So I’m always looking for a possibility for some additional power. And with the advent of USB-C charging on the newer MacBook Pro’s this became possible through use of an external battery with a USB-C port. One caveat though, the battery has to be able to output at least 45 Watts or it’ll drain faster than you can recharge it. I was an early adopter of the Romeo Power Saber, which had up to 100W charging and even an AC Outlet. Unfortunately, it seems they’ve discontinued, but when I saw this Mophie it greatly intrigued me.

They’ve packed a whopping 26,000mAh of power into a pretty small form factor (3.7 in x 6.6 in x .91 in) and it clocks in at only 18oz. While it’s big enough and heavy enough to that you wouldn’t want to try to fit in your pocket, it fits comfortably in a backpack or small laptop case. I don’t notice much extra bulk in my BetaBrand Under-The-Jack Pack. And I really love the look and feel of the unit. Its relatively thin and has a nice soft coating on the outside so you don’t feel like you’re going to scratch anything bumping against it.

Mophie claims “The powerstation USB-C 3XL battery can provide up to 18 hours of extra battery for a MacBook (2017).” that’s likely under non-real world conditions and the MacBook is a lot less power hungry than a MacBook Pro 13 or 15. The MacBook Pro 13″ normally uses a 61W charger so with the 3XL only delivering 45W I’ve found that if I’m really cranking up the CPU it can’t quite keep up. And with a MacBook Pro 15″ I imagine it’s pretty difficult for it to keep up. I want to do more testing and update this with some more hard numbers.

One thing I have to note is my original 3XL unit died within 2 weeks. One day it ran down and just wouldn’t charge up. I contacted Mophie support and they required me to pay to ship it to them and back. I was pretty ticked that it was practically brand new and I was already having to pay for repairs. Fortunately, since I ordered through Apple.com instead of directly from Mophie, I was able to get a free replacement from Apple.

A perk of the 3XL that I haven’t found in other chargers is that it supports USB-C pass-through charging and it has a separate USB-C port for charging. I really love that because it means I don’t have to bring a separate charger specifically for the 3XL.

I wouldn’t recommend this for someone with a 15″ MacBook Pro, but with a 13″, MacBook, or MacBook Air it’s an amazing battery. Having this with you gives you a lot more freedom to not be tied down to a power outlet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *