The portable Li-Ion Power Station, with pure sine AC-inverter, should provide long-lasting power for just about everything.
Despite my love for tech, my family and I have developed a proclivity for camping and outdoor activities. Whether primitive camping with our Cub Sout Pack or Motorhome camping with the family, there are times that I need portable power for a tablet, MacBook, iPhone, portable speaker, or perhaps even for charging the family Nintendo Switch. Smaller portable 10,000 to 20,000 mAh batteries can help but often don’t have enough power for AC powered devices. Excitedly, the iFORWAY Portable Power Station could keep our gear powered when off-grid.
The iFORWAY Portable Power station arrived in a 9 7/8 inches wide by 8 3/8 inches tall by 4 3/4 inches thick cardboard box. The top handle reminded me of a briefcase and added a degree of fun to the product. The main cover proved to be quite informative. The Portable Power Station name was printed along the top right. In contrast, the company name, “USB-C 60W Power delivery In & Out,” “160W Purine Sine Wave Inverter,” and “154 Wh Lithium Battery” was displayed along the bottom. I loved the rustic copper-brown coloration atop the white background. I appreciated the variable color selection over a base black font. It added a much-needed contrast to the cover panel. The main showcase was the 7 1/2 inches wide, an oblique image of the black Power Station and the outlets: Type A Wall Outlet, dual 5V/2A USB A output ports, USB-C PD in-out port, DC out port, AC Port, round power button and bank of LED indicator lights. I turned to the rear panel and found even more information about the power station. Like the cover, the bottom provided brown-copper-colored information about the device and an attractive, photograph-quality image of the Power Station’s front. The rear panel provided a power output table for several devices: 1. Laptop 22 hours of extended battery life/2.2 full “changes” (suspect typo for charges). 2. 50 hours of extended battery life for your tablet or up to 5 full charges. 3. 200 hours of extended battery life for your phone or up to 15 full charges. 4. Can power a 32 inch TV for up to 2 hours (60W). 5. Multiple drone battery charges.
Along the lower edge of the panel, you will find the specifications of the charger. The 1.6Kg, 205mm wide by 170mm tall by 48mm thick Power Station promised a capacity of 3.7V/41600 mAh (154Wh) with the following output options: 1. AC 110V/60Hz of 230/50hz rated at 160W/Peak 200W. 2. USB-C (IN & OUT) PD 60W 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 20V/3A. 3. Dual 5V/2.4A USB-A output. 4. DC 5521 Output 12V/10A Max. The grey-colored right-side panel provided three detailing paragraphs about the output ports, the pure sine ac inverter, the ability to power electronics devices, including CPAP machines for those with sleep apnea. The opposite side panel provided six icons (Mini CPAP, Portable Console, Mobile Charging, Tablet Charging, Laptop Charging, Drone Charging), two QR codes, an SKU barcode, and product manufacturing labels. I lifted the top flap and removed the contents of the box. Atop the charger, you will find a brown accessory box with an eight-panel instruction manual, a 2 1/16 inches square by 1 1/16 inches thick 30W PD charger, a carry bag, a short 1 1/4 inches long USB-C to USB-C cable, and a slightly longer 39 3/4 inches long USB-A to USB-C cable. The grey-colored drawstring bag measured 8 1/4 inches wide by 11 inches tall and had a white drawstring closure at the top.
The Power Station was shipped between two styrofoam wings. Interestingly, the nerd in me immediately recognized that the combination resembled a TIE Fighter from Star Wars. The iFORWAY battery weighed 55.83 ounces and measured 6 3/4 inches wide by 8 inches tall by 1 3/4 inches thick. The smooth matte-black finish was interrupted only by a white-colored iFORWAY logo along the top of the charger and a bank of cooling ports along the top. You will find four 5/16 inches diameter padded feet, several cooling cutouts, and a product specification plate along the bottom of the device. The plate detailed the same information as the rear panel of the packaging. The 3.49-pound trapezoidal-shaped device had an attractive type A outlet, dual-stacked 5V/2.4A USB-A output ports, a USB-C PD in/out port, a round DC output port, an AC out indicator, a 3/8 inches diameter power button, and a pill-shaped bank of LED indicator lights. Turning to the manual, I was pleased with the layout and with the description of the product. The first panel showcased the device’s front, labeled the ports, and then provided the product specifications (the same as previously mentioned). The second panel discussed charging the Power Station and how to turn on/off the device. The instruction manual recommended to power the station before first use or after prolonged storage (3 months). To power-on or power-off the device, you can hold the main button for two seconds. A single press of the button will illuminate the bank of LED and will demonstrate the remaining power. To activate the AC output mode, you can double press the power button. If only charging via USB/A or USB/C, you do not need to power the device on with the combination listed above. However, to use the DC output port or the AC port, they recommended power-on the device.
