Hands-on review: EcoFlow River Pro Portable Power station
Many of us office workers have moved to working from home or at least hybrid work. This, combined with the recent cost of living increases, has seen a growing number of people leave the city for country life.
In Asia Pacific, that does mean that your power supply isn't as reliable.
One of our team members was in this exact position when the power in their small country town went out.
Initially, this meant that their internet connection went down, and they had to work through their mobile phone, but eventually, even that ran out.
The solution that we came up with is a portable power station from a company called EcoFlow. There are a lot of models in the range; the one we got is a good balance between size, weight and battery duration.
Although we had the idea of a remote worker, the unit could be used for camping, on a boat,
The unit itself is about the size of a car battery, although a lot lighter at just under 8kgs.
It has a handle on the top for easy transport. You can imagine this being useful to move it around the house or even in a campaign situation.
It has two power points on one end, so you can power at least two devices at a time. These normally output 600W, although its X-Boost feature can temporarily increase this to 1,800W. This obviously shortens the amount of time you will get from one charge.
In our testing, it worked for a fridge, a kettle, a drill, a hairdryer, a coffee maker, a laptop and a microwave. In fact, we didn't find anything it wouldn't power.
On the side, it has both USB-C and three USB-A ports, which are useful for charging other devices like tablets, smartphones, headphones etc.
An easy to follow screen on the side of the River Pro shows you how many hours and minutes of charge you have when you are running devices from it.
The same screen also shows how much power is coming into and out of the unit at any time. So you can establish which devices are the really power-hungry ones.
The amount of time you will get depends a lot on what device you are charging. A fridge might up to 8 hours, while a laptop as much as 20 hours.
When it's time to charge up again, you can charge from a normal wall power socket, from a car cigarette lighter or with the solar panel.
The wall socket is the fastest to fully charge the River Pro at just under 2 hours, while the car adapter took as long as 8 hours.
The model we got included a 160W solar panel; with this option, your charging speed really depends upon the weather, with the instructions saying it will take between 6 and 12 hours.
The solar panel is four panels that neatly pack into a carry case for easy transportation.
Lastly, the light on the side of the unit could be very useful and is extremely bright.
This is an incredible power station; it charges very fast, is easy to use, is lighter than you would expect and is very flexible. It has so many uses both outdoors and indoors, and we would highly recommend it.