The Best Portable MacBook Batteries [May 2019]
The latest MacBooks are doubtlessly awesome. Packing an incredible amount of processing power and computational speed into an effortlessly sleek and streamlined design that’s ultra-portable, these new machines are ideal for creative professionals who need to take their work with them on the go.
In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a MacBook Pro (even those in earlier generations of Apple’s famed lineup) that isn’t a truly great computer. This reality has made these computers incredibly popular with people ranging from students to Fortune 500 CEOs, and their popularity only seems to grow as time goes on.
But these laptops are also notoriously expensive, and if you want to enjoy everything that the famed MacBook line has to offer you have to be willing to shell out the big bucks—making it all the more upsetting that even the best batteries in the most expensive MacBooks are often lacking.
Whether you’re consistently rendering HD video and audio for work or you simply want to unwind with some Netflix at the end of a busy day, having to deal with a drained battery can put a serious damper on your work or entertainment.
That’s why a wide range of affordable and powerful external chargers have flooded the market. These portable charging units allow users to stay powered up for extended periods of time, even if there’s no place to plug in your charger.
Ideal for frequent travelers, these devices help ensure that you’ll never have to endure the headaches that come with an unexpectedly drained battery ever again, and we’ve found the best ones money can buy.
To kick things off, we have this extremely well-designed and powerful Anker PowerCore+ hub, which has sold over 30 million units across the globe. Ideal for vacations or business trips, this intrepid charger is fully USB-C compatible (meaning it will work with the latest generation of MacBooks but not the latest MacBook Pro), and charges at 5V/3A.
It features a USB input and output along with an ultra-high capacity of 20100mAh, which is enough to fully charge a MacBook, iPhone, and iPad Air 2 from the ground up on a single charge.
We were also impressed with just how user-friendly this charging bank is, thanks to its compact size, an LED power wheel that can be used to quickly and easily change settings, premium components that won’t degrade over time even with extended and frequent use, and an aluminum-alloy case that makes it surprisingly durable.
This charger also features PowerIQ technology, meaning that it can intelligently identify any connected device in order to deliver the optimum, high-speed charge that’s required.
It also comes loaded with VoltageBoost technology, which allows it to determine when its charging output is experiencing resistance. This means that your charges will always be running at top-speeds, regardless of whether or not your device is topped off.
Your order comes with the charger itself, plus a 60cm USB to USB-C cable, 60cm Micro USB cable, 90cm USB-C to USB-C cable, welcome guide, and a travel pouch—all of which are covered under an award-winning 18-month warranty directly from the company.
Claiming the coveted number-two spot on our list is a charger that will cost a bit more than the Anker at our number-one spot, but one that provides a little more kick and a few extra features that some potential buyers may find appealing.
This portable power bank is suitable for the Apple MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Retina and virtually all types of tablets.
It’s capable of charging a MacBook Pro from the ground up 1.5 times, a MacBook Air 2.2 times, an iPad Mini 1 3.7 times, and the latest iPhones no less than 10 times—meaning you’ll never have to worry about running out of power even if you’re without a power outlet for extended periods of time.
With measurements of 7.2 inches (L) x 3.2 inches (W) x 0.7 inches (H) and a weight of no more than 20 ounces, this charger is also incredibly portable, and fits easily into most backpack pouches.
You’ll also enjoy fast-charging technology to ensure that your devices get powered up quickly, and you get both a USB-A port output along with a Micro USB input—adding to the overall functionality and versatility of the charger.
Next up, we have this behemoth of a charging station known as the MAXOAK Power Bank—a name that’s quite fitting in terms of this gadget’s design and power. Capable of charging virtually every Apple device made between 2006 and 20018, this Type-C charger features a wide range of acceptable voltages and outputs, and can discharge and charge via the same ports.
It features a designated output for smartphones and tablets, and you’ll be able to charge multiple devices simultaneously—saving you time and effort, especially if you’re traveling with your family or a large group.
It’s constructed with an A-grade lithium-ion polymer battery that boasts a whopping 1000+ recharge cycles, and it comes with a lifetime complete protection plan that insures you in the unlikely event that any of your connected devices break down while they’re being charged.
This device also auto detects what types of devices are connected and adjusts its output voltage accordingly—saving you a great deal of time and hassle that would inevitably come from trying to fine-tune the output for a specific device.
This charging station is super durable, although this uniquely solid construction comes at a cost given the fact that this power hub is noticeably larger than most of its competitors. Still, if you’re more concerned with having a super-reliable power source handy at all times and less concerned with being able to comfortably toss it in your backpack, this power bank may be for you.
The first thing you may notice about the this charging station is that it somewhat resembles a traditional power outlet—a major plus if you’re interested in charging more than just your tablets and laptops.
This sleek power bank runs at 110 volts with a 100-volt peak, and it’s compatible with a virtually endless number of peripheral devices thanks to its universal output configuration.
Capable of charging an iPhone or Galaxy device no less than eight times on a single charge, this unit can charge a 12-inch MacBook 1.1 times from the ground up—not as much as some of the other charges on our list but more than enough if you’re in a bind and can’t find an outlet.
Your order also comes with a USB-C cable and an award-winning 24-month warranty that protects against both the power bank and any connected devices.
Similar in shape and style to the Jackery unit above, this portable power bank is fully-equipped to charge a wide range of devices—including computers manufactured by HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Apple.
It boasts a massive 31200mAh capacity that can power a 12-inch MacBook 1.8 times, an iPad Mini 4 four times, and an iPhone X eight times—all through smart charging technology that won’t overload your devices and lead to system failures.
Given its relatively bulky appearance, we were also impressed with the lightweight design of this power bank, which makes it easy to pop in your bag at a moment’s notice. Ideal for extended camping trips, this unit is also surprisingly durable and seems more than capable of withstanding a few drops and bumps during your adventures.
It’s also universally compatible with any outlet, thanks to an AC-100W output, a 17W-USB output, and a 18W-Type C output.
This aesthetically pleasing and super-compact power hub sports a respectable 24,000mAh capacity and is more than capable of charging everything from smartphones and tablets to laptops and other peripherals.
You get 14.8 volts through the main AC outlet, 5 volts through each of the USB ports, and a peak power rating of 120 W—more than enough to power your devices a few times over depending on their size and capacity.
You’ll be able to utilize smart-charging technology in order to ensure that all of your connected devices are powered up as quickly as possible, and a built-in software app supplies the latest and greatest short-circuit protection.
You also get two USB ports through which you can charge devices simultaneously, along with a standard DC input to charge the power bank itself. The unit’s main AC output is also incredibly useful for camping trips that require the occasional powered burner or lamp, and there’s a handy safe cover that covers the output in order to ensure that it stays safe from unexpected splashes or dirt.
Rounding out our list is this incredibly sleek and stylish ZMI charger, which packs a seriously portable punch. Don’t let its small size fool you—this power bank boasts a massive 20,000mAh capacity along with the ability to charge everything from iPads and MacBooks to Google Pixels and GoPros several times over.
You’ll enjoy a wide range of additional features including overheating and short-circuit protection, and there’s no need to install additional firmware in order to charge some of your more esoteric and power-specific devices on the fly.
Your order comes with the ZMI PowerPack 20000 portable charger, a 20-inch USB-C to USB-C cable, a 2-in-1 Micro-USB and USB-C to USB-A Combo cable, storage pouch, user guide, and an 18-month limited warranty.
ZMI has also earned a reputation for building incredibly reliable products that are meant to stand the test of time, so you should feel free to take this on your more perilous adventures from time to time.