Kanex GoPower USB-C Portable Battery review: Good performance and sleek design at a premium

Lithium-ion-based battery can fully charge a 12-inch MacBook.

You might be mistaken if, at first glance, you thought the Kanex GoPower USB-C Portable Battery ($93.25 on Amazon) was an Apple product. It has a sleek, finished-aluminum, rounded design with minimal labels. It’s much flatter than any of its competing USB-C equipped packs because the maker uses a lithium-ion polymer that can be shaped, rather than relying on cylindrical battery cells.

The 15000mAh (56Wh) battery also performs as well as some with much higher-rated capacity, because there’s typically less electrical loss with a polymer battery than with the wiring connections required for commercially produced battery cells.

The GoPower achieves nearly the same result with 15000mAh as the top-rated Anker PowerCore+ with 21000mAh: it charged a MacBook by 33Wh (the current “full” level) with enough charge left over to recharge a 9.7-inch iPad Pro from 60 to 67 percent—another couple watt hours.

kanex gopower usb c 01 Kanex

The LEDs on the GoPower didn’t seem well calibrated. The number lit decreased rapidly from four to one by the time the pack had reached just half the amount of power it transferred into the MacBook. It remains with one solid LED while recharging the iPad Pro. That will be confusing when you’re trying to gauge how much capacity remains.

I liked the GoPower’s clearly labeled ports, a nice contrast to many other packs. A plug icon appears next to the USB-C input port, a laptop screen next to the USB-C out, and a mobile device next to the Type-A port.

At $100, the GoPower is $40 more than the Anker for slightly less capacity and one fewer port (one Type-A 2.4A port instead of the two with the Anker). However, it does include two USB-C cables, one for connecting to a MacBook for power (it’s comparable to other high-quality USB-C power cables I tested), and another to charge using USB-C to Type-A. That offsets the price differential slightly.

The GoPower has a one-year warranty for the original purchaser only.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Batteries

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Glenn Fleishman

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?