RAVPOWER PD Pioneer 30,000mAh 2-Port Power Bank review
Battery technology is now getting to the point where some portable chargers are rated to re-fill whole ultrabooks. RAVPOWER’s new PD Pioneer variant is one of those. It has a typical capacity of 30,000mAh, or 105.6 watt-hours (Wh). Therefore, it should indeed be able to charge something like a MacBook several times over.
Unboxing and First Impressions
The PD Pioneer 30,000mAh power bank (or RP-PB232) arrives in the white, blue and green-accented packaging of its series. Opening it reveals the device in a recyclable plastic bag, along with a complementary USB type-C cable. It plugs into a port set into an accented edge, which also extends around one corner for the 4 LEDs that indicate its level of charge.
This feature also houses the bank’s only other port, a USB type-A with RAVPOWER’s iSmart technology rated for up to 18 watts (W). Its type-C neighbor, on the other hand, supports the Power Delivery (USB-PD) standard rated for 90W (20V/4.5A).
The device itself is a markedly large, rectangular accessory finished in black plastic that, at 540 grams (g, or 19 ounces (oz), doesn’t really make for a mobile accessory.
Based on the OEM’s claims, it should also comfortably accommodate my Razer Blade Stealth (with its 53.1Wh battery) over a full charge. However, trying this straight out of the box with 2 indicator LEDs seemed to fall short of this promise; in fact, the bank emptied itself within about 9 minutes of connection to the PC.
Charging the bank back to full and trying again gave better results. However, it would only charge the Blade Stealth at ~34W, whereas it has drawn approximately twice that with other accessories.
Therefore, it is not really suitable for demanding ultrabook use, not to speak of gaming. Then again, more extensive use of the power bank indicated that it could at least sustain the Blade Stealth with its screen on, emptying its capacity into the laptop for a ~70% charge over about 3 hours. On closer inspection, this has a lot to do with the device’s actual rated capacity of 5,031mAh.
In addition, its marketing material suggests its type-C port might only charge at up to 65W if both ports are in use.
Therefore, it is not truly set up for this use-case. Bring in slightly less demanding subjects, however, and the story becomes a little different. It was capable of charging a Galaxy Note 10+ to the tune of Super Fast Charging 2.0: Samsung for up to 45 watts, and a One UI 3 animation that I don’t get to see often even as a reviewer. It could also charge my Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones at their top ~6W rate.
When it comes to charging itself, RAVPOWER claims that the new PD Pioneer power bank can do so at up to 20V/3A, or 60 watts (W) via its USB type-C port. Hooking it up to an appropriate charger reveals that it does indeed charge at almost exactly this rate, and that it takes about 2.5 hours to get from 0 to 100% under these conditions.
Finally, I broke out the FLIR camera for a heat-management test. The power bank did get a little toasty; perhaps a bit more than what you would want from something packed with 21700 battery cells from LG. RAVPOWER does claim that there is a mechanism for temperature, charge/discharge and short-circuit regulation in any case.
This exceptionally brick-like power bank does offer a lot of the convenience and stop-gap nature of its general category: for example, for charging emergencies such as keeping a film going while your ultrabook is connected to the TV, it works well enough.
Then again, I don’t see it working with a similar device for any more demanding or intensive tasks. It does not match up to the charging capacity, time or rates RAVPOWER indicates it can support on its website. However, some re-aligned expectations towards its use with truly mobile devices such as smartphones or peripherals reveals that it can definitely cover those use-cases.
On the other hand, consumers may not be inclined to buy it for those purposes alone based on its claimed specs and power. Furthermore, its normal price is US$99 on its OEM’s website, or down to $66 at present with a code (RR232) visible on its web-page.
Disclaimer: The author of this review received these items from RAVPOWER free of charge for the purpose of testing.