Anker PowerCore Plus 26800 PD 45W Review with 60W PD Charger

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

While most power banks accomplish the same objective, some power banks such as the PowerCore Plus 26800 do it breathtakingly fast via three super fast charging ports, one of which is a USB-C Power Delivery (PD) port capable of outputting 45 watts of power.
USB-C ports with Power Delivery are capable of outputting up to 100 watts, although with that much power you need a specific USB Type C cable with a marker chip to handle the power. These types of cables are called Electronically Marked Cable Assembly (EMCA), which are "active cables".
The USB Type C cable that is included with the Anker PowerCore Plus 26800 is "passive" as it has no electronics in it. Being a passive cable, the Anker USB C charging cable can safely deliver up to 45-watts, which is enough power to charge a HP Stream Series laptop or Dell Inspiron Series laptop at full speed.
The Anker PowerCore Plus 26800 is able to deliver 45 watts at two different rates to suit a range of laptops, including 15-volt/3-amp for laptops such as the Toshiba Satellite Radius, HP Elitebook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The PowerCore Plus can also output 20-volt/2.25-amp, which is needed for laptops such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix and Dell XPS 13.
The Anker PowerCore Plus 26800 powerbank can also charge higher wattage laptops, although at lower speeds. For less power hungry devices like tablets and phones, the Anker PowerCore+ also comes equipped with two USB-A ports that can output 15 watts (5-volt/3-amp) each. When both USB-A ports are used at the same time, the current drops to 2.4-amp per port.
The Anker PowerCore Plus USB-C Power Delivery port has dual functionality too. It is also a power input port designed to recharge the power bank, which is done at different variable rates, including 5-volt/3-amp, 9-volt/3-amp, 15-volt/3-amp and 20-volt/2.25-amp. The USB-C port is set to input charge by default. To enable output charge to recharge external devices, the power button wheel has to be pressed once before inserting the USB-C charging cable.
In terms of charging performance, the Anker PowerCore Plus has a blazing fast charging performance that is much faster than any other USB-C power banks, including the PowerCore Lite, PowerCore and the PowerCore Speed upgraded version, all of which can only output a maximum of 12 volts, whereas the PowerCore Plus can output a maximum of 20 volts.
The Anker PowerCore Plus 26800 is truly a mammoth of a powerhouse but, all that power can only be achieved via a high output power adapter, which is conveniently included in the box. It is an Anker branded GaN power adapter (PowerPort Atom 3) that can fully recharge the PowerCore Plus power bank from 0% to 100% in just 3.5 hours. While the PowerCore Plus is recharging is not able to output charge.
The PowerPort Atom 3 can deliver a massive 60 watts of power in a small footprint, thanks to the use of Gallium nitride (GaN), which is the same technology used in the 30-watt PowerPort Atom 1. The PowerPort Atom 3 has the same sleak, high gloss design as the Atom 1 but, the Atom 3 is twice as heavy (125 grams) and twice as powerful (60 watts).
In terms of build quality, the PowerCore Plus 26800 PD housing is constructed solidly with metal casing, weighing 590 grams and, measuring 18cm long, 8cm wide and 23m thick. The PowerCore Plus design is minimalist with just  three connectivity ports and a power button located on the front.
The power button has a wheel design with ten tiny white leds doted around like an analog clock, each representing 10% of charge, which allows better management of low battery power. Most power banks typically have four battery led indicators, which is not as accurate to determinate how much charge there is left. The led located at 12 o'clock can also light up green color to indicate trickle-charging mode, which is enabled by holding down the power button.
Trickle charging mode, essentially, reduces the output charge for charging low mAh capacity gadgets such as headphones. While it maybe tempting to use full power for faster charging, there are a couple of reasons you actually don't want to be using this amount of power to recharge low power devices.
The first reason is that you can damage a device if it isn't equipped with an over-voltage protection. The second reason is shorter battery lifespan because, it is no secret fast charging decreases battery performance. You definitely don't want to charge a phone regularly via the PowerCore Plus 45W Power Delivery port, unless it is for emergency situations when you need to power up your phone real fast.
 Most power banks don't actually include the rated capacity anywhere on the product listing, not even on the power bank itself. Anker has included the rated capacity on the base of the power bank, which is handy to know if you want to learn the true charge capacity of a power bank. The Anker PowerCore Plus integrates eight batteries (3350 mAh each)so, the powerbank has a total 26,800 mAh cell capacity. 
The stated rated capacity is 6,700mAh, which seems a bit off since it should be close to 19832mAh. This is because power banks experience a power loss during the voltage conversion from 3.7 volt to 5 volt. The rated capacity rating tells you how much power the power bank can actually deliver
With 19,832mAh of true power, the Anker PowerCore Plus will be able to charge a 4,000 mAh phone battery 4 times over. Most phones have a battery rating between 3,700mAh and 4,200mAh, including the Galaxy A20 (4,000mAh) and the Huawei P30 Pro (4,200mAh). Some phones such as the Moto G7 and Galaxy S20 Ultra have a whopping 5,000 mAh battery. 
The 26,800mAh cell capacity of the PowerCore Plus is also interesting since most power banks are rounded up to whole numbers such as 10,000mAh or 20,000mAh. The PowerCore Plus could have probably been rounded up to 30,000mAh battery capacity but, the likely reason why it wasn't is aircraft requirements regarding li-on batteries.
Basically, lithium ion battery exceeding 100 watt-hours cannot be taken on-board a plane. The PowerCore Plus has a 97.28 watt-hours (Wh) rating, allowing you to keep it inside a carry-on bag when boarding a plane. Along with the PowerCore Plus 26800 PD and PowerPort Atom 3 wall charger, there is an 18-month warranty, a 76cm-long USB-C male to USB-C male cable and a drawstring pouch with thick mesh fabric. Buy the PowerCore Plus on Amazon. Check out the review of the PowerPort Nano 20W charger.

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