There are plenty of chunky battery banks around, but several features make Chargeasap’s 25,000mAh Flash Pro Plus stand out.
This $319 device can deliver the 100W PD USB-C power that laptops need to charge, as well as 60W and 20W PD from two other USB-C ports, and 50W fast charging from the USB-A port. It has two wireless charging pads: a full-size 15W one for standard Qi devices and a smaller 5W pad to charge an Apple Watch (the slightly cheaper $299 Flash Pro dispenses with the latter).
There’s also a brilliant feature that you might not have known you were missing until you start using it: a small OLED screen that shows you what power each port is delivering (in watts, amps and volts), whether devices are charging wirelessly, and how much charge is left in the battery as a percentage rather than a cryptic set of lights.
Oddly, it also has a little battery icon that can show up to four blobs: two blobs can mean anything from 26% to 50%, while four blobs can mean anything from 81% to 100%. This underlines just how useful a screen with a percentage readout actually is.
The four ports are clearly labelled with their output, so you can pick the most useful port — and you can charge from all of them at once, and both wireless pads too.
We tested the Flash Pro Plus with a range of chargers and cables: the USB-C chargers from an M1 MacBook Pro, a Dell XPS 13 and Chargeasap’s own, extremely portable USB-C charger that has two 100W PD ports. When the chargers didn’t have their own cable, we used Lauco’s USB-C 100W PD cable, which is covered with Kevlar braid so it’s extremely robust and strong (Lauco says you can tow a car with it, and it easily survived several tug-of-war tests in the office), and the interchangeable Infinity 100W PD cable, again from Chargeasap, which has tips for USB-C, USB-A, Micro-USB and Lightning.
The good news is that 100W charging has come on a lot from what we saw last year — and thanks to the display, you can see what you’re actually getting. We used a USB power monitor to confirm that the figures you see on the Flash Pro Plus screen are accurate.
The battery itself charges over USB-C only: in about an hour, we charged it from 20% to 93% using the Apple charger, and charging time was similar with other 100W chargers, although much slower with the USB-C charger that comes with the Microsoft Surface Duo. The smart power control means the battery draws more power when it has less charge (56W) and less when it’s closer to fully charged (26W).
We were able to power a 15-inch Surface Book 3, a Surface Laptop 4, an iPad, a Windows Phone, an iPhone and an Apple Watch all at the same time, using all of the ports and charging pads. We didn’t see the power output drop with multiple devices, although you can watch the battery and device negotiate the right level of charge, and as your devices charge up they will gradually take less power.
When we first plugged in the Surface Book 3 using the Chargeasap cable, output briefly peaked at 99.4W but then settled at 78W. Plugging in the Surface Laptop 4 with the Lauco cable, the 100W port was delivering 50W of power; that fell to 42W on the 60W port. And with the Surface Book 3 on the 100W port and the Surface Laptop 4 on the 60W port, the Flash Pro Plus was delivering 72W and 45W at the same time.
That much power means you’re not just running your notebook off the battery, you’re charging the notebook’s battery. We plugged the Surface Laptop 4 into the Flash Pro Plus when Windows had just switched on battery saver mode at 11% remaining. It took just 10 minutes to get to 22% and the power level was consistent enough that the Windows charging time estimate was pretty accurate. After 52 minutes, the Surface Laptop had 75% charge and the Flash Pro Plus was down to 37%.
If we’d just been looking at the blobs on the battery icon, we wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference from when it had 50% charge — a reminder of how useful the screen is.
Wireless charging was occasionally fiddly. We had to remove an iPhone case that has attachments for macro lenses — even the small projection around the camera was enough to make it harder to get the phone to charge, although it worked instantly without the case. MagSafe on the wireless pads keep an Apple Watch or an iPhone (12 or later) in the right charging position. We were able to charge earlier iPhones and Android devices (at 10W) too. Place a phone sideways if you want to be able see the battery display.
All this makes the Flash Pro Plus a little on the hefty side; it weighs in at just over 580g and the case measures 16cm by 9cm by almost 3cm thick. Inside are graphene batteries from Panasonic that Chargeasap says have a five-year life.
This is a solid product in every sense: you’ll know you’re carrying it, but it can deliver plenty of power to multiple devices, and you’ll always know just how much power you’ve got.
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