There are a ton of great iPhone power banks, and they offer a variety of features to suit different use cases. Most people probably spare very little thought for how their power bank looks, thinking instead only of its usefulness. And, honestly, that's fair since a power bank is primarily a functional tool and not a fashion accessory.
That's not the case for the TEGIC Block 30, though. Fed up with boring plastic slabs, TEGIC has set out to make the humble power bank a little more "sexy" with a machined aluminum design and visible circuit board. But are its goods looks a good enough reason to ditch your cheaper alternative?
TEGIC Block 30: Price and availability
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, the TEGIC Block 30 power bank is now available to order at Amazon and directly at TEGIC's site for $70. It comes in silver-gray and deep space black colors, reminiscent of Apple's MacBook Pro hues. I actually think I prefer the look of the lighter color, though my review unit was the darker option.
TEGIC Block 30: What's good
TEGIC has tried to differentiate its power banks from the competition in a crowded market by focusing on industrial design. The futuristic look and feel really lean into the cyberpunk aesthetic. While the design won't be for everyone, I personally think it has been successful here.
The Block 30 feels very premium with an anodized aluminum chassis that will look the part alongside your Apple gear. The flat metal body and CNC chamfered edges are a bit of a throwback to the iPhone 5 and made me think of the angular Tesla Cybertruck as soon as I unboxed it.
The tempered glass window exposing the circuit board and LED charge indicators is a nice touch that will please tech enthusiasts, too. TEGIC's "tech is muggle's magic" mantra is also subtly written on the board, making the geekiest amongst us feel seen (myself included).
It looks like the sort of power bank you'd take along for a ride in your Cybertruck.
The underside of the power bank is a soft-touch plastic material. As well as probably making manufacturing much easier, this gives you an obvious side to place the power bank down on and means you are less likely to scratch the metal.
Along the top edge, you'll find the USB-A port and USB-C PD port, along with a button for quickly checking the current battery level along the top edge. The USB-A port is Quick Charge 3.0-enabled and allows charging speeds up to 18W. Connect via USB-C to experience up to 30W Power Delivery speeds. I rarely used the button itself as the LED charge indicators switch on when a cable is connected anyway.
Having support for 30W fast charging is pretty rare in a power brick of this size since it's often reserved for higher-capacity power banks and bulky power stations. As well as fast-charging compatible devices like the best iPhone and iPad models, it also allows for the power bank to be juiced back up quickly. I ran it down to zero and managed to charge it back up to full within a couple of hours with a USB-C wall charger.
You can use both USB ports to charge two devices simultaneously, though the total output remains at 30W split across the two ports.
It's also worth shouting out TEGIC's eco-friendly packaging which is made entirely from recycled paper pulp. TEGIC provides a short USB-C cable that features a USB-A converter, too.
TEGIC Block 30: What's not good
Since you want your portable power bank to be, well, portable, then you need it to be easy to carry. Rechargeable batteries are pretty dense and heavy, so power banks tend to use lighter materials like plastic to avoid adding to the bulk that the user will have to tote around.
That's not the case with TEGIC's power banks which are mostly metal in construction. For the Block 30, it's quite a bit heavier than other power banks of the same capacity that I own. It's not gargantuan by any means, but you'll definitely notice the heft added to your daily carry.
The other obvious criticism of the TEGIC Block 30 is its price. At $70, it's more than twice the price of similar-sized portable batteries. Of course, value is subjective. For some, the unique design, solid build quality, and premium features like the 30W USB-C PD charging will make that a price worth paying. Others will be happy with a sub-$30 plastic alternative that meets their needs.
TEGIC Block 30: Competition
With a plethora of portable batteries and USB-C power banks out there, there's no shortage of competition for TEGIC's Block 30. While most power banks of this capacity tend to have 18W or 20W outputs, the Block 30 is somewhat unique in providing 30W Power Delivery with a 10,000mAh capacity.
That being said, you can get a power bank like the OtterBox Fast Charge power bank for less money that is double the capacity if you don't mind carrying something a bit heavier. Or sacrifice the faster charging speed for a cheaper option like mophie's Powerstation Wireless XL which has offers 18W PD as well as Qi charging capabilities.
Of course, there are thousands of other portable battery options across all the usual retailers in a hugely competitive market.
TEGIC Block 30: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want enough spare battery power to charge your phone a couple of times on the go
- You want a power bank that looks great
- You want a fast-charging USB-C power bank
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You don't have devices that will benefit from 30W USB-C PD charging speeds
- You want a lightweight power bank
- It's out of your budget
The TEGIC Block 30 is a fairly niche product in that it caters to design enthusiasts over those purely after a power bank for its primary functionality. Its price also makes it out of reach for some.
If you want something that works well and looks great while doing it, it could be the right power bank for you. Whether you like the Tesla Cybertruck-inspired design language is up to you, but the tempered glass window and visible circuit board are undeniably cool.
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