Battery technology has come a long way since we saw the first external battery packs for iPhones back in 2007. Today we’re looking at an amazing intelligent power bank that’s designed to power all of your USB-C and USB-A devices and act as a hub as well. The Omnicharge Omni 20 USB-C is currently in pre-order for December delivery for $169 (power bank only) or $199 (power bank plus protective case), and we’ve got a full review for you today.
Like its two siblings the Omni 13 and Omni 20, the Omni 20 USB-C is a rectangular block 5 in deep x 4.75 inches wide x 1.1 inches tall (12.7 x 12.1 x 2.8 cm), weighing in at 1 lb, 2 oz. (510.3 grams). Covered with a tough soft-touch plastic material on the outside with corners that are attractively chamfered, the front of the Omni 20 USB-C features an OLED display, a power-on/off button, a switch to toggle between power and hub modes and a pair of USB-A ports. Two USB-C ports for both charging other devices and being charged are on the right and left (one on each side).
Now here’s the amazing part; the Omni 20 USB-C has a capacity of 20,400 mAh, or 73Wh at 3.6V. Each of the USB-A ports can handle 5V/3A, providing 30W of power to quickly charge your iPhone or iPad. The power bank can use any USB-C charger (like the one that comes with the MacBook Pro) and can take 45W of input to fully recharge in 3 hours. It can also be charged while charging other devices, which is quite useful.
Where the Omni 20 USB-C is really going to be a lifesaver is in those situations where you need to recharge a MacBook or MacBook Pro but don’t have an outlet nearby. It can provide 90% of a full charge to a 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro, 130% of a charge to a 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 160% of a charge to a 2017 12-inch MacBook. When using the charger on a 2017 MacBook Pro the Omni 20 USB-C can be recharged in 3 hours, while the charger for the 2017 12-inch MacBook takes about 4.5 hours to recharge the power bank.
The OLED display on the front of the Omni 20 USB-C is a work of art, showing how the device is working with your devices. There’s a real-time display of how many Wh of energy are still available, power input and output numbers in Watts, a power output time remaining number, and even a reading of the temperature of the power bank.
Omnicharge prides itself on its power protection system, and it’s easy to see why. The batteries are continually monitored for low temperature, over temperature and overcharge/discharge situations, and an onboard fuse will disconnect battery power to prevent a short circuit. The device also monitors and adjusts cell performance to extend battery runtime and lifecycle. In terms of input and output, the Omni 20 USB-C will automatically disconnect when a plugged-in device doesn’t match its output parameters, is getting a current overflow, or an input overvoltage. If there’s an irregularity in current coming into the power bank, the device protects the charging circuits.
Lastly, there’s an ARM micro-controller that keeps the motherboard of the power bank from getting too hot or short-circuiting. It will also reboot the device when it sees abnormal parameters. There’s a separate ARM CPU that powers the screen.