Not long ago, a “portable” backup power solution for your MacBook meant bringing a dedicated, heavy battery slab and an adapted Apple MagSafe block. Now, most laptops including MacBooks are powered by USB-C; battery technology has caught up, become more powerful, and it’s downsized. The mophie powerstation USB-C 3XL can recharge your laptop and it’s the size of a paperback.
Featuring a 26,000mAh capacity battery, the mophie powerstation USB-C 3XL is powerful enough to charge “MacBooks at rapid rates, delivering up to 45W of power. You can also charge your iPhone up to 2.5 times faster.” Let’s take a look at this beast, and see why it has quickly become my favorite travel battery.
Included in the box are the powerstation USB-C 3 XL battery pack, a USB-C to USB-C cable, a USB-A to USB-C cable, and a quick start guide. The included cables are non-tangling and rubber-coated; they look like they will hold up well.
The mophie powerstation USB-C 3XL measures approximately 6.6″ long by 3.7″ wide by 0.9″ thick, and it weighs 1 pound 2 ounces. You can compare this with a battery I carried in 2014 for charging my MacBook Air when traveling (it only had 1,000mAh more capacity than this mophie), and you’ll quickly see why holding the powerstation 3XL feels like stepping forward into the future. Composed of black plastic with a durable (and tasteful) premium fabric that covers three sides, the powerstation 3XL looks like a slightly larger than average portable battery, like you’d use for your phone or tablet when on a trip. But there is so much more lurking under its hood.
As with other mophie external battery packs, the powerstation 3XL has a button you can press to see the remaining charge in 25% increments. The power indicator also shows you the battery’s charging status when it’s plugged in.
On the business end of the charger, there are three ports. The first is a high-speed USB-C that can output up to 45W. This means it is more than powerful enough to charge a MacBook or a MacBook Air quickly and efficiently. You can also use an Apple USB Type-C to Lightning cable to charge your iPhone up to 2.5 times faster than using the Type-A to Lightning cable would do; the powerstation 3XL can deliver up to 18W of power to your iPhone.
Next, there is a 2.4A quick-charge USB-A port so that you can charge an additional device like your phone or tablet at the same time. The USB Type-C charger on the other end is for charging the battery. With it, you can get fast-charging results (up to 45W) when connected to a compatible wall charger. When I unboxed the mophie, it had less than 25% left, so I plugged it into a Type-C to Type-C cable plugged into a Type-C high-capacity wall charger — it took less than an hour for the battery to completely recharge.
There are no other ports or buttons on the battery.
Everything you need to keep your Laptop charged along with one other USC-C device is included in the box; the only extra thing you might want to buy would be that Type-C to Lightning cable for fast-charging your iPhone (assuming that you haven’t already bought one).
The powerstation 3XL offers pass-through charging, so if you are traveling and you want to plug the battery into your wall charger and plug your laptop and phone into the battery, you can. Priority+ charging will first power the devices plugged to its USB-C and/or USB-A output ports, and then the powerstation 3XL will begin to recharge.
I always have a portable battery in my backpack for my phone or tablet, and this is now the battery I’ll be carrying. Yes, the powerstation 3XL adds a little bit of extra weight, but that’s worth the trade-off knowing the powerstation 3XL can handle my phone, tablet, and my Laptop. The 3XL’s 26,000mAh battery can give you up to 85 extra hours on your smartphone, up to 18 extra hours on your tablet, and up to 17 extra hours on your laptop; this is the battery I have been waiting for!
The mophie powerstation USB-C 3XL retails for $199.95, and it is available directly from the manufacturer and from Apple.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Perfect for long days spent away from a reliable power source; Perfect for travel; Monster 26,000mAh capacity; High-speed USB-C outputs up to 45W, so it is perfect for charging the MacBook and MacBook Air; Extra USB 2.4A fast-charging Type-A port for your phone or tablet; Using a Type-C to Lightning cable with the Type-C port will charge your iPhone up to 2.5 times faster; Battery itself has fast-charging technology (up to 45W) so it will recharge quickly when plugged into a high-capacity Type-C wall charger
What Needs Improvement: Nothing