Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Review

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD
Anker PowerCore 10000 PD

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD - The smallest 15V power bank on the market

Summary

An update to Anker’s popular 10,000mAh USB power bank. This model features 18W USB-C PD, fast charging smaller USB-C devices. And a trickle charge function, perfect for your wireless earbuds.

Overall
4.6
  • Performance
    (5)
  • Design
    (5)
  • Safety
    (4.5)
  • Recharge Time
    (4)
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Pros

  • Fast charges iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel
  • Charges Switch while you play
  • Can be recharged by Nintendo Switch AC Adapter
  • Fits in most Switch carrying cases
  • Trickle charge function for earbuds and small accessories
  • Fast charge Switch and iPhone together
  • Includes a USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Within FAA limits for lithium batteries and flights

Cons

  • Won’t fast charge Quick Charge 3.0 enabled phones; but does normal charging
  • Compatibility issues with some Anker chargers
  • Pricy, but does include cable and pouch

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I purchased the product in this review.

Model: A1235011
Anker PowerCore 10000 PD specs

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD specs

Tech Specs:
  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A
  • USB-C Output:
    • 18W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 15V/1.25A)
  • USB-A Output:
    • 10W USB (5V/2A)
    • Apple 2.4A
  • Input: 18W USB-C PD (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 15V/1.2A)
  • Capacity: 10,000mAh | 37Wh
  • Size: 4.5 x 2 x 1 inches | 114 x 51 x 25 mm
  • Weight: 6.8 oz | 193 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD box and contents

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD box and contents

Included In Box:
  • Anker PowerCore 10000 PD
  • USB-C to USB-C 2.0 cable, 3 feet/0.91 meter
  • Pouch
Good For:
  • Commute
  • Travel
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • iPad Pro (pre-2018)
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld)
Estimated Number of Charges:
  • iPhone 6/7/8: 2 charges
  • iPhone Plus/X/XR: 2 charges
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S9: 2 charges
  • Samsung Galaxy S10: 2 charges
  • Nintendo Switch: 4 hours of play

First Impression

The Anker PowerCore 10000 PD is a much anticipated upgrade to their popular PowerCore 10000 line. The older PowerCore 10000 offers a USB-A port with micro-USB input. And some variants offered features like Quick Charge and even a USB-C input only port. The PD model has the same USB-A port but an input/output USB-C Power Delivery port as well. Like most 10,000mAH USB-C PD power banks it is limited to 18W output. But unlike similar power banks it offers 15V instead of only 9V or 12V. That allows it to charge the Nintendo Switch faster than many of its peers. And gives an interesting, if emergency use only, backup option for some laptops. The new model is longer, likely to house the circuitry needed for its performance levels. The top of the enclosure has a grippy feel, but without any visible grooves.

 

Compared To Similar Power Banks

ChargerAnker PowerCore 10000 PDAnker PowerCore 10000 PD+Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition

Review
AUKEY PB-Y13 10000 USB-C

Review
PricePrice not available$49.97$56.49$29.99
PortsUSB-C, USB-AUSB-C, USB-AUSB-C, USB-AUSB-C, USB-A x2, micro-USB
Output18W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD

PowerIQ 2.0
22.5W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
Capacity10,000mAh10,000mAh13,400mAh10,000mAh
FeaturesCompatible with Quick Charge 3.0

Walmart exclusive
Nintendo LicensedPass Through Charging
CableUSB-C to USB-C cableUSB-C to USB-C cableUSB-C to USB-C cableNo cable
Dimensions4.5 x 2 x 1 in
6.8 oz
4.5 x 2 x 1 in
6.8 oz
3.8 x 3.1 x 0.9 in
9.2 oz
5.75 x 2.9 x 0.4 in
6.9 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-12-14.

 

You can see more USB-C power banks here.

Device Testing

Check with your device’s manufacturer to verify which charging standards it supports.

