I usually reject power bank reviews on the grounds that most of the time when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Zendure SuperTank Pro was an exception thanks to the ability to double the battery life of a MacBook Pro, while Chargeasap Flash 2 (only Flash from now on) is a pretty nice travel solution more aimed at iPhones, iPads and – unusually – Apple Watch.
That’s not to say that Flash can’t run MacBooks either: it definitely can. It can deliver a total of 150 W, giving the same ability as Zendure to charge or drive two MacBook Pros at the same time. But this one has lower capacity, while USP is an integrated wireless charging tablet that can not only charge an iPhone, but also an Apple Watch …
See and feel
Flash looks a bit like an oversized iPod. There is a small screen at the top and a glass plate below. Apart from that, the front is casual gray aluminum. The back has only a Chargeasap logo. The sides are ridged, with a power button on the right side.
At the top you have four USB ports: 2 x USB-C, 2 x USB-A. More on that soon.
The device measures about six inches long and three inches wide and one inch thick, and weighs 1
Unlike the sophisticated power meter screen on Zendure, Chargeasap has chosen a minimalist approach: you get back the remaining percentage capacity of the power, and that’s it.
There is one troublesome thing about the design: Chargeasap can not decide which way to go! The door labels are adjusted to have the logo on top, but the screen will be hidden and the charging plate inaccessible. When you place it correctly up for use, the labels are upside down!
If it’s for MacBook use, my view is that you want all the capacity you can get. Zendure delivers this, with a capacity of 26,800 mAh, translated to 96.8Wh – or only within the maximum allowed you are allowed to take on a plane.
The flash is still large, with 20,000 mAh or 74Wh, which seems like a strange decision. Why not just go for as much power as someone can legally carry while traveling? The answer turns out to be that the product is manufactured in Australia, which is served by some Asian airlines with a lower battery limit of 20,000 mAh. Air Asia is an example of this.
It will not be a problem for too many American or European buyers, but if you travel with these airlines, it is obviously a crucial factor. But for the rest of us, we need a good reason to choose Chargeasap over Zendure for the same price.
Chargeasap makes a lot of graphene batteries, which have a higher power density than regular lithium-ion batteries, and which also run cooler. The company says that while some power banks may reach temperatures of 167F, Flash will never exceed 122F. The company also claims that graphene batteries have a significantly longer life when it comes to charging cycles.
To turn on the bank, press and hold the power key until the screen turns on. Turn off is the same, while waiting for the screen to turn off, otherwise it turns off automatically if not used for a short time.
The wired charging ports are similar to the Zendure. You have two powerful USB-C devices, one max. 100W, the other at 60W. The other two ports are for lower-power devices, one that delivers 18W, making it suitable for an iPad Pro, while the remaining can charge a 7.5W iPhone.
One difference is that Zendure has chosen all USB-C ports, while Chargeasap uses USB-A for the less powerful ones. Personally, I went all-in on USB-C cables when I bought my previous 15-inch MacBook Pro, but this mix of ports can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your preferences.
With lower capacity, it is a little faster to charge, in 70 minutes instead of 90.
The other big difference is the built-in wireless charging plate. This makes it prettier, with the ability to travel with fewer wires. You can not charge both iPhone and Watch wirelessly at the same time, but if you sleep with Watch on, you can charge your phone overnight and then Watch while getting ready in the morning. This makes it an excellent all-in-one solution.
To charge the phone, place it vertically on top of the flash. To charge your watch, simply place it on the pad and it will adjust automatically.
Chargeasap Flash prices and conclusions
Quite confusingly, Chargeasap has updated the Indiegogo campaign for an earlier three-port version of the charger we looked at in a sponsored post. But you now get the 4-port.
Earlybird prices are $ 149, which is the same as Zendure, although only a few of them were left at the time of writing. After they’s gone, the price bumps up to $ 169.
My opinion is that if you want to run a MacBook, you’re better off with the Zendure capability. But if you are looking for an all-in-one solution, wireless charging makes this a very nice option if you can live with the smaller battery.
Chargeasap Flash is available from $ 149 on Indiegogo. It is scheduled to ship later this month.
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