Recent weather here at our studio has been very brutal, with 80mph+ winds that have resulted in a loss of electricity on a number of occasions. We managed to charge our mobile devices using battery pack products, but we were unable to operate things like drained notebooks, lighting, wireless routers etc. The Xtorm Laptop Power Bank 18.000 (model number AL390) appears to be an attractive all-in-one solution to this problem, as it can power a wide range of appliances via a smartly integrated AC output and two USB ports simultaneously.
This a relatively large battery pack to others we've reviewed in the past, with a total weight of 638g and dimensions of 18.7x13.2x7cm. It's not pocket friendly, but will fit snugly in a bag (a small carry bag is included within the box). The outer black plastic casing should help keep it well protected and the casing design does also reflect a look similar to many external hard drives for sale today. Something we would have liked to have seen featured on the exterior of the Xtorm Laptop Power Bank 18.000 is rubber feet for extra grip on flat surfaces, as it has a habit of wandering on tables.
All output connections are located along the front side of the Laptop Power Bank 18.000, these are the AC and two USB 2.0 outputs. An independent switch for the AC output divides them and allows just the USB ports to be used when switched off. The two pronged European style plug is the default AC output, but a three pronged AC adapter is included for plugging in UK plugs, which we used.
There is a power button that can turn the charging of the USB ports on and off when pressed for a few seconds, and this also doubles as a readout for the level of battery capacity via four blue LED lights. To charge the internal battery a 19V/2A DC input is located on the side of the Power Bank, with an included charger in the box to complete the lengthy three hour task, to reach full charge.
Storage & Charging
18.000 mAh is a large rated battery (lithium-ion) capacity when used to charge USB devices, with the capability from our testing to fully charge an iPhone 5s roughly nine times. Plus two USB 2.0 devices can be charged at a maximum simultaneous speedy rate of 5V/2.4A too. The two USB ports glow with blue LEDs when in operation, which makes them easy to locate when in dimly lit environments and it happens to look rather cool too. This battery pack is a definitive universal USB on-the-go charging package, it has reliably charged all USB devices we've thrown at it.
The 120V/85W 60hz AC output, should work with most 100~230V appliances. Of course AC electrical appliances consume different rates of electricity, so our general testing varied considerably. One of the intended purposes of this product is to charge a notebook: a late 2013 13" MacBook Pro can be fully recharged from drained one and a half times in our usage. In context the Xtorm Laptop Power Bank could offer our MacBook Pro over 14+ hours of operational usage. This is a charging solution that travellers who are away from the mains electricity for days on end will find irreplaceable. One area we found this suits brilliantly is when camping, we could power lights, portable speakers, TVs, etc via it. Reassuringly all compatible appliances we tested never randomly cut off and the stream of electricity remained constant throughout usage.
The Xtorm Laptop Power Bank 18.000 is a device that we'll always keep fully charged in a drawer at our studio to whip out and save us in the case of a power cut; charging our USB devices and powering some of our AC UK three pronged appliances. It's like having a compact super-portable electric generator.