Pros

  • Slim form factor
  • Legible display
  • 20,000mAh capacity
  • Charges quickly

Cons

  • Intermittent charging at 100W in our tests
  • Display only shows one device’s details
  • Display blinks when power bank is charging

Baseus calls the $100 Blade 100W Power Bank ‘notebook thin’. That depends on your notebook — at 18mm (0.7in.), it’s thinner than a Surface Book or Surface Laptop Studio, but quite a bit thicker than a MacBook Air or Surface Laptop.  

Still, it’s thinner than other battery banks we’ve tested, because the Blade is more like a slab than a brick, making it easier to slide into a bag alongside your laptop but less likely to fit into a pouch or pocket. The distinctive textured front is easy to grip but doesn’t stop a phone you perch on top of the Blade from sliding right off. 

Baseus Blade 100W Power Bank

The Baseus Blade powering a Surface Duo 2.

Image: Mary Branscombe / ZDNET

The 20,000mAh capacity is a little less than the 25,000mAh Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus or 24,000mAh Intelli ScoutPro, but it’s also a little lighter than either: at 490g (1.08lb) in weight, it’s not too heavy to take with you, but you’ll still know you’re carrying it.  

What this form factor gives you is a large and legible screen to show the charging details. Having a percentage rather than a ‘guess what the blob means’ set of indicator lights makes it much clearer how much capacity your power bank has left. 

When you plug a device in to charge from the Blade, the screen shows you a dynamic view of how that’s going, with the percentage charge left on the power bank, the power draw in volts and amps and how long the power bank will last in hours and minutes. We compared the power draw shown on the display with a USB-C PD cable with a built-in power readout: it’s fairly accurate, but we’d like to see the option to switch to show it in watts rather than the volts and amps (which you multiply together to get the wattage). 

The battery life shown can change fairly quickly: if you have a device that does fast charging (and the Blade supports multiple quick-charge standards), it can pull power quickly at a high rate, which can make it look as if the power bank won’t last for very long. But as the battery level in the device you’re charging goes up, the charging rate will slow down, and the power bank gets depleted more slowly. Or if you start streaming internet video or playing a game that pushes the GPU on the device you’re powering, expect the time left to drop far more quickly. 

This is most useful when you’re charging something like a laptop that tells you how long it will take to get up to full charge: it’s easier to work out that when a Surface Book 3 tells you it will take 47 minutes to get to full charge that the 38 minutes of charge on the Blade will get you most of the way there than to assume the 68% capacity left on the power bank will be enough. 

Baseus Blade 100W Power Bank

The Baseus Blade has room for four ports, but only displays information for one.   

Image: Mary Branscombe / ZDNET

With four charging ports (two USB-A and two USB-C) it would be useful to see details for everything you plug in. Annoyingly, Baseus doesn’t take advantage of the available space for the screen that the wide and thin form factor offers: the display only uses the central area, which means there’s only room for one set of figures. The much smaller screen on the Chargeasap Flas Pro Plus power bank actually gives you more information, even though the Blade’s display is much easier to read. It also seems somewhat random which device you’ll get the power output for: usually it switched to the higher-power device we were charging, but not always. 

The Blade has the same irritating display quirk as the Scout Pro: when you’re charging it up, the percentage charged figure flashes continuously, which can be rather distracting. More usefully, the charge level also flashes when it drops below 10%.

Baseus says the Blade will charge fully in about 90 minutes with a 65W charger (or twice as long with a 30W charger). We found it could be slightly faster than that.  

We used the same Apple USB-C power supply to charge the Blade that we’ve used for other power bank reviews. Using the USB-C cable that comes with the power bank (full marks to Baseus for including a cable, since having the wrong kind of USB-C cable makes charging much slower), it charged at a higher rate than many of the power banks we’ve tested — 60W rather than the 44W that the Chargeasap power bank charged at on the same charger, for example. 

Baseus Blade 100W Power Bank: Charger