DBPower Portable Power Station Review: A balance of utility, portability, and price

DBPower 250W portable power station

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The DBPower Portable Power Station isn’t a perfect product, but it gets the job done with a small footprint and a relatively low price.

If someone mentions a portable power station, people will probably immediately think of those 30-pound boxes with a bunch of outlets. But portable batteries come in all shapes and sizes, and the 250W DBPower station may have found a sweet spot.

DBPower 250W battery is a portable powerhouse in miniature but still bigger than the battery category products. It can recharge an iPhone about 25 times or a MacBook Pro twice.

This is not an emergency power backup tool like other portable power stations. It can power some lights for 24 hours but doesn’t have enough power to power a refrigerator or other large loads.

It makes up for the lack of useful ports and low-wattage output with bright flashlights and a single universal outlet. It is a good companion for a weekend camping trip where minimal use of technology is expected, but backup battery power is required.

Features and design of the DBPower Portable Power Station

The DBPower Portable Power Station is small at 7.16 inches by 5.39 inches by 5.04 inches. It weighs 4.4 pounds and has a folding carry handle similar to a small lunchbox.

The Li-ion battery has a capacity of 250Wh or 67,200mAh. That’s enough capacity to fully charge a 16-inch MacBook Pro twice.

The case is a soft touch plastic material with vents on both sides. The fans turn on after a certain internal temperature has been reached, which can occur due to large loads or by switching on the lights.

Like other power stations, this one is not water resistant and should not be used in damp environments or in the rain. Extreme heat or cold can also reduce efficiency or prevent intended operation.

Doors, controls and lights

The small size and low price of this battery pack mean that the interface is quite simple. There are buttons on the top of the unit to turn on/off the power of the device, ports and lights.

There are three USB-A ports, one DC port, and one AC outlet for input

There are three USB-A ports, one DC port, and one AC outlet for input

A large light emits a flashlight-like beam on the left side of the unit, and two light strips on the front produce diffused light. Both lights are controlled with a single button using a single or double press.

A single press toggles between on, strobe and SOS modes for the side light and a double press toggles the front lights on and off.

A power button for the battery turns on with one press and turns off with a long press. Also on top are toggles to supply power to the AC outlet or DC/USB ports which are operated with a single press.

There are three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, the DC charging port and one DC output port. Underneath is a large AC outlet that works with multiple outlet types.

The first USB-A port is a “smart” port, which can output up to 18W. The other two USB-A ports are 10W and 5W ports. The USB-C port is an input port and can supply only up to 15W on battery.

The DC port can work from 9V to 12V at 10A, used for some kinds of DC lights and other products. The AC outlet is capable of delivering 250W with a peak of 350W.

Charging the power station can take up to 6 hours when using the built-in power supply. There’s no method to speed it up, and larger power supplies won’t help.

Using the DBPower portable power station

Frankly, the port situation on the DBPower portable power station is abysmal for 2022. However, this product is saved by the AC outlet, which is far more versatile than any single USB port.

The lights on the DBPower portable power station are useful

The lights on the DBPower portable power station are useful

There will be limited use cases where three low-wattage USB-A ports might be useful, but at least they offer some versatility. The addition of a USB-C port that is only used for power is perplexing, especially since it will only charge it with as little as 15W.

That said, having a tiny portable battery pack with an AC outlet is quite handy. Never mind that USB ports are terrible if users can fast charge a 16-inch MacBook Pro from the outlet.

We tested several portable power supplies, from tiny MagSafe batteries to huge aluminum bricks with 190W of total output. The DBPower portable powerhouse lands in an odd place just off that spectrum: too big for a backpack but too small for serious power needs. It’s even hard to qualify as a “powerhouse.”

What you get with this 250W DBPower battery is something with a large capacity that won’t break the bank. Its size and weight are directly attributable to the lithium-ion battery inside, and you won’t find a more compact version with the same technology.

We have three main complaints. First, USB’s terrible wattage can’t be underestimated. Three USB-A ports and all incapable of fast charging a modern iPhone.

Secondly, the fans are quite audible when they turn on. It doesn’t seem like it takes long to get the fans going, especially if the lights are in use.

Finally, this powerhouse does not recommend using power passthrough as it may degrade the battery faster. Also, the passthrough doesn’t work with the AC outlet, only the USB ports.

You should buy the DBPower portable power station

The DBPower Portable Power Station sounds like the perfect camping companion. I can think of other short-term outdoor activities, like fishing or cooking in a park.

The AC outlet is the only particularly useful port on the device

The AC outlet is the only particularly useful port on the device

Situations where a top-up would be good, but anything more would require a bigger battery.

The added lights reinforce it. It’s a portable lantern that charges your iPhone.

If a four-pound battery with a built-in flashlight sounds appealing, you can’t go wrong for under $200. We can recommend this product, even if it’s not for everyone. Most people would be better off with a battery pack that fits in a bag.

Pros of DBPower Portable Power Station

  • The 250Wh capacity is great for the price
  • Its small size and weight make it an easy travel companion
  • The built-in lights are a useful touch

Portable Power Station DBPower Cons

  • Inconvenient product: too small to be a powerhouse, too big to fit in a backpack.
  • USB-A ports offer minimal charging speeds.
  • Six hours of charging isn’t ideal, especially since it doesn’t have good support for passthrough charging.
  • The fans are loud in such a small product. The slightly smaller batteries require no fans.

Rating: 3 out of 5

If this product included a 30W USB-C output, we would have rated this battery much better. However, the USB ports we were provided with probably would have been better off if they weren’t there.

This is not a bad product. It does what it sets out to do at a low price and offers decent capacity. The 250W output of the AC outlet is also very useful.

Hence, this product scores right in the middle: a 3.

Where to buy DBPower Portable Power Station

Buy the DBPower portable power station directly from the DBPower website for $179.99. It’s on sale as of this writing, and the regular retail price is $219.99.

Amazon is offering a $50 off coupon for a limited time. Its list price is $179.99, but it can be purchased for $129.99 with coupon — excellent value.