There are way too many battery packs on the market these days. That’s just a fact. But since it came out, Omnicharge has been my absolute favorite high-end external charging system. Its USB-C model continues to deliver the quality I’ve come to expect from the company’s excellent products.
Because we have so many choices when it comes to external power, it makes sense to be particular about where we put our money. It makes sense to want something that will last, that’s as compact as possible, and that can finally actually charge a professional laptop (I’m sick of 45-watt chargers that only go halfway, aren’t you?). And that’s where the Omnicharge Omni 20 USB-C really fills the gaps.
However, let’s get my two issues with this out of the way. First, it features 60-watt USB-C output. That’s enough for any of the modern 13-inch laptops. As for the 15-inch, Omnicharge claims it can charge laptops like the Dell XPS 15, which uses a massive 130-watt charger normally. Of course, it does charge, but perhaps not as quickly as one would like. It really would have been swell to include 85-watt charging capability for full 15-inch MacBook Pro charging. So that’s my issue. That, and the smaller issue that it comes without a USB-C cable (for which it uses to charge; but of course, you presumably have one of those already).
With the only minor issues out of the way, let’s dive into what I am happy to consider the best battery pack around. We’ll keep this short because it’s basic, but the Omni 20 USB-C is very well-designed. It features the same build quality and design as the Omni 20 that came before it (which features an AC charging and barrel ports instead of USB-C). And the overall feel is both technical and minimalist at the same time.
A great button system turns on either the two USB-A ports and/or both USB-C ports while all the buttons along with the power button double as menu buttons to take you through a number of detailed options on the most informative display I’ve ever seen on a battery pack. Seriously, you can really do whatever you need to with this system. You can see the charge and discharge rates, current temperature, USB-C power deliver or USB-A power delivery modes, and more.
With the nearly the same 20,100-mAh battery inside as the standard Omni 20, the USB-C version will give you a ton of phone charges and one and a half full laptop charges on Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Pro. Of course, you lose a little efficiency in the power transfer, but you can count on some serious charging capability with this pack.
Of course, you’re going to lose efficiency along the way, as nothing is perfectly efficient. For example, the battery technically has three times the capacity of a 15-inch MacBook Pro. But I got just about two charges for a 13-inch MacBook Pro when all was said and done, although that was while running it for a few minutes. So we’ll call it two hours and change. Still, that’s a good amount of extra productivity for a laptop that runs hours on its own already. It should get you through any flight on Earth. And while it would be nice to have 85-watt charging, the 60-watt charge function does work well, and the other USB-C port can simultaneously do another 40 watts for a friend with a standard MacBook, perhaps. You can have everything plugged into this battery, and will actually charge on every port at a rather impressive speed. That’s neat.
USB-A charging can take place at 15 watts, which is as much as or more than any phone or even the iPad Pro (for now) will take. With the first port running at 15 watts, a second device will be limited to 10 watts, which is still quite respectable.
What I Liked
- Well-designed, feels superb in hands
- Great battery capacity, especially for its size
- Two USB-C and two USB-A ports are plenty for any portable needs
- USB-C power delivery is more efficient than using an AC plug with your OEM charger, which you would have to do with the standard Omni 20
- Cheaper than non-USB-C Omni 20, which is unusual for devices supporting the fairly new standard
- Obviously better than a portable USB charger that can only charge your phone
What I Didn’t Like
- Would love to have 85W charging
- Should come with a USB-C charging cable
- Still a bit pricey, but worth it if you ask me (it's all you'll ever need)
Even with the few issues I have with it, the Omni 20 USB-C is my favorite charger. Omnicharge got its start on Indiegogo, but is now producing outside of the crowdfunding market as well. I do think it's a bit pricey, but I'm also a huge fan of getting products that you only need one of. I've had so many USB-only chargers over the years that it drives me nuts. I don't want to throw them away (or recycle!) them, but they're just sitting around — so many of them simply broken. But one well-built, do-it-all device really makes sense. So I'm okay paying for that quality to have something I can always count on. It certainly helps that it looks and feels great in the hands as well. These people know how to make something that's actaully — to put it simply — good.
If you’re interested in more information, check out my original review of the Omnicharge Omni 20 (with AC and barrel ports). The Omni 20 USB-C is available now, but backordered for about a week, from B&H for $199. The standard Omni 20 is available now for $249.99, while a smaller, 13,600 mAh version goes for $149.