Anker’s portable power station gets you through blackouts and campouts [Review]

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Anker Solix C800 Plus Portable Power Station★★★★☆
As a condo owner, I don't need more than Anker Solix C800 Plus to keep the place going in a power outage.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

The Anker Solix c800 Plus Portable Power Station is a capable and versatile portable power station that can get you through a power outage or let you live like a king on a camping trip.

With a stout 768Wh lithium-ion battery, the device packs a punch. It allowed me to charge multiple devices simultaneously and power various appliances in a simulated blackout. Now I’m just waiting for the power to go out for real, or for someone to invite me camping.

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Anker Solix c800 Plus Portable Power Station

Anker Solix c800 Plus Portable Power Station features durable construction, with a solid plastic shell and a compact form factor. Comfortable carry handles crop out from the top on both ends, making it easy to transport, despite its somewhat hefty 24-pound weight.

Overall, Solix c800 Plus is an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable and powerful portable power solution. Its impressive battery capacity, versatile output ports and robust design make it a valuable investment for camping trips, emergency preparedness or a bit of off-grid living (you’re not going to power your whole compound with this for long … though you could get the solar panels that work with it …)

While it’s not the cheapest portable power bank with a similar capacity, Anker’s reputation for quality and customer support add value. The company has become a leader in the market segment. And millions of folks trust its small chargers, so why not its big ones?

Battery and capacity

At the core of the Solix c800 Plus is a high-density 768Wh lithium-ion battery pack, which provides ample power for charging smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even running small appliances like mini-fridges, CPAP machines and electric grills.

Anker’s numbers show it can fully recharge a MacBook Pro up to 8 times, a smartphone up to 40 times, or power a mini-fridge for up to 24 hours. Now that’s handy in a blackout.

My new-to-me-but-actually-13-year-old fridge recently gave me a scare when all my food rotted right after I moved into a new place. But it just needed a thorough defrost. Anyway, the Solix had no trouble running the big Frigidaire for several hours one day, with other items plugged in, too.

I was in awe of it at once point, realizing all the crap I could plug into it even if an apocalypse should rage outside. Guitar amp. Bluetooth speakers. 50-inch TV. Defibrillator (I had to throw in one non-frivolous item … if only I had one of those).

Performance

Anker Solix C800 Plus charging gadgets and lamp-2
Solix charges my iPad Air and Apple Watch by lamplight it also provides.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

The C800 Plus handled a range of appliances in test scenarios. I ran an 500-watt blender off it while my fridge was plugged into it. It’s also good for keeping my 900W microwave oven operational (no matter what happens, I’ll have popcorn).

Of course I also loaded up Solix with gadgets, charging my M1 MacBook Pro, iPad Air 5, iPhone 13 Pro and more with it.

Frankly, it makes the usual wall adapters, 3-in-1 chargers and GaN devices look like toys. But then, it’s a lot bigger. And it’s something you’d only use when normal power access is absent for some reason.

The power station features fast-charge functionality you can turn on via a slider in the app to up the output wattage. The station also includes 20ms uninterruptible power supply (UPS) functionality.

Ports and connectivity

The Solix c800 Plus offers a wide range of output ports, catering to various devices and appliances. It features five AC outlets (pure sine wave, 800W rated, 1000W surge), two USB-A ports (5V/2.4A), two USB-C port (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/5A) and a 12V car socket.

This versatility allows you to power and charge multiple devices simultaneously, from MacBooks and iPhones to small TVs and camping gear.

User interface and extras

Anker Solix C800 Plus camping lights
The top opens to reveal three different camping lights you can use separately or together. How cool is that? That’s what the “Plus” in the product name is about.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

The Solix c800 Plus features a bright LCD display that shows the remaining battery capacity, input/output wattage, and other relevant information. It also includes a handy LED flashlight strip, which can be useful in emergency situations or during outdoor activities after the sun sets.

The Anker app makes it easy to track power usage. It told me total capacity remaining as well as amounts of juice going to various outlets and ports.

The device comes with a user manual, an AC adapter, a car charger, and a carry case for easy storage and transportation.

And one of my favorite bits in the “extras” department: The top of Solix C800 Plus opens to reveal three different camping lights. You can pull them out and use them with the battery to light up your campsite.

Charging and recharging

The Solix c800 Plus can be recharged in various ways, including the most common one, via a wall outlet (using the included AC adapter). Then there’s a car outlet for when you use the included car charger. But you can also use compatible solar panels, sold separately.

The device supports a maximum input of 100W via AC (300W via solar panel), allowing for relatively fast recharging times. A full recharge from a wall outlet takes approximately 8 hours, according to Anker, and I found that to be more-or-less accurate.

Safety features

Anker has implemented several safety features in the Solix c800 Plus to ensure reliable and safe operation. These include overload protection, short-circuit protection, over-voltage protection and temperature control.

Additionally, the device features a built-in MPPT controller for optimal solar charging efficiency, if you want to go ahead and invest in solar panels.

Anker Solix C800 Plus power station features
This portable power station can keep you and your gadgets and appliances going. Keep it charged up. The regular C800 has storage on top. The C800 Plus puts camping lights in there.
Photo: Anker

Main features

  • 768Wh battery capacity
  • 1200W (1600W surge) inverter
  • Hyperflash recharging 0-100% in 58 minutes
  • 300W solar input
  • 5 AC ports
  • 10 ports total
  • App control
  • Built-in removable Camping Lights
  • 20ms UPS mode

Key specifications

  • Dimensions: 371 x 205 x 253mm (14.6in x 8in x 10in)
  • Weight: 10.9kg (24 pounds)
  • AC Outlets (110V): 5 x 1200W
  • USB Outlets: 1 x 100W USB-C, 1 x 30W USB-C, 2 x 12W USB-A
  • DC Output (car/cigarette lighter style): 1 x 120W
  • Solar/DC input style: XT60
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Price: $649 (see $150 coupon opportunity at Amazon below)

Like any product, the C800 Plus has its strengths and weaknesses. It has a powerful inverter, abundant AC and USB ports, and an easy-to-use app. However, it lacks an IP rating, doesn’t offer wireless charging, and lacks compatibility with expansion batteries that would let you build bigger capacity.

Where to buy: Purchase the Anker Solix C800 Plus for $649 via Anker or Amazon ($150 off coupon available at Amazon)

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

★★★★☆

$150 off coupon
Anker Solix C800 Plus Portable Power Station
$649.00

This 1200-watt (peak 1600W) portable power station works with separate optional solar panels and includes Camping Lights. The 768Wh LiFePO4 battery powers camping, RV life and provides backup power in blackouts.

Buy now
05/15/2024 10:50 am GMT

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