USB Power Delivery & Quick Charge 4+ Phones

  • Apple iPhone 8/X/XR/XS
  • Essential Phone
  • Google Pixel
  • LG ThinQ/V30
  • Razer
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S9/S10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8/9
  • Xiaomi Mi 8/9
  • ZTE Axon Pro 9/10

 

Using an iPhone 8 for testing we find USB PD phones will fast charge over the USB-C port. iPhones will need to use a USB-C to Lightning cable, not included. Android phones can use the included USB-C to USB-C cable.

For older iPhones the USB-A port supports Apple 2.4A. An older, but still functional fast charging standard. Older iPhones (4-7) can fast charge using USB-A. Newer iPhones will charge ~15 minutes faster using USB-C.

Quick Charge 3.0 Phones

  • HTC
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Nokia
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • Sony
  • Xiaomi Mi 5/6
  • ZTE

 

Using a Moto G6 we confirm no fast charging support for Samsung, Motorola, or Quick Charge enabled Android phones. Both USB-C and USB-A ports provide ~10W, which is a normal charge.

Nintendo Switch

 

The Nintendo Switch charges near its max rate, up to 14W. The Switch won’t draw as much current as it could, which is 18W. This is due to a shortcoming with the Switch itself. But it is more than enough to charge while you play. Learn more about charging the Switch.

The PD protocol negotiation with the Switch is mostly typical. It connects at 5V and moved up to 15V after negotiations. There isn’t a reset to 0V before the change, though. Current steps up once the 15V connection is made. The Switch showed no issues with charging during any testing.

USB-C Laptop

 

Using a 13-inch MacBook Pro for testing we can see the charger’s max 18W output. It isn’t enough power to ideally charge any USB-C laptop. But it will work in a pinch. It can charge a laptop while asleep, giving it more run time.

If you want a power bank for your Switch and laptop this isn’t it. You’ll want a power bank with 30-45W output. And with more capacity.

Trickle Charge Mode

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD in trickle charge mode

Anker PowerCore 10000 PD in trickle charge mode

Trick charging is for low power draw devices. The most common being Bluetooth headphones and fitness trackers. Some draw so little power that a portable charger misinterprets it as being done charging. The portable charger shutdowns, not having charged the accessory. Trickle charge mode forces the portable charger to stay on, but at a reduced output rate. This allows the low power accessories to charge. Without draining the portable charger too much.

On the PowerCore 10000 PD you can turn on trickle charge mode by pressing and holding its power button. The blue LED dot closest to the button will turn green, indicating trickle charge mode is active. It will stay active for a couple of hours. Or until you press the power button again.

Not Compatible With Some Anker USB-C Chargers

The first production run of the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD had a “charging system updating issue.” This resulted in known incompatibility with three Anker USB-C wall chargers:

  • PowerPort Atom PD 1
  • PowerPort PD 1
  • PowerPort PD 2

Anker had a note about the incompatibility on the Amazon product page. But many didn’t see it and the issue came up in the reviews. And on Anker’s own online community.

Product listing notes for the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD

Product listing notes for the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD

In mid May we learned Anker had corrected the problem. And currently produced versions of the power bank no longer had the issue. We know the version sold in Canada is the updated version as of May 15 (probably earlier). But Anker continued selling the older version, with the issue, through the US Amazon store.

As of this review the issue has been resolved by Anker. But I couldn’t tell you how to identify a fixed unit. Nor can I tell you when Anker will stop selling/run out of the initial units with the issue.

My Testing Results

I purchased the PowerCore 10000 PD in mid March. So I expect I received one of the models with the issue. So I tested it against an Atom PD 1. As well as a list compatible Anker charger. And an AUKEY and ZMI charger.

But I did find one thing that was odd. Across all chargers the power draw while at 0-25% was half as much power as it should have been. All four chargers showed a lower draw rate during that time. And all four chargers should a jump up in charge rate after 25%.

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 – Listed as incompatible

 

My Atom PD 1 worked with my PowerCore 10000 PD. There was a single occasion where it connected at 5V rather than 15V. But I couldn’t replicate that result.

Anker PowerPort Speed PD 30 – Listed as compatible

 

Even though it is listed as a compatible charger I saw the same reduced charging rate below 25%.

