Running out of power on a photography trip is a pain and if you’re after the best powerbank then you’re probably going to come across the Intelli ScoutPro Max, which the makers claim is the first portable charger that’s universally compatible.
It can be used to recharge any laptop, tablet, drone, speaker, handheld game console, earbuds, smartwatch, fitness tracker and, yes camera battery – if you use a USB charger. It’s also got a few tricks up its sleeve for owners of the latest iPhones and even Apple Watch, being both MagSafe-compatible and capable of 15W wireless charging. It also plays nicely with Samsung Watch Charging.
For photographers looking to recharge both camera batteries and laptops, the ScoutPro has capacity in spades. It’s particularly suited to recharging a laptop on a long flight (to two) or when you’re off-grid for days at a time.
However, the ScoutPro doesn’t come cheap, retailing at a hard-to-swallow US$329/UK£240 on the Intelli website. That’s about five times the price of other (slimmer) 24,000 mAh portable batteries on the market, though none get close to the ScoutPro’s ability to send 200W to gadgets simultaneously.
There’s actually a slightly smaller, 195W version available, too, which offers a 20,000 mAh capacity and weighs 515g. Its second USB-C port offers 60W, not 100W, with a combined output to five devices of 160W.
Capacity: 24,000 mAh
Max no of devices: 5
Although the headline feature may appear to be its massive 24,000 mAh capacity, there are other portable batteries that claim similar or even higher capacities at lower prices. What makes the ScoutPro unique is its ability to recharge five devices at once thanks to its three built-in charging ports, wireless charger and a 2.5W smartwatch charger. That last one might not appeal to many photographers, but the other four certainly will.
While the wireless charging board is on the top it’s one of the ends of the product that hosts the three all-important wired charging ports. Its USB Type-A slot is compatible with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for recharging Android devices four times faster, and with Huawei Super Charge for 24W Quick Charge. Meanwhile its two USB-C slots are each capable of pushing 100W into a laptop.
It can do all of this simultaneously thanks to its five graphene batteries, which boast superior electrical and thermal conductivity to lithium-ion batteries. Crucially, they’re also lighter.
Performance, quality and usability
The ScoutPro boasts excellent build quality. Portable batteries tend to exist in a commodity market so it’s nice to see that this one has a hard-wearing aluminium housing and a faux-leather covering for the wireless charging board.
Despite using aluminium, the ScoutPro is a heavyweight in the world of portable charging in more ways than one. It weighs a bulky 610g, so you’re definitely going to notice it in your jacket pocket, and even in your camera backpack or laptop bag. It measures 153x84x29mm, which is about the same footprint (if not depth) as a flagship oversized smartphone.
The ScoutPro is so easy to operate; its end contains a standby button that switches on a blue OLED screen that shows you how much capacity is left as a percentage. Position a smartphone – or anything with wireless charging – on that faux-leather pad and a magnet will grip it, position it perfectly, and begin charging it within a second.
The OLED screen includes small characters to denote its mode, which light-up in green when active, so it’s easy to keep track of what the ScoutPro is up to; of course, they can all light-up at once.
In the box is a USB-C to USB-C cable for recharging the ScoutPro itself, something that takes about an hour if – and only if – you use a 100W-capable GaN wall charger, which Intelli also sells. At this high price it should really be in the box already. What is included is a high-grade storage pouch called Synch that includes two stretch pockets, three clasps for storing cables and a zipped pocket with a soft microfibre lining. It makes a nice in-flight tech organiser for travel.
The ScoutPro isn’t small and nor is it particularly light, but if you’re after something that can recharge anything you throw at it and don’t mind its 610g weight then it’s close to the sweet spot. Its two USB-C outputs are each cable of sending 100W into a laptop or into a USB charger for a DSLR or mirrorless camera battery, while there’s a nice wireless charging pad on top for a smartphone and even a section for a smartwatch. It also comes with an excellent case that’s great on long flights – and it’s there and when off-grid that the ScoutPro really comes into its own.