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I've tested dozens of power banks. This is the 'Goldilocks' of chargers

Whether you're charging a smartphone, laptop, earbuds (or all three) Ugreen's Nexode 100W power bank has all the bases covered in a sleek, compact package.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Describe what's shown in the image.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • Ugreen's Nexode 100W 3-port power bank is a steal for just $80. 
  • It features ample port connectivity and plenty of power in a compact, streamlined form factor. 
  • The minimal design means you have to remember the press-and-hold function for the sole button. 

I've been on the hunt for the perfect power bank for a while now -- a "Goldilocks" model that checks all the boxes. 

My ideal device would have a substantial charge capacity that sustains several days of use, versatile power outputs for everything from laptops to earbuds, a variety of ports, both trickle and pass-through charging, and high-speed recharging. All of that would be housed in a compact form factor that's easily stashed in a large pocket or tossed into a laptop bag. 

Also: The best power banks you can buy: Expert tested

Too much to ask? Well, after much searching, I believe I've found just the powerhouse: the Ugreen Nexode 100W 20,000mAh 3-port power bank. Not only does it meet my criteria, but it exceeds it, making it a standout choice for tech enthusiasts on the go. 

View at Amazon

Ugreen Nexode 100W 20,000mAh 3-port power bank tech specs

  • 20,000mAh high-capacity lithium-ion cells (5,000mAh x 4 cells), charges iPhone 15 Pro 4.5 times, and MacBook Air 15-inch 1.1 times
  • 11,300mAh (TYP 5V 6A) rated capacity
  • 72Wh (14.4V 5,000mAh) energy capacity
  • Ports:
    USB-C1 input: 5V⎓3/9V⎓3A/12V⎓3A/15V⎓3A/20V⎓3.25A
    USB-C1 output: 5V⎓3A/9V⎓3A/12V⎓3A/15V⎓3A/20V⎓5A
    USB-C2 output: 5V⎓3A/9V⎓3A/12V⎓2.5A
    USB-A output: 10V⎓2.25A/5V⎓3A/9V⎓2A/12V⎓1.5A
    Total output: 5V⎓6A/9V⎓6A/12V⎓5.5A/15V⎓3A/20V⎓5A
  • Simultaneously fast-charge three devices 
  • High-speed recharge using 65W or higher USB-C charger (not supplied)
  • LED battery level display
  • 20% lighter, compact design
  • Trickle charge support for low amp draw devices
  • Over-charge, over-voltage, over-discharge, over-current, high temperature, and short-circuit protection
  • Airline compatible
  • ‎5.47 x 3.18 x 1.06 inches, 14.8 ounces
The business end -- three ports

The business end: all three ports.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Physically, the Ugreen Nexode 100W 20,000mAh 3-port power bank is compact; slightly smaller than my iPhone 15 Pro Max, but about twice as thick. 

It is equipped with three ports at one end -- two USB-C and one USB-A -- for ample connectivity options. On the side, there's a multi-functional button that handles power, on/off, and trickle charge functions, alongside an LED display that clearly indicates battery capacity. Its design is simple yet effective.

LED panel on the side of the power bacnk is simple yet does the job

The LED panel on the side is simple, but does the job.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

While some power banks come festooned with an array of buttons and LCD displays of detailed information, there's something to be said for the elegance of simplicity. The Ugreen Nexode exemplifies that philosophy perfectly -- it's as straightforward as they come. The design focuses on ease of use, with the only notable piece of information to remember being to hold down the on/off button for three seconds to activate the trickle charging mode.

Also: The best cheap portable power stations you can buy: Expert tested

This minimalistic approach not only enhances user experience but also streamlines operation, making it an appealing choice for those who value simplicity and functionality.

The three ports on the Ugreen Nexode power bank provide a versatile range of charging options. When a single USB-C port is utilized, it delivers a robust 100W output, ideal for quickly charging larger devices like laptops. However, when all three ports are simultaneously in use, the total output adjusts to a maximum of 85W.

Also: Bluetti is offering limited-time deals on their power stations - but not for long

The power bank can also be recharged completely in two hours using a 65W power supply (not provided, but this Ugreen 65W unit is a good option if you need one). This flexibility allows you to efficiently manage power distribution among multiple devices, making it an excellent choice for users who need to charge various gadgets on the go.

Testing power bank output

Testing power bank output

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The power bank also comes with a foot-long USB-C-to-USB-C cable and a fabric carry pouch. As with all my power bank reviews, I rigorously tested this power bank against the claims made on its spec sheet regarding capacity, power outputs over a number of charge and discharge cycles, all the time keeping an eye on how hot it got under heavy load. I'm pleased to report that it passed with flying colors. 

This is a really well-made power bank, both inside and out. Its performance matches its impressive design, making it a reliable and stylish choice for keeping your devices powered up. 

ZDNET's buying advice

The Ugreen Nexode 100W 3-port power bank was a delightful surprise. Contrary to my expectations of it being larger, bulkier, and less feature-rich, it turned out to be a top-tier device. It's perfect for those seeking a powerful yet portable charging solution.

Additionally, the pricing is a bonus. I anticipated a price point of over $100, perhaps nearing $120. But its actual price tag of $80 is a steal, making this power bank a compelling choice for anyone in need of a mid-sized unit that offers great value and no-nonsense performance.

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