Are the days of proprietary camera batteries and chargers over? Not quite, but if you invest in the latest mirrorless cameras there’s a decent chance you’ll be able to refuel your camera via USB-C from something like the Excitrus PDW100208. A talented (if rather long and heavy) battery that reaches a whopping 20,800 mAh capacity, the Excitrus PDW100208 can recharge four devices at the same time. If one of them is an iPhone 12 or later you can make use of the MagSafe wireless charging pad on top, too.
Here’s why we think the Excitrus PDW100208 is a good choice for photographers who don’t mind carrying a little extra bulky in their camera bag.
Capacity: 20,800 mAh
Outputs: 100W USB-C , 45W USB-C, 18W USB-A, 10W MagSafe wireless charging pad
Inputs: 100W USB-C
The Excitrus PDW100208 can recharge four devices at once even when it’s being recharged itself. That’s incredibly useful and helps cut-down on having to travel with separate wall chargers. Inside are eight separate lithium-ion batteries, which also makes it less likely to suffer from a complete failure and, crucially, speeds-up the recharging process.
The latter is done in conjunction with a 100W USB-C slot on its side that can be used to take a completely empty Excitrus PDW100208 to 70% in one hour. In the box is a USB-C to USB-C cable for exactly that purpose, though a compatible super-fast wall charger isn’t included. Unless you buy a super-fast USB-C charger then the Excitrus PDW100208 will be best recharged overnight.
A second USB-C cable can send a 45W fast-charge into laptops (including Apple MacBooks) and Samsung phones. A USB-A cable nearby is rated at 18W so can fast-charge a smartphone whatever cable you need to use. However, it automatically tones that down if you cable-up low power devices such as ‘true wireless’ earphones, smartwatches or fitness trackers.
All of which leaves the 10W that gets drip-fed to devices placed on its MagSafe wireless charging pad seeming rather paltry, though there’s no doubting its convenience.
Build and handling
You always know where you are with the Excitrus PDW100208. There’s a single button on the side that, when pressed, both activates the battery and shows on a tiny screen a percentage figure that represents how much charge remains on the Excitrus PDW100208. It also flashes icons to let you know if it’s currently charging at least one device, and also if it's being charged itself.
At a mighty 522g the Excitrus PDW100208 is heavy, but it’s otherwise very well designed. Much more solid and durable than most portable batteries, this one should last a long time. It’s covered in a tight fabric that sports an ‘X’ on the top that marks the spot to aim your phone when trying to attempt MagSafe docking. It helps avoid scratches and it looks good.
It’s actually not the weight of the Excitrus PDW100208, but its unusually long 113x222x48mm size and shape makes it physically a little awkward. For example, you’ll struggle to fit its ultra-long rectangular form into the side pockets of rucksacks, camera backpacks and jacket pockets.
How important is MagSafe wireless charging to you? Even if you’re an iPhone user it’s best not to overstate its importance on the Excitrus PDW100208. What we did like was the strong link it gave to an iPhone 13 Pro, which meant we could place it in a camera backpack and forget about it for a while without it falling off and disconnecting the recharging process. However, unlike some wireless charging loads this one doesn’t engage immediately; you have to physically touch a button on the side of the Excitrus PDW100208 to begin the process.
However convenient wireless charging seems we’re not convinced it's a key reason to buy the Excitrus PDW100208. It drips power into a phone rather than giving it a fast charge, so it’s probably best used to charge a phone overnight, or placed beside a laptop while you process yesterday’s photos. We also noticed the Excitrus PDW100208 heating up noticeably when MagSafe was engaged.
It’s great to have MagSafe on the Excitrus PDW100208, but the truth is it’s merely one of several other convenient features, some of which are more useful. During a recent photography trip abroad we were able to add some charge to a phone, a camera and a laptop while swapping between locations, all without any complications.
However, it's the ability to use its 100W-rated USB-C PD slot to refuel a laptop that is the real game-changer if you’ve not had that feature to hand before. Useful anywhere off-grid, it really comes into its own on long flights for keeping a laptop topped-up.
A good-looking, high capacity portable battery that’s able to charge four devices simultaneously, the fabric-covered Excitrus PDW100208 makes an excellent all-rounder for travelling with cameras, smartphones and laptops, with the added convenience of MagSafe for iPhone owners. It’s heavy and very long, making it a squeeze in some backpacks, while getting the very best from it requires also investing in a super-fast USB-C wall charger. However, you’ll struggle to find a portable battery that’s as advanced as the Excitrus PDW100208.