Anker Nintendo Switch Edition Power Banks

Update: See my reviews for the new Anker PowerCore Nintendo Switch Edition power banks.


Nintendo has partnered with Anker for the first power banks licensed for the Nintendo Switch. Anker will be offering two new power bank models:

Pre-order batches will go out on July 15 and August 15. Regular release is expected after that. You can pre-order at Anker’s website.

Specs

PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition

  • Capacity: 13400mAh/48.24Wh
  • USB-C Output: 5V/3A, 9V/2.6A, 15V/1.6A (24W)
  • USB-A Output: 5V/1.5A
  • USB-C Input: 5V/3A, 9V/2.5A, 15V/1.4A, 20V/1A
  • Size: 3.8 x 3.1 x 0.9 inches/97 x 80 x 22 mm
  • Weight: 9.2 oz/260 g

The PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition is the smaller, cheaper of the two. Anker states it’ll add 9 hours of playtime to the Switch. Given its capacity that’s a fair statement, assuming the Switch’s battery lasts for 3 hours of playtime. Anker also says this is the “smallest Power Delivery power bank” on the market. That also makes it the smallest and lightest USB-C PD power bank.

PowerCore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition

  • Capacity: 20100mAh/72.36Wh
  • USB-C Output: 5V/3A, 9V/2.6A, 15V/1.6A (24W)
  • USB-A Output: 5V/2A
  • USB-C Input: 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/2A, 20V/1.5A
  • Size: 6.6 x 2.4 x 0.9 inches/168 x 62 x 22 mm
  • Weight: 12.7 oz/360 g

The PowerCore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition is the larger and more expensive model. Anker states it’ll add 15 hours of playtime to the Switch. That is also a fair statement, assuming 3.33 hours of playtime.

Spec Analysis

The capacity of both fall well within the limits on lithium-ion batteries set for US and UK flights. You’ll have no problem traveling with either.

USB-C output of both is more than enough for a Switch in handheld mode. They will charge the Switch as fast as it’s own AC adapter. But the USB-C output is not enough to power a docked Switch. The output is also too low to adequately charge larger USB-C devices, such as a laptop. Smaller USB-C devices will charge fine: smartphone, small tablet, etc.

USB-A output of both is okay, though not the best possible. They’ll both charge smartphones fine. The 20100 will charge a tablet okay, but the 13400 model will lag behind with larger USB-A devices. Neither support Quick Charge.

USB-C input supports more power profiles than the output. You’ll want to have a USB-C PD wall charger to recharge the power banks themselves. The Switch’s AC adapter will work, as will are plenty of other options. Anker sells their own PowerPort Speed 1 USB-C, which also works well for the Switch.

Advertised 3.5 Hour Charge While You Play

Both power banks claim to charge a Switch from 0-100% in under 3.5 hours while you play. I checked that with a different USB-C PD power bank and found Anker’s claim is typical of any USB-C PD power source.

  • 0:04 – Switch wakes up. Launch game.
  • 1:15 – Switch reaches 50%.
  • 2:00 – Switch reaches 80%, fast charging ends.
  • 3:08 – Switch reaches 99%.
  • 3:18 – Switch reaches 100%.

The charging curve, where it slows down after 80%, is typical of lithium-ion batteries. It protects the battery from heat damage.

Nintendo Licensing

These power banks carry the official seal of Nintendo and have been “optimized for Nintendo Switch.” Looking at the specs they meet the Switch’s max charge needs, but that’s nothing special. Likewise their performance boasts are in line with other USB-C PD power banks.

Likely any optimization happened at a small level and doesn’t appear in the general specs. We won’t know what until an expert compares these with other models. We know the Switch isn’t quite USB-C compliant, so it isn’t unreasonable that Anker made a tweak in its favor.

One thing the official seal of Nintendo means is quality assurance testing done by Nintendo. They have signed off on these power banks for use with the Switch, both for safety and performance.

It is worth noting this line from Anker’s product page: “Ensure that you have installed the latest system update for Nintendo Switch before using this portable charger.”

Competition

The PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition at $70 doesn’t have any competition. This is due to its USB-C PD performance with a 13,400mAh capacity battery. Other USB-C PD power banks (similar performance) weigh in at 20,000mAh or larger. While some may see more as better, keep in mind capacity = size & weight. Other 13400mAh power banks (similar capacity and size) don’t offer USB-C PD performance. It is in its own niche, for now.

The PowerCore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition at $90 has lots of competition. In fact, the only thing it seems to have going for it is the Nintendo licensing.

Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD w/PowerPort Speed 1 USB-C | Review

  • Speed Rating: Great | Safety Rating: Safe
  • Exact same output/input specs, size, and weight. It even has the same 20,100mAh battery, despite its name.
  • It costs $10 more but includes Anker’s PowerPort Speed 1 USB-C wall charger, a $30 value.

RAVPower 20100 USB-C PD

  • Speed Rating: Great | Safety Rating: Safe
  • Same capacity. Similar size and weight.
  • More USB-C output power profiles, allowing it to support 12-inch USB-C laptops.
  • Higher USB-A output for tablets and supports Quick Charge.
  • Much lower USB-C input, charging this power bank takes hours longer.

ZMi QB820 | Review

  • Speed Rating: Superb | Safety Rating: Safe
  • Almost the same capacity (20,000 vs 20,100). Similar size and weight.
  • More and higher current USB-C output power profiles, allowing it to support a docked Switch and 15-inch USB-C laptops.
  • Higher USB-A output for tablets and supports Quick Charge.
  • Higher USB-C input, charging the power bank even faster.
  • Has a USB hub function for laptops.

RAVPower XTREME 26800 PD | Review

  • Speed Rating: Great | Safety Rating: Safe
  • Larger capacity, 1.5-2 more Switch recharges possible.
  • More USB-C output power profiles, allowing it to support 12-inch USB-C laptops.
  • Higher USB-A output for tablets.
  • Same USB-C input.

Anker is charging a premium for these licensed power banks. For that premium you don’t seem to get any real performance gain. That may prove inaccurate once we see real world results, but for now Anker doesn’t boast anything the competition can’t match. You do get the piece of mind from the trusted Anker brand and Nintendo’s seal of approval. That will be worth quite a bit to some Switch owners.

Conclusion

Anker’s Nintendo Switch Edition power banks are the first and only Nintendo licensed power banks for the Switch. With that comes the assurance of Nintendo’s QA testing for safety and performance. Their specs and performance numbers make them a great portable charger for a Switch. But they don’t seem to offer anything special in performance. We’ll need to wait to see if the promised optimization does anything other USB-C PD power banks can’t.

The PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition has a unique small size for the performance. Anyone interested in a USB-C PD power bank that takes up the least amount of bag space will be interested.

The PowerCore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition isn’t as special. It performs as well as the competition for the Switch and smaller devices, at the same size and weight. Whether you’ll want to pay the $20 more for the Nintendo licensing depends on how much comfort it gives you.