State of the MacBook / Laptop (USB-C) Powerbank Market - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 1 Old 03-10-2016, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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State of the MacBook / Laptop (USB-C) Powerbank Market

This post will cover:

1. Quick Intro
2. Confusing specs (potentially deceptive?) for Powerbanks currently in the market.
3. This charge control tech was announced months ago...why the delays?
4. MOS Go -- Our solution, our specs, and ETA of available units.

Quick Intro

Many of you know there's an arms race to come out with the first USB-C powerbank that can charge a macbook or other laptop at a fast enough speed so that the user can see a net positive charge while using it. Heck, we're all just wanting a powerbank that will charge just as fast as the wall charger.

Deceptive Marketing Specs on Powerbanks Currently in the Market

Most consumers have begun to look for the Amperes (or Amps) rating (usually notated simply as '2A' to denote 2 amperes which is what people often look for to know if the charger will charge their iPad quickly, for instance). This has worked for consumers well up until now. Knowing "Amps" is only half the story, Volts is the other half. Since most chargers to date are 5V chargers, the Amps have been the only important thing to know, but with the advent of USB-C powerbanks and faster USB charging technologies (such as Qualcomm's QuickCharge and USB's Power Delivery technologies), the volt spec has begun to change, and so the Amp spec started to become less meaningful.

Not only that, but brands use a deceptive method of explaining amps-- you'll often see a powerbank that boasts, say, a 4.5A spec. This doesn't mean that 4.5A is coming out of a single USB port, it means that they are adding all of the Amps from all ports together to come up with that number.

Also-- the charge speed not only relies on your powerbank, but also on the device you're charging. Most smartphones for instance can only accept 5V 1A anyway.

Watts is what to look for. Now that Volts and Amps can become easily conflated, the spec you really ought to be looking for is Watts

If a manufacturer doesn't tell you the watts, you can simply multiply the volts and the amps to find out what the watts are. A 5V 2A USB port can technically output 10W as long as the device can accept that charge.

What about mAh (mili-amp hours) and mWh (mili-Watt hours)? -- these are descriptions of a battery's capacity. mAh has the same problem that Amps do-- if you don't know the Volts spec, this number is meaningless. Knowing a powerbank's and a device's mili-watt hours is the only way to compare apples to apples.

This charge control tech was announced months ago...why the delays?

It's true-- back in June of 2015 the charge control chip was announced by the chipmaker Etron, but to date, no one has launched a working unit that uses this technology.

This isn't an answer that's easily put into a forum post, but the technology just wasn't as ready as everyone thought it would be. There would still be tons of electrical engineering to be done to make this solution a good user experience. For this reason, the best powerbanks out there are still using the older charge control tech that maxes out at 15W (usually 5V 3A). If you compare this to the Macbook USB Type-C wall charger which outputs 29W, this will only give you enough juice to keep your laptop on, but not enough to charge it much while it's on.

MOS Go -- Our solution, our specs, and ETA of available units.

We recently announced that we finally have prototypes that will provide an excellent user experience. Compared to the current 15W leader in the market, MOS Go will charge a Macbook and other type-C laptops at a total of 24.5W, about 63% faster than the leading solution. In our tests, it was virtually impossible to detect a difference in charge speed compared to a wall charger unless the test was done side-by-side.

Pre-orders are open. The MOS Go is planned to be available on May 16th 2016.

Any questions or comments, please direct them to us at (a brand of Sewell), or simply read more at

Connect Anything at Sewell Direct

Also, check out our dedicated AVS subforum here.

Last edited by Sewell Direct Jared; 03-24-2016 at 03:22 PM.
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