AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station Review
For many people around the world van life is a new adventure that’s come out of the global realities of COVID. It’s a way of staying sane and experiencing new adventures while also staying safe. At the same time many people are experiencing a newfound freedom to work from anywhere they want. An integral part of modern van life is the need for power and that means batteries. The AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station is a solution I had a chance to take a look at. Now I’m not one for living the van life and I imagine there’s a lot of people reading this who don’t identify as van life folks either.
The AUKEY PowerZeus 500 has lots of applications beyond van life though. For many people a weekend on a bike might mean driving somewhere, setting up camp, and spending the days exploring. It could also mean a weekend spent camping and racing. These are times when a big battery pack simplifies packing and means you’ve got all the power you need for recharging lights and GPS bike computers. Keep reading to see the features of the AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station and how it might work for you.
Design and Aesthetics of the AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station
The AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station is a deceptively simple and small black box. Almost everything is the same dark but not actually black gray color. Lots of squares that reduce in size towards the center break up the visual a bit but they are all cosmetic. It weighs in at 14.3 lbs (just under 6.5kg) and the dimensions are 12.1in/308mm x 7.1in/194mm x 7.1in/179mm.
Along the top there’s a handle that extends the full length of the unit. When it’s folded up it sits centrally and it’s big enough in hand to provide an easy grip. Fold it down and two small rubber dots keep it from banging in to the main body of the battery. Once in place it fills a purpose cut void and completes the shape.
Each end of the main box houses a fan. One side is an inlet and one side an exhaust. The rectangles that the fans sit in are the only lighter, contrasting, color anywhere in the design. There’s a striped texture that is reminiscent of a grill and does actually function as a grill directly over the fans. One end has a rubberized cover over a 12v outlet like a car. At the opposite end are two 110v AC outlets.
The primary element at the front face is a large LCD. Below the LCD are power buttons for AC and DC as well as two standard USB outlets (5v/2.4A), one USB QC 3.0 outlet (5V, 3A / 9V, 2A / 12V, 1.5A max 18W), a single USB-C PD outlet (5V/3A,9V/2A,12V/1.5A), plus one 12v/6A DC port. The charging input is also among this array of outlet options.
Total battery storage is 518wh. To recharge the AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station either plug it into the wall or use a 100watt solar panel. Solar in full sun should take about 11 hours while wall charging takes around 9 hours. If you go the solar charging route Aukey does sell the Power Helio Y100 panel but others should work just as well.
What It’s Like to Use the AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station
When Aukey got in touch it happened to coincide with a 200-mile mixed surface race I was doing. I planned to ride to the race and camp but I also had a friend that was driving and camping. You could consider it cheating a bit to use my friend’s car to carry gear but I decided it was too good of an opportunity to pass up a test of this unit.
Two people camping for the weekend and racing modern bikes is a great use of the AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station. Charging phones, lighting the camp area, and charging all the on-bike necessities is what we needed something to handle. We could have packed a couple of small battery packs each but this way we had a single unit that could handle all of our needs with ease. It made packing simple and that’s worth a lot!
Just like the LED screen dominates the design it also dominates the use. Everything on the screen is big and with a blue/light blue color scheme it’s easy to read and gorgeous to look at. There’s a clear indication of how much battery power you’ve got left plus input and output wattage.
Turning on the side outlets for a wall plug experience requires holding down the power button. You’ll hear a beep followed by the fan coming on briefly and the outlets begin to work. The lower voltage USB ports only require a single press and the fan doesn’t come on. Once you’ve got it on and something plugged in you can watch the power draw in watts. It’s kind of fascinating to see in real time how much power a computer, or phone, is drawing.
The AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station isn’t alone in the marketplace. There are other options out there but Aukey undercuts them on price and the performance is just as good. I’ve used Aukey chargers and various batteries for years and never felt like they were lacking quality or features.
If you want to make packing for car camping trips a simple affair the AUKEY PowerZeus 500 Portable Power Station can do what you need. It will power all the modern electronics you, and your family, might bring with you. You can charge it via solar power if you’d like and if want to have a backup at home for power outages it’s good enough for double duty.