Recharged has partnered with Anker, the ‘World’s No.1 Mobile Charging Brand’ to tell you more about its newly introduced portable power stations in South Africa to help combat load shedding.

Since we already use the Anker PowerCore Elite III 87W power bank to charge phones, tablets and laptops, we were keen to try the portable power stations.

Anker PowerHouse range

There are three models in the line-up to suit different budgets:

  • Anker 521 (256Wh) – R5 995
  • Anker 535 (512Wh) – R10 995
  • Anker 757 (1229Wh) – R21 995

For this article, we are going to take a closer look at the entry-level Anker 521 pure sine wave with a 256Wh or 80 000mAh battery capacity. It has dimensions of 216 x 211 x 144mm and weighs 3.7kgs, featuring a unibody design with a grip on top for portability and a drop-proof design.

Anker Powerhouse 521

Here are 8 things you should know about the Anker 521:

  1. It uses Anker’s proprietary long-lasting technology InfiniPower combined with LifePO4 batteries to last over 10 years, even with daily use. LifePO4 batteries can last up to 3000 cycles, and chances are, you won’t be recharging it daily. It also has a 5 year warranty.
  2. In South Africa, the portable power station comes with a regular AC charger, a car charger and a 2-pin to 3-pin adaptor in the box.
  3. The charging station has a 398W total output broken down as follows: 1x car outlet (120W); 1x 2-pin round socket (200W); 1x USB-A port (60W); 2x USB-A ports (18W shared); 1x warm tone LED light.
  4. It will fully recharge within 4.1 hours using the supplied AC adaptor; 4.3 hours with a USB-C cable; and 4.1 hours with the car adaptor. Solar panels will take 4.1 hours. If you use both the AC adaptor and a USB-C cable, it will take 2.5 hours, of which, 80% will be achieved within 1.5 hours.
  5. It has a smart display operated by a button to check the status at all times, including times remaining, battery percentage, what outputs are being used, how much power is being used, etc.
  6. These are the types of products you can connect to it: phones, lights, laptops, WiFi, mini fridge; cameras; drones, and small fans. It is great for powering electronics primarily. You cannot use it with a microwave, hot plates, hair dryers, toasters, air compressors etc.
  7. If you don’t want to drain the batteries, there is a toggle for power saving that you can turn on.
  8. It has a built-in chip with its own algorithm to keep it quiet, and for things like smart temperature control that works 100 times per second.

My experience with the Anker 521 

As a freelance writer who works from home or anywhere, I think it’s a great option for your business needs. You can power your electronics from a coffee shop or wherever you find yourself working for the day. If you don’t want to worry about charging a smaller power bank daily, this would also be better solution.

I can connect phones, tablets and laptops to it at once, and still have the AC out free. And by tapping the display button, it will show me at a quick glance what the status is of the power station, and when I should recharge it, etc.

It is also small enough to take with on weekends away or if you’re into camping and the outdoors, even for a picnic. The portability and weight makes it easy to pop into your car or just hold via the grip. It has a rugged design that is durable and drop-proof, which I think anyone with kids can also appreciate.

Anker PowerHouse 521

The big drawcard here for me is size and price. It’s more on the entry-level side in terms of portable power stations, and the fact that is quiet compared to other solutions. If you’re also renting and don’t or can’t make permanent changes to the property you’re living in, this is also something to consider. You can always take it wherever you go, for personal or business.

Availability: The Anker PowerHouse 521 can be purchased at a bunch of online and in-store retailers like Makro, Incredible, HiFi Corp, Geewiz, Takealot, Loot, and Shop and Ship.