The fourth panel demonstrated the AC-output capabilities of the Power Station. To power a 200W (max) device, double press the power button to activate the AC port. The green-colored AC out indicator will illuminate and alert you that the port is active. If there is a fault, the indicator will change to red. When finished with AC-output, double press the main power button again. The fourth panel detailed the USB-A and USB-C output, which worked similarly to other battery chargers. Additionally, the panel detailed the ability to use DC output power (similar to the AC steps above). The fifth panel provided an LED indicator key: All 4 LED full=100%, 3 full and 1 flashing=76-99%, two full 1 flashing=51-75%, one full one flashing 26-50%, one flashing 0-25%. Power output to USB and AC output will automatically stop when the battery is empty. The last few panels provided cautionary information about the charger. They recommended avoiding covering the device when in use, to avoid using the device in the rain, and to avoid disassembly or extremes of temperature. Neither the manual nor the box provided any information about the time to charge the Power Station. I plugged a Klein Tools USB-A/USB-C multimeter into the black power brick and then the USB-C cable between the multimeter and the charger to test out the device. I was pleased to find that all of the LEDs were illuminated out of the box.
To test the output features, I used my Macbook Pro 15 inch. Starting at 26% power at 12:33, I found the power increased to 30% by 12:42, 42% by 12:53, 48% by 13:00, 79% by 13:34, and was fully charged by 14:05. By the time that my MacBook Pro was at 80% power, the iFORWAY battery had two LED illuminated. By the time that my MacBook was fully charged, the battery had one LED fully illuminated and one flashing, suggesting 26-50% power remaining. I removed my MacBook and plugged my iPhone 12 Pro Max into the battery via USB-A to Lightning cable. The Klein Tools ET920 USB Multimeter read 5.06V/1.7A and charged my iPhone at about 1% every two minutes. This rate of charge was not as fast as a standard wall charger but was on par with many batteries I have tested. As a follow-up, I plugged the USB-C multimeter into the PD port and then a USB-C to lightning cable into my iPhone 12 Pro Max. The multimeter read 8.89V/1.88A and charged my iPhone at 1% per minute. Once my phone reached approximately 90% power, it changed to ~5V/1.5A output via the USB-C port. While charging my MacBook Pro, the multimeter read 20.03V/1.50A. Similarly, while charging the iFORWAY device with the included charging brick, the multimeter read 20.02V/1.5A. I plugged a Kanex PDU-2UT01 50W USB-A and USB-C dual charger into the AC port. I turned on the power with a double-tap of the power button and plugged the multimeter into the USB-C and then into the USB-A port. I used a USB-A to Lighting cable and found the multimeter read 4.95V/1.63A. While using the USB-C to LIghtning setup, the multimeter read 4.98V/1.47A. I was able to charge the device in about 5 hours with the included power brick but improved this to 3.7 hours with the Kanex 50W power brick.
The only aspect of the iFORWAY PS106N 160W that I did not like was the weight. I loved the included carry bag and was pleased that they included USB-A to USB-C and USB-C to USB-C cables. At over three pounds, this device would be a bit heavy for a camping outing. I was pleased that I was able to gain nearly a full charge of the 7333 mAh battery (83.6W battery) of my MacBook Pro, followed by the 3678 mAh battery of my iPhone 12 Pro Max twice. The packaging noted ~2.2x charges for a standard laptop and I believe that their data were reasonable. Assuming 80% efficiency, the 41,600 mAh battery could provide 33280 mAH of power for your electronic charging needs. The packaging complemented the product and did a great job of setting up the expectations. The instruction manual was easy to use, was well laid out, and successfully sold me on the product. The included bank of LED lights proved to be quite useful and informative, and the charging rates were reasonable. If the company could shave off weight from the device, I believe the product would benefit even further.