Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Omars provided the product in this review.
Interested in using this power bank with a USB-C device other than the Switch? Check out my general review at USB-Current.
Novoo 85W AC Portable Power Station – Take a wall outlet on your travels
Switch Chargers Ratings:
- Speed Rating: Fair (USB-C), Dock Supporting (AC, depending on wall charger used)
- Safety Rating: Safe
- Capacity: 9+ hours of play
Times based on 3 hours per full Switch charge.
- Ports: USB-C, USB-A, AC Output, DC Input
- USB-C Output:
- 15W USB-C (5V/3A)
- USB-A Output
- Quick Charge 3.0
- Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
- Huawei FCP
- Apple 2.4A
- 85W AC Outlet, 110V
- Input: 30W DC (using included AC/DC adapter)
- Capacity: 22,500mAh | 81Wh
- Size: 5.9 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches | 149 x 81 x 81 mm
- Weight: 26.8 oz | 759 grams
Learn more about USB Fast Charging Standards.
Included In Box:
- Novoo 85W AC Portable Power Station
- AC/DC power adapter
- micro-USB cable, 2 feet
- Portable charging station anywhere
- USB-C phones
- Quick Charge Android phones
- Nintendo Switch (handheld)
- Most any travel sized gadget with its own AC power plug
- Charges Switch while you play (USB-C)
- Powers the Nintendo Switch dock (AC outlet & charger)
- AC output acts like a wall outlet, good for most laptop wall chargers
- Easier to pack than bulkier power station models
- Supports pass through charging
- Charge three devices at once
- Within FAA limits for lithium batteries and flights
- Will only recharge using included power adapter
- Plugging in a wall charger blocks both USB ports
- Doesn’t included a USB-C to USB-C cable
The Novoo 85W AC Portable Power Station is one of the smaller power stations I’ve seen. Power stations offer an AC outlet, while power banks are USB output only. The AC outlet is like the wall outlets in your home. Though usually with output limits. The USB-C port is nice, but doesn’t support Power Delivery. To get a higher output for your devices you’ll need to use the AC outlet. The smaller, cylindrical design makes this model easier to transport. It can fit in a bag, where others are the size of a small bag. It also falls within FAA limits for lithium batteries on planes. But for all that you only get 81Wh of capacity (22,500mAh in power bank terms). Most other power stations offer 150-400Wh. But again they are several times larger and heavier.
Power Meter Readings
The Nintendo Switch charges at the expected ~10W with regular USB-C. Over 5V it limits its draw to 2A. But that’s still enough to charge while you play any game. Learn more about charging the Switch.
We see a less active power negotiation, as it doesn’t move up to a higher voltage. Note there is a slight delay (1-2 seconds) between plugging in and current flowing. You’ll see the same between connecting to the Switch and the Switch showing it is receiving a charge.
Here is where the AC outlet can come in handy. By using a 45W (or faster) USB-C PD charger we can charge the Switch at its max rate.
Now the Switch is charging at its max rate. With its own AC adapter or a 45W+ USB-C PD charger we can also power the Switch’s dock. With a portable display two of these power stations could run a mobile dock setup.
With regular USB-C the iPhone 8 won’t fast charge when using a USB-C to Lightning cable. The iPhone charges at nearly the same rate whether using USB-C or USB-A ports. Learn more about fast charging iPhones.
The Moto G6 fast charges using the Quick Charge port. This will be the same for Quick Charge enabled Android phones. And the port supports Samsung’s Adapter Fast Charging standard, too. If connected to the USB-C port it’ll charge ~40% slower. The Google Pixel and Android phones that support USB Power Delivery will not fast charge, as the USB-C port doesn’t support Power Delivery. Learn more about fast charging various Android phones.
The USB-C port isn’t viable for charging laptops. It does provide power, but less than half what the smallest laptop wants. But with the AC outlet you can plug in your laptop’s regular power adapter. It will charge up to 85W, enough for most models. Learn more about charging USB-C laptops.
Compared With Similar Power Stations
|Charger||Novoo 85W AC Portable Power Station||Anker PowerHouse 200||Novoo 60W AC Portable Power Station||Jackery PowerBar 20800 AC|
|Switch Speed Rating||USB-C: Fair|
AC: Dock Supporting
AC: Dock Supporting
AC: Dock Supporting
AC: Dock Supporting
|Switch Safety Rating||Safe||Safe||Safe||Safe|
|Switch Playtime||9+ hours||21+ hours||8.5+ hours||8.5+ hours|
|Features||USB ports auto shut off||USB-C or solar power input||USB ports auto shut off|
|Cable||No cable||No cable||No cable||USB-C to USB-C cable|
|Dimensions||5.9 x 3.2 x 3.2 in|
|7.5 x 5.5 x 4.7 in|
|6.1 x 3.1 x 3.1 in|
|6.3 x 2.6 x 2.6 in|
Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-06-25.
The AC outlet is the center piece of any power station. It allows a wider range of devices to take advantage of portable battery power. For this review I used the same devices I always use when testing USB-C power sources. But any device you own with its own power adapter and which uses 85W or less of power will work with this power station.
To use the AC outlet you need to press and hold the power button next to it. Otherwise the outlet remains turned off, just plugging in will not turn it on. The USB ports work as soon as they are connected.
If you use the AC outlet for more than a few minutes an internal fan will switch on. The air intakes are at the bottom of the power station. The side molding lifts the bottom up a few millimeters. Do not stand the power station up on carpet or you could block the intake. The noise level is like a gaming PC’s fans.
The fan does its job well. I measured the external temperature of both the power station and USB-C power adapter.
