Gear Review: Zendure SuperTank Pro USB-C Battery Pack

Remember when we use to travel regularly and deciding how to keep our gadgets powered up while on the go was a major concern? At the moment, that may seem like a distant memory for most of us, but there will come a time again when we’ll leave our homes and set off to explore the planet And when we do, we’re still going to need options that allow us to stay powered up and connected. Fortunately, Zendure is anticipating that moment as well and has a new charger in the work that offers some very forward thinking design. By fully embracing USB-C as the port of the future, the company has built a powerful battery pack that road warriors are going to love. But in doing so, they may have left some older products in the lurch.

The new SuperTank Pro arrives on Kickstarter today, giving early adopters a chance to reserve one of these powerful battery packs for yourself. Just how powerful you ask? The unit comes with a 26,800 mAh battery, allowing it to recharge a smartphone as many as 10 times or a large tablet three times, with a bit of charge leftover. Better yet, two of the SuperTank Pro’s ports are rated to produce up to 100 watts of power, allowing them to recharge a laptop that supports USB-C charging. That includes a MacBook Pro 16″ or a Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1. At its peak, it can produce up to 138 watts of power, which is a considerable amount for a portable power solution that you can comfortably hold in your hand.

Anyone who follows technology closely probably already knows that we’re moving into a transition phase in which most of our devices are heading towards using USB-C as a preferred data and charging port. USB-C has a number of advantages over USB-A—which is what most gadgets use now—in that it can provide more power for faster charging or for use with larger electronic equipment. The port is also smaller, can transfer more data at a higher rate, and has a symmetrical design that allows the cable to be plugged in without worry about which side is up. In other words, USB-C is simply much more convenient and useful.

With that in mind, Zendure had outfitted the SuperTank Pro with no less than four USB-C ports, which is fantastic for those of us who have already started making the transition. The lack of any USB-A ports on the SuperTank Pro is about my only complaint with the device, but thankfully the standard SuperTank has us covered offering a mix of these two ports for those who need it. The regular SuperTank and the Pro model share a lot of the same features, including battery capacity and a family resemblance. Provided you understand and can accept that the Pro model is USB-C only, you’ll enjoy the benefits that it delivers. Zendure does help ease the transition by including a USB-C to USB-A adapter in the box, and these days USB-C to USB-A cables are easy to find on Amazon.

One of the other key differences between the two units is that the SuperTank Pro also comes with a built-in OLED screen that provides crucial information about how it is being used. The screen displays not only the current battery level for the charger, but also tells you which ports are active and how much power is being pulled at any given time. It can even tell you how much power is flowing in when the unit is recharging, which can be done by plugging it into a USB adapter. It take roughly 1.5 hours to recharge the device, which is surprisingly quick for battery with this much capacity.

One of the other key features about the SuperTank Pro that I appreciated is that it is built—well—like a tank. The outer case on the battery pack is made from aluminum, which makes it extremely durable. It also happens to make it a good travel companion, as the portable charger feels like it can take a beating and keep on working. That’s exactly what you need when you find yourself bouncing around airports, spending a lot of time in hotels, or exploring remote campsites. It even makes it handy at home, where you can set this up as a permanent charging solution whoever you need it.  The only downside is that the size of the battery and durable shell add some bulk to the device. The SuperTank Pro clocks in at 20.5 ounces (580 grams), which adds to its substantial, premium feel but could make it a bit heavy for those who like to travel very light.

In sticking with the idea that Zendure has built the SuperTank Pro to be future proof, the company says that it also has an upgradable firmware. Apparently, owners can plug it into their computers and update the software that runs it to add new features or functionality. The company hasn’t exactly said what future firmware updates might include, although I suspect they’ll be used to fine tune the efficiency of the product, possibly improving recharge times and power output even further.

As a guy who has used a lot of different portable charging solutions in recent years, I’ve come away quite impressed with the SuperTank Pro. Then again, I’ve already made the leap to USB-C, so that helps tremendously. If you haven’t done so, you may find that this battery pack isn’t quite as useful for you just yet, but give it time. USB-C is the future and with the SuperTank Pro Zendure has ensured that we’re all ready for that future.

As mentioned, the Zendure SuperTank Pro is available to order now on Kickstarter. Zendure is hoping to raise $____ to get the SuperTank Pro into production and if successful the expect to begin shipping in _____ for a price of $____. Early bird backers can reserve one now however or as low as $_____.