The BLUETTI EB3A is marketed as small yet mighty. Weighing only 10lbs (4.5kg), it is easy to move between vehicles, home and campsites. But do we really need another piece of electrical gear?
These days, completely disconnecting from technology is a rare privilege. As a digital nomad, I need to keep my devices charged even while camping or staying in remote places. If not for work, you probably still need a power supply for emergency situations or to keep essential equipment running.
Portable power stations like this one from BlUETTI are the way to go. It's a lot more functional than a pocket power bank. This gadget has the capacity to recharge small devices multiple times or keep larger appliances running for a few hours.
Living with regular power-outages, I'm always curious about back-up energy options. BLUETTI was happy to send over an EB3A power station for me to test out. This is what I do and don't like about this portable electrical supply.
Full disclosure: I did not pay for this product. I am also not being paid to say anything nice about it, these are my own, unbiased opinions.
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BLUETTI often run deals for the EB3A
BLUETTI Portable Power Station EB3A
Should You Buy The BLUETTI Portable Power Station?
This is an excellent investment for campers, particularly tent based adventurers, who need a mobile power supply. It will easily keep small devices (phones, laptops, lights etc.) charged and powered for a few days.
The BLUETTI EB3A is also going to be a handy device for off-the grid cabins or sheds. Its just the thing when you need a limited amount of power and don't want to be trailing extension cable everywhere.
You can use the device to charge batteries for power tools or plug in a tv or coffee machine. Its also effective as back-up for something like an incubator which needs to be continuously running.
What About The Price?
When looking at cost, the BLUETTI EB3A currently sells for just over $200 on Amazon (a 40% discount on it's standard RRP). This is a decent price compared to similar products. Looking at the power capacity that you get for this price, its great value!
When comparing to other portable power supplies, the EB3A uses Lithium ion phosphate batteries. I haven't had the device long enough to test longevity, but, these batteries are supposed to last up to 5X longer than the standard lithium-ion ones. Over the long term, this could save you money you'd spend on a second device
If you are needing a power supply you can take on the road, this works out a whole lot cheaper than installing a dual-battery system in your vehicle. Plus, its ready to use from the moment it arrives. This device is shipped with a 24 month warranty
Overall, the EB3A packs a punch for its price tag.
See Other Portable Power Stations
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BLUETTI EB3A Features
Compact and Convenient Design
The first thing I noticed about this mobile power supply is that its surprisingly small and lightweight for what its capable of. The carry handle is a nice touch and folds flat out of the way for storage.
The LED screen is also super usefull to see the input and output rates and remaining battery life (in time and percentage). On previous models, BLUETTI power stations displayed battery life in increments of 20%. I'm glad they have updated this to a to-the-percentage reading.
I also like the indicator lights showing which sections of the device are powered on (AC, DC, UPS). These small green lights make it easy to assess what's happening with the device at a glance or in the dark.
268Wh Battery Capacity
That's approximately 22 amp hours (if amps are your thing). This means you can charge a cellphone up to 25 times or a laptop 4 times. It can run a small device like a lamp for more than 24hr before needing to recharge.
BLUETTI's website is really clear about what you can charge/run off this device and for how long.
Its great to be able to charge camera gear or power a laptop for a few hours.
BLUETTI often run deals for the EB3A
Different Ways To Recharge
You can charge this mini power station from an AC wall plug, DC supply from a vehicle or DC supply from solar panels.
AC and DC inputs
The AC cable to charge from a standard wall socket is provided. On AC, The EB3A charges in about 2hrs. The DC vehicle charging cable is not included with this product. Its a pretty essential cable which, for now, you will need to buy separately.
I haven't tried charging it with solar panels as the BLUETTI panels are sold separately. This could be a good upgrade if you regularly take long trips where power from wall sockets is limited. It's possible to buy an adapter to be able to charge the device from other solar panels buy BLUETTI recommends using their panels.
Provided there is sufficient sunshine, this device has a 200W max input limit. Solar recharge should take between 2-3 hours.
Turbo Charge Function
Using the turbo charge function, you can combine power inputs. For example, AC + SOLAR or AC + an AC to DC adapter. This provides significantly more power input allowing you to charge the device up to 80% in only 30 minutes or full charge in an hour.
Some people really love this function. Honestly I didn’t find it that amazing. Sure its an impressive power boost but it realistically only saves about 20 minutes of charging time.
I prefer the simpler, 1-input charge setting which is speedy anyway compared to similar products. I also don't want to risk putting extra pressure on the battery which could shorten its lifespan. But that's just me...
Multiple Power Outlets
There are 9 different outlet points to match different devices. You can charge multiple devices and run appliances at the same time. Just note that as it is a small power supply, its going to deplete much faster the more things you have running.
The EB3A portable power station has the following outlet points:
- 2 X USB plug points
- 1 X Cigarette lighter port
- 2 x DC5521 Ports (like the standard ports for earphones on music devices)
- 1 USB C port
- 2 AC output ports
- Wireless charging pad on top
The two AC output plugs have a maximum out put of 600W. This is already a pretty impressive capacity for a power supply of its size. What makes this power station stand out from competitors is that it can push the output all the way to 1200W.
BLUETTI often run deals for the EB3A
This 'Powerlifting mode' is great if you occasionally need to use an appliance with a bigger power pull. For example, a coffee machine or hairdryer. On this setting, it drains the battery very fast but it's still a nice option to have.
You don't need to buy a much larger and more expensive power station if you only occasionally need the higher wattage.
When you buy the BLUETTI EB3A, you can download the power control app to your phone. You can check on, and control the power supply to devices and change charging speeds.
Bluetooth functionality is a rare find with power supply devices. It's very convenient to be able to check on the power station without physically examining it. Especially if it's sitting out of reach behind the back seat of your vehicle!
You can turn off the device remotely with the app but will need to manually switch it on again.
Built In LED Lamp
Like most of these portable power supplies, this one has an inbuilt lamp. The beam is seriously bright, if a bit focused (like a strong flashlight). It also has a flashing/ SOS setting, just incase you ever need it.