Why We Chose The Nitecore NES500 Powerbank: Energy-rich, portable, durable
Carrying enough power to keep your devices well fed throughout long stints living off grid is fast becoming an easily achievable task. While you’d previously have to consider carrying a battery the size of a kitchen sink to keep you covered, we’re now seeing battery power packed into an impressively small form factor; case in point the Nitecore NES500.
We’ve featured Nitecore a few times on the website, but normally stuck to their head torches. The company, as the name suggests, usually focuses on LED flashlights and head torches, but their offering of portable power solutions is equally impressive. The NES500 has been designed to provide you with enough power to comfortably keep various devices charged up over a number of days.
Speaking of power, the NES500 is packing 518Wh of Lithium Ion cells, equalling to around 144,000 mAh of battery capacity. To the layman, that’s enough to power 12 drone batteries, an iPhone 34 times, or a Macbook Pro 5 times. This, to us, equals more than enough power to keep all your essential electrical devices topped up while you’re on the road or at basecamp.
Power is delivered through multiple outputs, giving you the option to charge a few devices at the same time. Outputs include three standard USB ports rated at 2.4A, a single USB port rated at 3A, a cigarette lighter port that’s rated at 10A and finally a 220V port that’s been designed to take a range of plug types including U.K., U.S. and Europe.
220 volt power has been achieved through a nifty inbuilt inverter that switches the current from DC to AC. This output is, Nitecore claims, safe to various household appliances thanks to the smooth and continuous waveform the inverter kicks out, rather than a potentially harmful ‘choppy’ waveform some cheaper inverters produce.
In terms of carrying this thing around, you’ve got a handy carry handle mounted on top of the battery that’s been ergonomically moulded, along with the soft rubber material to provide a pretty comfortable carry, especially considering the weight of the dense package. The whole product weighs in at 5.65kg, so, while you’re not going to carry it long distances, this weight would be suitable for short trips to your camping spot or maybe just as a power station in your car or campervan.
The front of this cube carries all of the charging and input ports, which are all centred around an LCD display. This screen has been handily backlit to provide easy operation in dimly lit tents, or simply at night. The screen is pretty simple to read, with a large power percentage level with runtime remaining sitting on the right, while the input and output wattage sits on the left, giving you a clear and easily viewed way of checking how much juice the device has remaining.