A 20,000mAh intelligent USB-C power bank – Laser has one (review)

Just when you thought power banks had reached their pinnacle Laser has released the power bank to end all – its massive 20,000mAh with four USB-A 5V/3A outputs and a USB-C intelligent power and fast charge output.

The Laser PB-UC20K-WHT is the mother of power banks weighing in at 420g and 108 x 90 x 32 mm.

It needs to be because the 74W, 20,000mAh battery will charge any USB-C or legacy USB device currently made – at least a few times over.

Unlike most power banks it has a fair bit of intelligence built-in to deliver USB-C intelligent charging – that is a mix of up to 5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, and 20V.

Specifications

  • Charge: Use your own 5V/2A micro-USB charger, or an intelligent USB-C 3A, or fast charger
  • Output
    • 4 x USB-A each 5V/3A
    • I x USB-C 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A (maximum output 45W)
    • Capacity: Nominally 20,000mAh or 74Wh
  • Cables: USB-C to USB-C and USB-A to micro-USB
  • Charge indicator: push button power on and up to four LEDs
  • Compatible: USB-C NOTEBOOKS MacBook/Pro, Dell XPS, Google Pixel, Lenovo Yoga 910, HP Elitebook/Spectre, Asus Zenbook 3 and many more.

A note on USB intelligent power delivery and Quick Charge

Quick charge is identical in functionality to Power Delivery however its voltage can range between 3.6 V to 20 V and everything in between – in 200 mV increments. Together with added intelligence, Quick Charge can better detect the optimal charging voltage and current requirements of a connected device.

Both use a USB connection socket for charging, however, each device, charger and charging cable needs to support either type of charging method to operate and charge effectively and efficiently.

Flight safety

Various airlines including Qantas and Virgin state that passengers cannot carry on items that exceed 101 watt-hours of power. 20,000mAh equals 74Wh so may be carried in onboard luggage.

Charging

Charging the power bank from zero to 100% took a while – using a 5V/2A micro-USB charger took nearly 10 hours. Using a 5V/3A charger took that close to six hours. Using the Belkin USB-C intelligent 45W, 3A charger took about 4 hours.

Recharge

Using a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, 3,300mAh battery as a test it recharged fully six times – proving the capacity is nominally 20,000mAh.

Charge time was around 1.5 hours showing it was using Quick Charge 2.0 technology compatible with that handset.

GadgetGuy’s take

Laser make good gear for Australian conditions. We have tested many power banks, and frankly, the rated mAh is seldom delivered.

This is good as it has intelligent USB-C power delivery and four USB-A ports for other gear. It is perfectly safe to charge legacy devices drawing 500mA or less.

Pros

  • Meets stated specifications
  • Four USB-A outputs and one intelligent USB-C output
  • Recharged a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 six times!

Cons

  • 420g is like carrying a ‘pound of  butter’
  • Seems expensive but to be fair, you get a lot for the money, and it is cheaper than the competition

Price

$129.95

Ratings

  • Overall:  4.6 out of 5
  • Features: 5 out of 5 – does what it promises
  • Value for Money: 5 out of 5 – good value for what it is
  • Performance: 5 out of 5 – delivers rated amperage and capacity
  • Ease of Use: 5 out of 5 – easy to use
  • Design: 3 out of 5 – it is very utilitarian – we need some Laser style or colour!