- Power station hottest point: 83.2°F (28.4°C)
- Apple 61W USB-C power adapter hottest point: 93.9°F (34.4°C)
USB Ports & AC Outlet
Both USB ports continue to offer power output while using the AC outlet. But to do so you’ll need to plug a cable into the AC outlet, not a power brick. The Apple 61W USB-C power adapter and Inateck 60W PD USB-C wall chargerI used during testing blocked the USB ports. The smaller iPhone 5W USB power adapter did not.
The USB-C port on the Novoo power station is output only. Meaning you cannot recharge the power station using USB-C. You must use the included AC/DC power adapter.
The power adapter is a basic wall wart design. The prongs don’t fold and it has a built-in cable. The kind you don’t mind plugged in behind the furniture, but not the best design for travel. It takes away from the travel readiness of the power station itself if you need to take it for repeated use. That said, it isn’t any worse than what other power stations use for their recharge. Also note the barrel end of the power adapter is quite thin. Be careful not to pull it at an angle to keep everything in working order.
The user manual mentions a 30W solar adapter being available, though I couldn’t find it on Amazon. A car charger built for this power station would be a welcome add-on accessory. The power station fits in most car cup holders. Professionals would like to recharge between gigs. It could also keep your larger devices running on long road trips. Recharge the power station while the devices run on their own battery. Then swap back to the power station. You can get a DC/AC adapter for your car. Then use it and the power stations own AC adapter to recharge it. But a single power adapter from Novoo would be nice.
I was able to recharge the power station from 0% to 100% in 5.33 hours. The power adapter offers up to 30W, making it and the recharge time on par with similar capacity power banks. For most use cases you should plan to have the full capacity of the power station once a day. With an overnight recharge required.
Novoo’s Newer vs Older Power Stations
The 85W/22,500mAh Novoo power station I’m reviewing is their newest design. On Amazon they list it as an upgraded version of their older 60W/20,100mAh model. Both models have the same basic design. They are cylindrical and offer the same power ports. USB-C and Quick Charge output are the same. The main differences are battery capacity and AC output. That change addresses customer issues with the older version from larger laptop owners.
The older 60W/20,100mAh has a 60W output limit on the AC outlet. That’s enough for 12-inch and 13-inch USB-C laptops. But larger USB-C laptops could use more, and some won’t charge when not enough power is available. The 60W limit is also problematic for older laptops without USB-C. A power station such as this is their only battery charging solution. But they tend to need more power.
The newer 85W/22,500mAh model increased the AC output to 85W. That’s almost the same as most 15-inch USB-C laptops, which come with 90W wall chargers. A laptop wanting 130W may still not charge well with either Novoo power station. But the new 85W design does work for a larger number of laptops. The extra 12% capacity is nice if charging through the USB ports. But you’ll notice it less charging through the AC outlet. It helps keep the actual capacity the same with an increase in output.
If charging the Switch via USB-C the only difference is 12% more battery life from the newer model. With a Switch dock powered through the AC outlet either model will power TV mode. And again the newer model will run longer.
Pass Through Charging
Pass through charging allows a power bank to both recharge and charge a connected device. Some of the energy flows from the wall output, through the power bank, to the device. The remaining energy recharges the power bank itself.
The Novoo Portable Power Station supports pass through charging a several ways:
- Input: DC, Output: USB-C
- Input: DC, Output: USB-A
Both USB-C and USB-A (Quick Charge) output is normal while doing pass through charging. The AC outlet is completely disabled. Pressing the power button does nothing, and no voltage connection is made when plugged in.
Pass through charging is useful for overnight stays with limited wall chargers. It is not recommended to do so on a regular basis. It puts more heat and stress on the power bank, which can affect its lifespan. Doing it when traveling is fine. But don’t set this up next to your bed at home every night.
The Novoo 85W AC Portable Power Station is among the smaller (and cheaper) power stations with built-in USB-C. But compared to its larger peers it offers less output on the AC outlet and has much less capacity. It can run a docked Nintendo Switch for about 3 hours. You’d need a second power station to power whatever display or projector you were using, too.
The USB-C port supports regular 15W output. It won’t fast charge any devices. But all model USB-C phones will charge at their normal rate. It is enough to charge the Nintendo Switch while you play in handheld mode. For larger devices you’ll want to use the AC outlet. To save the battery the USB-C port will switch off on its own. When it detects the current draw is 0A it shuts down. It will not start back up without your intervention.
The USB-A port supports 18W Quick Charge 3.0. It provided over 16W to a Moto G6. And would perform the same for Samsung and Quick Charge supporting Android phones. Other small devices connecting to USB-A would see their normal charge rate. Both the USB-C and USB-A ports can be used at the same time. Without any reduction in their outputs.
With the AC outlet any device with a power plug that draws 85W or less can get power. Include small displays or travel sized projectors. Larger laptops with ~90W chargers will also work. They rarely reach their max draw potential. The two USB ports can also output while using the AC outlet. But most power bricks will block the USB ports. And of course the limited capacity will drain faster with three devices connected.
Remember to push and hold the power button when you want to use the AC outlet. It will not turn on automatically like the USB-C and USB-A ports.
The power station falls within the FAA’s limits for flights within the United States. Many other power stations are well over those limits.
Novoo is a subsidiary brand under Omars. They have U.S. based support (web, email) and a 12 month warranty on both Omars and Novoo branded products.
The Novoo 85W AC Portable Power Station offers a portable solution for a Nintendo Switch in TV mode. Two of them will power the Switch and your display/projector for up to 3 hours. For only charging a handheld Switch it is overkill.Buy on Amazon
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