GeneratorGrid.com is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me purchase more generators for testing. - Scott Krager
Last Updated on October 16, 2022 by Manager Access
In today’s modern world, we heavily rely on electricity at home, in the car, and on-the-go. We take for granted that we can charge our devices pretty much anytime we want.
But, what if you go off-the-grid or find yourself in an emergency? What if that reliable source of power you get at home suddenly became unavailable?
At first glance, not having a reliable source of electricity might not seem like a big deal. Maybe you’ll merely be unable to use your phone or laptop for a while. However, the consequences of not having reliable electricity could be much worse. You could find yourself stranded without a way to cook, keep yourself warm, or communicate with the outside world.
Luckily, you can prepare for situations in which electricity is scarce. One of the best ways to do this? Purchasing a portable power station.
Portable power stations hold lots of energy. As long as you charge them beforehand, they will provide you with electricity for powering your devices. Some of the best power station models allow you to charge them on the go.
The question is, which one should you get? There are countless portable power stations on Amazon, some better than others.
In this review, we aim to help you narrow down your decision. Here’s a thorough look at the Anker Powerhouse II 400 portable power station! By the end, you should know whether or not this is the one for you.
Here’s my unboxing and initial review of the largest Anker battery available, the Powerhouse II 400:
Anker is the manufacturer of the Powerhouse II 400. The brand has been around since 2011.
Anker specializes in power banks, power cables, and other similar types of technology.
In 2016, Anker released the original Powerhouse. Consumers loved this power bank model as it provided a reliable source of energy anywhere one might go.
Recently, Anker rolled out the new and improved Powerhouse II 400. This power bank model is similar but features improvements and upgrades, most notably its solar-charging capabilities.
Read on for a closer look at the Powerhouse II 400 by Anker.
Size: Is It Easy to Carry Around and Store?
The Powerhouse II 400 is as tiny as portable power stations get. It only weighs around 9 pounds, making it easy to carry with you. The comfortable grip also makes it a breeze to take on-the-go.
Besides being lightweight, the Powerhouse II 400 is also compact. At around 7.9 x 5.7 x 6.5 inches, it effortlessly fits anywhere you need to put it. It won’t take up much space in your home, in your car on long road trips, camping sites, etc.
Durability: Can It Withstand the Elements?
Just because this device is small doesn’t mean it isn’t durable. The Powerhouse II 400 features a sturdy, aluminum shell. It can withstand heavy use and drops, making it perfect for outdoor use.
Users can take this device pretty much anywhere. However, you should be careful with it at the beach or on a boat. While it can withstand a little water, it isn’t necessarily waterproof (especially when you consider that the ports are open). Try to keep water away from the ports as much as possible.
Also, be careful with the other elements. Excessive wind and debris, for instance, can ruin the ports. Bring a cover to prevent any unwanted short circuits.
Appearance: How Does It Look?
You probably don’t put appearance at the top of your list for a portable generator’s necessary features. But, it’s nice to know that the Anker Powerhouse is aesthetically appealing. Its sleek yet simple design is perfect for anywhere you might take it.
Power: Can It Power All of Your Devices?
Again, don’t let the Powerhouse 400 II’s compact size fool you. This solar device provides plenty of energy, especially when considering how small it is! Even better, it’s easy to share with multiple users.
Its 388WH capacity lithium battery is capable of charging a wide variety of devices. It has enough power to charge a mobile device like an iPhone 11 23 times, an iPad Pro 20 times, a MacBook Air x 5, etc. It can also provide electricity for mini-fridges, LED lights, laptops, Bluetooth speakers, and more.
You can charge multiple devices at once thanks to a 60W USB-C port, 3 USB-A ports, a car socket, and 2 DC ports. The solar power station also has a 300W AC outlet and a 110V AC outlet. So, if multiple people need to share it, no problem! All of these ports mean you and your family won’t have to fight over it when you need to charge your electronics.
Best of all, this charger has high-speed charging capabilities. For instance, according to Anker, the Powerhouse II 400’s USB-C port is 40% faster than a standard MacBook charger. So, you won’t be waiting around long for your devices to charge.
