The Zendure X5 is a 15,000mAh portable battery pack that is capable of 45W USB-C charging. Not only that, but the X5 can also act as a USB hub allowing you to transfer data between connected devices at up to 5Gbps.
Zendure sent us a pre-production model some months back to review but recent world circumstances resulted in it only arriving in our office last week.
We’ve been using the X5 since to find out how it performs.
As this was a pre-production model it didn’t come in retail packing so we won’t be covering what comes in the box as usual and will focus on the device’s design and performance.
Upon opening the package I was very impressed with the look and feel of the X5. The case is made from hard plastic with a ribbed design which has a quality feel to it.
Either end is made from steel which on our review unit was in a copper colour. Like most portable chargers, there are only ports on one face so when you lay it down on the table beside you everything is easily accessible and everything is connected at the front.
That front face houses two USB-A 3.1 ports alongside a USB-C port which is also used for charging the device.
Next to that is the only button on the device which pressed once gives a battery level indication via 4 small LEDs and when pressed twice switches the X5 to its Hub mode. More on that later.
Battery Capacity and Charging Capabilities
The X5 has a battery capacity of 15,000mAh. Zendure claim the device will extend usage for your MacBook Air up to 10 hours or 7 hours for a 13” MacBook Pro. The X5 can also provide 3-4 charges to your phone or 2-3 charges for Nintendo Switch at full speed.
As travel is a little limited at the moment I tested out the X5 at home and used it to charge the devices I’ve been using during a normal day.
To start off I charged a 12” iPad Pro we’ve been using for homeschooling the kids from 60% to full. I then charged a GoPro Hero 4 which the kids are using to create YouTube videos from completely dead to full and later charged my Galaxy S10+ from 50% to full. At this point, the X5 was showing indicating it had 25% (1 LED) capacity left.
The 45 watts of power available makes a big difference when charging something like the iPad Pro which is usually quite difficult to charge with external batteries.
Both USB-A ports are capable of delivering 18 watts and are Quick Charge 3.0 compatible. Certainly, during our testing, all devices charged quickly and in most cases far quicker than you would expect when using an external battery.
At just over 400g the X5 is also pretty light for an external battery and considering the power that’s on offer, it won’t weigh your bag down too much.
The Hub feature is something I really like about the X5. It’s especially useful if you use a lot of USB-C only devices such as MacBooks or iPads when you’re on the go.
To enable the Hub mode you double click the button the X5 and any connected devices will then appear as a mounted drive on your computer.
To test out the capabilities of the device, and to get the most from it, it is important that you have the correct cables.
While USB-C is the future and I love how easy it is to use, the number of different generations and their capabilities are becoming a little dizzying for most people. Not all USB-C cables are the same and while some will work ok for charging, many are terrible for data transfer speeds.
During our testing, I used a Samsung 970 Evo MVNe in a GLOTRENDS Libra M.2 enclosure connected to a USB-A port on the X5 and then to a MacBook Pro using USB 3.1 Gen 2 cables which are capable of transferring data at higher speeds than the X5 can achieve.
While I initially set out to time transfers I quickly realised that it was fairly pointless as they were extremely fast. I transferred a folder with 700GBs of photos from the external drive to the desktop of my Mac and it transferred so quickly the transfer speed pop up just flashed briefly on the screen and closed. It happened so quickly I had to check I had transferred the right folder!
I transferred several films back and forth between the devices and then compared this with transferring the same file when the external drive was connected directly to the Mac. While those transfer were marginally faster, it’s safe to say that the X5 can transfer data quickly and will not act as a bottleneck.
Zendure X5 Conclusion
It is extremely rare that I say this about any device but I haven’t been able to find any faults with the X5 and I have absolutely loved using it.
I travel all the time with an iPad Pro as my main device and the one thing I hate about that is having to use USB hubs left hanging from it.
The X5 not only provides enough power to charge something like the iPad Pro, or indeed a Mac, but it also allows me to connected devices to transfer photos and videos to the iPad, all while on the go.
I highly recommend this product if you are looking for an external battery pack.
You can purchase the X5 from Zendure’s website for $99. Irish Tech News readers can enjoy a 35% reduction if they use the code X535 when purchasing (we do not receive anything from this).