Reviews |BioLite Charge 80 PD

BioLite Charge 80 PD Review

Biolite Charge 80 PD
Review

Price when reviewed

£69.95

$69.95
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Our Verdict

The BioLite Charge 80 PD is a more versatile and powerful power bank than most. Its abilities go beyond giving your phone’s battery a boost and enable you to recharge a laptop or a camera battery. It costs less than a couple of the average OEM replacement camera batteries, which makes it a great addition to your kit if your camera can charge via a USB connection.

I have a collection of power banks that I’ve used over the years but the BioLite Charge 80 PD is the one I will be using from now on.

For

  • Enough power to charge a camera battery several times
  • Easy portable solution

Against

  • Bigger than the average powerbank (but more powerful too)
  • Battery-life indicator not visible in bright light

What is the BioLite Charge 80 PD?

Since the advent of smartphones, power banks have become a part of everyday life. They’re basically a rechargeable battery with the right connections to enable you to keep your phone going throughout the day.

The BioLite Charge 80 PD is a 20,000mAh Li-ion power bank with one USB-C and two USB-A ports. The USB-C port is the power delivery type to enable the unit to be recharged and to charge connected devices. The two USB-A ports can also be used for charging devices.

The BioLite Charge 80 PD uses Quick Charge 3.0 protocols which means that it can charge at up to 18W using the USB-C port and up to 15w using a USB-A port. A standard USB port only delivers 5W so the Charge 80 charges devices at around three times the usual speed.

BioLite claims that the Charge 80 PD can store enough juice to recharge a 13-inch laptop once, or a smartphone 5 times. I’m more interested in what it can do for a camera, but the ability to charge a laptop or a phone is obviously useful too.

BioLite has given the Charge 80 PD a battery life indicator with four lights. It’s activated by pressing the adjacent button.

Biolite Charge 80 PD

Specification

  • Product type: Powerbank
  • Battery: 20,000 mAh, 74 Wh Li-Ion
  • Total power output: 18W
  • Connections: 1x USB C-PD (power delivery), 2x USB A
  • Power input: USB C-PD, up to 18W
  • Power outputs: USB C-PD: 5V/3.0A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A USB A: 5V/3.0A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A
  • Provided cable: USB-A to USB-C charge cable
  • Dimensions: 170 x 82 x 25mm / 6.7 x 3.2 x 1.0-inches
  • Weight: 465g / 16.4 oz
Biolite Charge 80 PD

Performance

The BioLite Charge 80 PD is the biggest powerbank I’ve used, but at 170 x 82 x 25mm / 6.7 x 3.2 x 1.0-inches, I’m still able to find enough space for it in my bag or coat pocket. And at 465g / 16.4 oz, I don’t mind carrying it, given what it’s able to do.

It’s also a very robust-feeling power bank, with a tough plastic outer. Don’t let the word ‘plastic’ put you off, there’s an overriding feeling of durability about the Charge 80 PD.

I’ve been using the Charge 80 PD for a while, experimenting with different uses and charging a range of devices. It takes a few hours to charge, so I tend to leave it overnight and then it’s ready for the day as I need it.

I have a 12-inch MacBook and after I ran the power down to 7%, I connected the BioLite Charge 80 PD via the USB-C port and left them alone. A while later, I came back and check the laptop’s power, the battery was at 97% – that’s enough. Pressing the Charge 80’s battery life indicator showed that it had only dropped one of its four bars.

Next, I connected the Charge 80 by USB-C to a Fujifilm X-S10 with a flat battery. About an hour later, it was fully charged and the battery life indicator was still showing two bars meaning that there was around 50% life remaining. Recharging my iPhone and Apple Watch didn’t have an impact on the number of bars illuminating.

Wanting to investigate the camera battery charging potential further, I flattened the battery in a Fujifilm X-S10 by continually recording video for around an hour, and then connected the camera to the Charge 80 PD vis the USB-C connection to charge it again. I flattened and recharged the battery nine and a half times before the Charge 80 PD was out of power.

The Fujifilm NP-W126S battery that’s supplied with the X-S10, X-T3, X-Pro3, X-E4 and X-T30 (and more) retails for around £49/$65, which makes the Charge 80 PD excellent value.

As a further test of the Charge 80 PD usefulness with a laptop, I depleted the battery in my 12-inch MacBook again and connected the power bank. This time I continued to use the laptop and the battery recharged as I worked. I suspect that this may not be possible with all laptops, but it’s certainly handy for me!

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