AUKEY PA-Y18 18W PD

 

The AUKEY charger is 18W, but with only 12V power profiles. So we expect it to charge the power bank slower overall. But we still see a lower power draw from 0-25%.

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

 

The ZMI charger is 45W, more than any of the other chargers tested. And yet again we see a lower power draw from 0-25%. That strongly indicates the issue is with the power bank.

Conclusion

The compatibility issue Anker and others have discussed could be intermittent. Or not on every single unit from the original production run. A partial failure rate would warrant the note from Anker. If you check reviews on Amazon you’ll see others who report issues.

The lower power draw at 0-25% is the reverse of how lithium batteries are normally charged. The power ramps up at low levels, and drops off as the charge completes. Here we see a very obvious jump up in current somewhere after 25% charged. Consistent across all chargers tested.

Power draw jump after 25% charged

Power draw jump after 25% charged

I did a similar test with an Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition. The most similar Anker power bank I had on hand to the PowerCore 10000 PD. Charging the PowerCore 13400 NSE from 0% it drew power at its full rate. As we would expect from any device at 0% charge.

The slower initial power draw doesn’t appear to impact total charge time. Anker claims a 3.5 hour charge time with a USB-C PD charger. During my testing the total charge time was a bit over 3 hours.

If you have one of the listed incompatible Anker chargers then you may want to wait. The fixed version will be out at some point, if not already. But without Anker making an announcement we won’t know for sure when. If you plan to use a different USB-C charger then you should be fine. But do a charge test and make sure it works okay before your return window closes.

Summary

The Anker PowerCore 10000 PD is a worthy successor to the original PowerCore 10000. Anker could have made it like most other 18W USB-C PD portable chargers. Supporting 5-12V only. But the inclusion of 15V support allows it to charge the Nintendo Switch faster than its peers. Not to mention more device friendly and future proof.

For the Nintendo Switch it charges in handheld mode fast. But not as fast as larger portable chargers with 15V support. The Switch under draws a bit due to the less than 2A current. This is a Switch issue, not a portable charger issue. It will charge while you play. And charges a sleeping Switch at the best possible rate. It will not power a docked Switch.

Its 18W USB-C PD will fast charge Power Delivery supporting phones and small tablets. It can even fast charge the Switch and an iPhone at once. The 2018 iPad Pro will charge as well as with its own charger, but it can charge faster. Lack of PowerIQ 2.0 means no fast charging for Quick Charge enabled Android phones. But they will charge at normal rates. It isn’t made for laptops, and won’t work with certain models that demand a minimum output. But for MacBooks and others it’ll help in a pinch. Just not for long.

Its known incompatibility with one of Anker’s newer and popular chargers is a letdown. Anker has acknowledged the problem and taken steps to correct it. But they also opted to keep selling the versions with the issue. Their customer support has been responsive to issues and negative reviews. But if you buy you need to test it with your own charger and make sure everything is to your liking.

About Anker

Anker has U.S. based support (web, email, phone) and a 18 month warranty. They are a beloved brand within many USB-C communities.

Bottom Line

The Anker PowerCore 10000 PD fills a niche of good output options in a compact design. It outperforms similar sized power banks with the Nintendo Switch. And is equally great for iPhones and Google Pixels. It costs more, but not that much more when you account for the included USB-C cable. But if you want to use it with an Anker USB-C wall charger test it as soon as it arrives.

Buy if you:
  • Need to fast charge an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S8 or newer, Google Pixel, or Nintendo Switch
  • Want one package with power bank, cable, and travel pouch
  • Need trickle charging for Bluetooth earbuds or fitness tracker
Don’t buy if you:
  • Want to fast charge a LG or Motorola Android phone
  • Plan to use one of the non-compatible Anker wall chargers
  • Already have a USB-C cable and want to save money
Buy on Amazon

 

You’ll want a USB-C wall charger to quickly recharge this USB-C power bank. Check out the AUKEY PA-Y18 18W PD. If offers the same performance as an Anker 18W charger. But without the compatibility issue. And it is smaller for travel.

Be sure to check the Deals page to see if this or a similar charger is on sale.