Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Gear Closet: Suaoki G500 Portable Power Station Review

A couple of months back I reviewed a portable power station called the Suaoki S270, which I found to be an incredibly versatile and handy battery pack for keeping mobile devices and other gadgets charged up while traveling, camping, or just hanging out in the backyard. But, that device is a bit on the smaller side and isn't necessarily well suited for powering larger devices or for use in a base camp situation. Thankfully, Suaoki makes another device that is built just for that purpose.

I first mentioned the Suaoki G500 when it launched on Indiegogo back in March. Since then, it has gone on to complete a successful crowdfunding campaign, and is now ready to order on the company's website. It brings a lot more power to the table, delivering a device that is perfect for expedition use, overlanders, car campers, or anyone else who needs efficient portable power just about anywhere.

At its core, the G500 is a massive 500 watt-hour (137,700 mAh) battery pack capable of not only charging smartphones and tablets, but also laptops as well. It can even run small appliances, like a mini-refrigerator or LCD projector. In fact, offers enough juice to keep just about anything you can carry with you into the backcountry functioning, including drones, camera equipment, lights, and more.

Of course, a portable power pack is only as good as the ports that it offers for charging, but the G500 has us well covered in that area too. It comes equipped with two AC wall outlets, three quick-charge compatible USB ports, two standard USB (A) ports, and a USB-C port as well. It also has a built-in DC port like the cigarette lighter port found in your car.

As far as inputs for charging the G500 itself, it also can be powered up using an AC wall outlet, a DC car port, or a solar panel. These different options making easy to recharge the power station at home, on the road, or even off the grid.

Obviously this battery pack isn't built to be carried on a lightweight backpacking excursion, but it is surprisingly lightweight. Because it uses a lithium-ion battery, the G500 tips the scales at a mere 15.2 pounds (6.9 kg), which when paired with its sturdy built-in handle makes it easy to carry around. Make no mistake, you wouldn't want to hike the Appalachian Trail with this device, but you can definitely pack it into a remote base camp and have it provide plenty of power. And if you pair it with the optional solar panel, you can generate power indefinitely.

I've been using the G500 for a month now and have come away quite impressed with its durability and build quality. This is a well made product designed to survive in the outdoors. It is also extremely easy to use, with a built-in LCD screen providing information about current charge levels and power in and out. All of the ports are labeled nicely so you know what each one does, and the device is not only quick to charge itself, it can also replenish the dead batteries on your other gadgets in an efficient manner too.

A portable power station like the G500 is handy to have around the house. Recently we lost power in our neighborhood, but we barely missed a beat. I hooked up the G500 to our Internet router and wifi hotspot, and restored access within minutes. I was also able to keep my laptop and monitor functioning too, allowing me to continue getting work done while waiting for the power company to restore services. Afterwards, I simply topped off the battery on my power station again and stored for the next time I need it.

The G500 ships with the an AC adapter, a charger, and a solar charging cable, essentially giving you everything you need to right out of the box. It is also priced at just $599.99, making it viable alternative to the competition. Indeed, the equivalent power station from Goal Zero is $150 less, but offers 100 watt-hours less power and weights nearly twice as much. (Note: As pointed out in the comments, GZ has a more equivalent model that costs the same but offers less power) It also doesn't come equipped with nearly as many charging ports. If you're looking to save a little cash, that might sound like a decent deal, but if you're serious about having portable power, the Suaoki model is worth the extra money. The weight savings alone is a major benefit.

As you can tell, I'm pretty happy with both of the products I've been using from Suaoki. They are outstanding power supplies for keeping my gadgets working no matter where I go. If you have a similar need for portable power, I think you'll be extremely happy with what you find here.


2 comments:

Laidlaw said...

I'm not sure you spent enough time looking for the "equivalent power station from Goal Zero". The Yeti 400 Lithium is the exact same price, 72Wh less power, a pound heavier, and has been available for about a year now.

Kraig Becker said...

Thanks for the correction!