RavPower’s massive power bank pushes the limit with AC outlet [Review]

By

RAVPower RP-PB055 AC Power Bank review
It’s a bit bulky, but the RAVPower RP-PB055 can recharge an iPhone 11 more than 5 times.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Power banks designed for phones don’t do much for laptops and tablets. But the RavPower RP-PB055 AC Power Bank packs a whopping 30,000mAh, and more than doubles a MacBook’s time between recharges. Even better, it includes a standard wall socket so it can run DVD players, lamps, fans … whatever you need.

I tested it not only with Apple products but with other electronics, too. Read on to see how this uber-size power bank held up.

RavPower RP-PB055 AC Power Bank review

There’s no doubt about it, the RP-PB055 is a beast: I measures 7 inches by 5.4 in. and 1.8 in. thick. And it weighs 2.25 pounds. It’s not something you drop into a backpack and forget about.

But that bulk makes room for a 30,000mAh battery and multiple ports to take advantage of all that capacity. The USB-C port puts out 60 watts for fast-charging a MacBook. There’s also a pair of USB-A ports for charging your iPhone or other device. One puts out 18 watts, the other 12 watts.

And, of course, there’s the very convenient 100-watt AC outlet. It’s capable of handling a range of electronics with two- or three-prong connectors. That includes a MacBook charger if you want to juice up two laptops at once. (You can skip ahead to the performance section of this RavPower charger review to see how the ports and outlet did in real-world use.) A set of eight green LEDs gives a fairly accurate reading of the remaining battery level.

Fan

The circuits in this power bank can transfer so much electricity that RavPower built in a fan to cool them. This usually kicks in when the AC outlet is used, or when the RP-PB055 is fast-charging a laptop or tablet. Charging an iPhone through a USB-A port won’t turn on the fan.

The fan runs at about 18 db, so it’s hearable but not terribly loud. You can’t hear it in a car, and certainly not in an airplane. It’s much quieter than a generator. That said, it’s a touch irritating in a quiet office.

Accessories

RavPower includes two cases for the RP-PB055. One is zippered with hard sides. It includes extra space for cables, wall chargers, etc. The other is a mesh bag that closely fits the charger.

Remember that the fan needs airflow to cool off the device’s circuits, so don’t try to run the power bank inside the case. You might be able to get away with it in the mesh bag, but you’re still taking a risk of overheating.

The power bank also comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable, but you’ll need to supply your own wall charger.

RavPower RP-PB055 AC Power Bank review. This charger can power anything and everything.
The RP-PB055 includes an AC outlet, plus USB- and two USB-A ports.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

RavPower RP-PB055 AC Power Bank performance

This external battery holds 30,000mAh, but some of that will be lost in the process of transferring power to your MacBook, iPhone, etc. That’s why I tested the RP-PB055 to see how efficient it is.

Over several cycles, the power bank raised the battery level of a 2020 iPad Pro 180%. This tablet packs a 9,720mAh battery, so the test shows that the RavPower charger is approximately 60% efficient. Numerous tests I’ve done with a variety of consumer-grade batteries indicate that’s the industry standard.

With this information, finding out how many times the RP-PB055 can replenish any given device just requires knowing how big its battery is. Take the 2020 MacBook Air — it has a 49.9Wh battery, so the power bank can give it 1.3 full charges. Or an iPhone 11 can be fully recharged 5.6 times. Those are 100% charges, not starting from the devices’s low-battery warnings.

The only difference between the two USB-A ports is how quickly they’ll recharge your gear. The 18-watt port increased the battery level of an iPhone 11 by 35% in 30 mins. The 12-watt one bumped the battery level on the handset 27% in the same amount of time.

AC socket

In my tests, RavPower’s mobile battery was able to run a 40-watt light bulb for four hours. That’s enough for both evenings of a weekend camping trip.

Just be sure to check the wattage of the device you want to charge. The charger can provide up to 100 watts. There’s no way the RP-PB055 can handle my 1,000-watt toaster oven, for example.

RavPower RP-PB055 AC Power Bank final thoughts

The RavPower RP-PB055 AC Power Bank can be part of your emergency-preparedness kit for when electricity to your home is knocked out. It’s good for a short camping trip, or to get power to the kids in the backseat of a minivan on a long drive. But, given its bulk, it’s not ideal for a typical business trip.

Pricing

RavPower’s suggested price for the RP-PB055 AC Power Bank is $129.99, which is typical for high-capacity external batteries with AC ports and other features.

Buy from: Amazon

Comparable products

The rival Mophie Powerstation Go has a 65-watt AC adapter, and stores less than half as much power as RavPower’s offering. But it can crank a car, and has wireless iPhone charging. It sells for $159.95.

Or consider the Mophie Powerstation AC. This 22,000mAh portable battery packs a 100-watt AC plug, a 30-watt USB-C port and a USB-A port. It’s available on Amazon for $129.

RavPower provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.