Functionality: Is It Easy to Use?
This solar generator couldn’t get any easier to use. All you have to do is plug in your devices and turn on the power supply. The LED lights display lets you view important information, such as:
- Current input and output
- Remaining battery capacity
- Approximately how long is left until the battery reaches full charge
The display is legible and clear, meaning you can view the information on a sunny beach day or dark camping night.
Charging: Is It Easy to Charge?
To use this generator, you will have to charge it first. Options for charging include:
- USB-C and wall outlet (takes around 4 hours to reach 100%)
- Just a wall outlet (takes around 6.5 hours to reach 100%)
- Car socket (takes around 6.5 hours to reach 100%)
- USB-C port (takes around 7.5 hours to reach 100%)
You can also supply electricity to the generator using a solar panel. Through solar panels, the solar generator will absorb the sun’s energy to power the battery. It is a clean, energy-efficient way to charge your battery. Plus, if you are on-the-go, you can top off the battery without an electrical outlet.
One comment is that this product does not come with a solar charger; you will have to purchase the solar panel separately. We recommend buying Anker’s solar charger. It is portable and will further add to the power station’s portability. However, any brand of solar panel should get the job done.
Using solar panels to power the battery will take slightly longer than other methods (around 7 hours in full sunlight to reach 100%). But, even using a wall charger requires somewhat of a long wait. So, even though the Powerhouse quickly charges other devices, it would be nice to see Anker improve the power station’s charging time.
Noise: Is It Quiet?
The problem with many generators? They are very loud, especially ones that run on diesel or gas. This noise can be annoying and disturb others around you.
Luckily, the Anker Powerhouse is one of the quietest models we’ve seen as it is powered by batteries! It doesn’t produce a lot of noise and won’t cause the devices it’s powering to be excessively loud. This quiet capability makes the Powerhouse II perfect for peaceful beach days and camping trips.
Safety: Will It Keep Your Devices Safe?
As we’ve discussed, the lithium-ion battery contains a lot of power. You (rightfully) might have concerns that the power output will be too much for your devices.
Luckily, the Powerhouse is one step ahead of you. It has many features that protect your devices from receiving excess power output.
One of these features is the adjustable power supply. You can tweak the power supply for each port, ensuring the right amount of power goes to each device. It also is capable of preventing surges. The pure sine wave inverter in the 300W AC outlet maintains a safe, steady supply of energy.
The Powerhouse has raving reviews on across Amazon and other sites. Many users give this product 5 stars, praising it for its functionality and unmatched power. Users often share that it makes them feel like they never left home.
Reviews also comment on the exceptional customer service team. Representatives help solve issues ranging from problems with the USB ports to how to share the generator among multiple users.
What Do You Get with Your Purchase?
When you buy this solar generator, you will receive:
- The main power station
- DC input to Car Port Cable
- 65W Adapter
- USB-C to USB-C Cable
- USB-A to USB-C Cable
According to Anker, you will also get “a cable welcome guide, our worry-free 18-month warranty, and friendly customer service.”
Anker Powerhouse II 400 Portable Power Station: Should You Get It?
Keep in mind that the Anker Powerhouse is not capable of powering large devices. But, this is not unusual with portable chargers.
However, the Powerhouse is more than capable of powering your phone, iPad Pro, laptop, mini-fridge, and other small gadgets. Its high-capacity battery can handle multiple inputs at once. It’s easy to store, take with you, and share. Plus, thanks to its compatibility with solar panels, you can recharge on-the-go.
So, if you’re looking for a backup generator for your home or a portable charger for the outdoors, the Anker Powerhouse II is for you.
If you’ve purchased the Anker, share your thoughts, and shoot me an email. I’d love to hear about your experience.
Scott Krager purchased generatorgrid.com in the summer of 2020 and quickly began to buy every generator under the sun! He currently has over a dozen generators and the number is growing quickly. He lives in Portland, OR near his family and friends.