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DJI made a rugged power station that I can't recommend enough to drone users

The latest DJI Power 1000 is specifically designed for drones but is strong enough to power most high-watt devices, as I found in testing.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
DJI Power 1000

The DJI Power 1000 power station in action.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The DJI Power 1000 power station is available on Amazon for $699 with a $300 off coupon. 
  • It's a powerful, premium quality power station that's built to satisfy the needs of professional drone pilots.
  • Unfortunately, there's no storage compartment for the SDC accessory cables, nor is there a built-in 12V car adapter port.

I've tested dozens of power stations over the past year, but there was one that really piqued my interest from the moment I first heard about it. DJI, a leader in both drones and action cameras, has used its expertise in battery technology to enter the competitive world of portable power stations. And the company made a dramatic entrance into this market with its first offering -- the Power 1000.

Also: The best drones you can buy: Expert tested

For the past week, I've been testing the Power 1000, the bigger of the two power stations released by DJI earlier this month. It's one of -- if not the first -- power station on the market that is specifically designed to meet the needs of professional drone pilots. 

View at Amazon

DJI Power 1000 tech specs

  • Battery Capacity: 1024Wh
  • Cell Chemistry: LFP (lithium ferrophosphate)
  • Cycle Life: Maintains over 70% capacity after 4000 cycles.
  • Ports: 2x AC Output, 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A, SDC, SDC Lite, AC Input
  • AC Output: AC 100-120 V, 50/60Hz, max continuous output: 2200W, AC 220-240 V, 50/60Hz, max continuous output: 2200W, max output: 2400W (total)
  • AC Output (Bypass Mode): AC 100-120 V, 12 A, 1440 W, AC 220-240 V, 10 A, 2200W
  • USB-A Output: 5V, 3A, 9V, 2A, 12V, 2A, Max output power per channel: 24W
  • USB–C Output: 5V, 5A, 9V, 5A, 12V, 5A, 15V, 5A, 20V, 5A, 28V, 5A (EPR), Max output power per channel: 140W
  • SDC and SDC Lite Output: SDC: 9-27 V, max current: 10A, max output power: 240W, SDC Lite: 9-27V, max current: 10A, max output power: 240W
  • Net Weight: Approx. 13 kg
  • Dimensions: 448 × 225 × 230 mm

Note: The product featured in this review was tested with UK sockets.

I've tested numerous power stations in the 1000Wh range, and the size and weight of the Power 1000 align with my expectations. However, one aspect that stood out immediately to me was its solid construction: The outer shell is tough, effectively resisting knocks and bumps without flexing or bowing, which is what a power station like this – something that's been built to take out and about -- really needs.

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The "ammo crate" style handles facilitate easy movement, whether with one hand or two, and they are smooth and comfortable to grip, which is definitely an advantage since this unit is a significantly weighty bit of kit.

The Power 1000 is built tough

The Power 1000 is built tough.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The interface of the Power 1000 is refreshingly simple, featuring just a few buttons and switches along with an LCD display. It avoids the confusion of tiny, difficult-to-identify "mystery meat" buttons or the need to rely on an app for essential functions. 

I particularly appreciate the lack of app dependency for controlling the power station, although connecting the unit to a computer for firmware updates can be somewhat cumbersome. 

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The LED display seems to be a quality, custom part -- a welcome deviation from the lower-quality panels I've seen used by many other power station manufacturers. It remains clear even in bright sunlight, offering an uncluttered view that makes it easy to quickly take in all the important information on display.

The ports are sensible: you have two AC outlets, two USB-C ports supporting 24W output, and a pair of USB-C ports that can deliver a full 240W.

Sensible selection of ports

A sensible selection of ports.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I appreciate the solid port covers on the AC inlet and the DC ports of the Power 1000. They're robust and don't seem likely to rip or fall off easily, unlike some others I've seen. However, it's a bit surprising that DJI chose to cover these ports while leaving the AC sockets and USB ports exposed. Ideally, all ports would have covers to provide some level of protection from dirt and moisture, enhancing the unit's durability and functionality in inclement environments.

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I carried out my usual barrage of tests on the Power 1000, which included verifying the unit's battery capacity and charge times, checking if the ports deliver their rated power, and testing how the AC outlets handle being overloaded. The Power 1000 passed all tests successfully.

Port covers on the Power 1000 are robust

Port covers on the Power 1000 are robust.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Charge times for the Power 1000 are around 70–75 minutes in fast-charge mode and about 130 minutes in standard mode. While the fast-charge option is convenient if you're in a hurry, using standard mode is generally recommended. This slower charging pace puts less stress on the batteries, potentially extending their lifespan.

And under severe overloading, the unit simply shuts off without any adverse effects, which is a reassuring safety feature.

In use, the Power 1000 is quiet, with the cooling fan only kicking in when needed, and even then not being all that noticeable, which is handy when using the power station indoors.

Overloading the Power 1000 with a kettle

Overloading the Power 1000 with a kettle.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The unit also supports solar charging, but this requires a separate solar power adapter module, and as I was not sent one for testing, I can't comment on this. However, I do like this idea of not having to pay for the solar charging module if you won't ever need solar charging, as this keeps the price down.

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The SDC ports on the Power 1000, designed specifically for fast-charging DJI drone batteries, are indeed a thoughtful and useful addition for drone pilots. Each port can be used to charge one battery at a time, which works efficiently if you consistently recharge your batteries immediately after use, rather than waiting until you have a pile of them.

However, to charge your drone batteries you will need bespoke cables, which are sold separately, adding to the cost. There are cables for the Air 3, Mavic 3, Matrice 30, and Inspire 3 drones. 

My workaround for cable storage!

My workaround for cable storage!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

It's also slightly inconvenient that there is no storage space for these cables on the unit. As a workaround, I've taken to tying them around the handles of the Power 1000, which, while effective, isn't the most elegant solution. This is one aspect that could be improved for better user convenience.

There are also cables to transform the SDC ports to a 12 V car adapter outlet and XT60 port

ZDNET's buying advice

I was impressed with the DJI Power 1000. It has all the features you'd expect from a general mid-sized unit, but with the added functionality that it's been built with drone pilots in mind. 

The 1000Wh capacity is about the limit of what you want to lug about, and it has enough ports to distribute this power in a sensible way. I've seen power stations absolutely festooned with ports, but two AC, USB-A, and USB-C ports, along with the SBC and SBC Lite ports, is a sensible loadout. 

The Power 1000 is normally priced at $999, which aligns with similar units on the market. However, there's currently a promotion where you can get $300 off, both on Amazon and at the official DJI store. With the reduced price of $699, this power station becomes competitively priced and is definitely worth considering.

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