We were impressed with the SuperTank Pro power bank from Zendure, so we couldn't wait to get our hands on this massive-capacity power station. If the quality and functionality of the power bank were anything to go by, we were in for a treat.
While we don't yet have a standalone power station buying guide, we chose to review this product given our previous positive impression of Zendure products that sit in our Best power banks guide, and it might be just what you're looking for if you run group sky-watching sessions or astrophotography workshops.
Note that there are two versions of the Zendure SuperBase Pro — 1500W and 2000W; We have reviewed the 1500W version. The models also vary depending on which part of the world you are in — ours took UK 3-pin AC plugs but the US models accept 2-pin plugs.
A power station is aptly named for it is a portable means of powering up multiple devices at once; Whether that's the best star trackers, handy headlamps, sophisticated Computerized GoTo telescopes or dedicated astro cameras such as the ZWO ASI533MC Pro.
Zendure Superbase Pro Power Station review
Zendure SuperBase Pro: Design
- Telescopic handle
- Chunky all-terrain wheels
- No two devices are the same
This Zendure PowerBase Pro looks modern and sophisticated, yet rugged and menacing all at the same time.
MC4 to AC Cable
MC4 to XT60 Cable
USB-C to USB-A adapter
Hard-sided Accessory Pouch
Quick Start Guide
Warranty card (24 month)
The telescopic handle and all-terrain wheels make it resemble a small suitcase, or as one of our colleagues described it, a 'cool box on wheels'. Zendure highlights this design in their marketing, saying that it can be used to help you carry kit (put your gear on top and pull the whole lot with the handle). This is especially handy when taking the power station to festivals where you usually have to lug your kit a long way.
You could also transport your camera backpack on top by securing it to the telescopic handle. Stylish bags like the Billingham Hadley Pro have a strap precisely for this purpose. Without the handle and wheels, it would be near impossible to transport this 41.5 lbs/18.8 kg monster comfortably.
The 6.1-inch LCD panel shows all the information you could need to know about the device's present state — current input and output, recharge time, remaining power and whether any modes like 'quiet charging' are active.
An ambient light shines when the device charges or distributes power, giving the same feel as the LED tubes you find under fast cars. You can modify the color and brightness in the app. The light seems superfluous, but some may love its futuristic vibe.
The main body is made from recycled plastic, giving each device its own unique pattern; No two will ever be the same. Again, this doesn't add to the functionality of the device, but it's a neat little fact.
Zendure SuperBase Pro: Performance
- Very loud fans when charging or distributing AC power
- Exceptionally quick to recharge
- Charge all the devices you need simultaneously
On receiving and plugging in the Zendure SuperBase Pro, we thought it was just the initial charge that would be noisy — and by noisy, we mean fans whirring like in an old PC that's being put to heavy use.
Capacity: 1440Wh (1500 model) or 2096Wh (2000 model)
Output ports: 14
Charging time: 1.5 hours to full
IP rating: None
Weight: 41.5lbs/18.8kg (1500 model) or 46.5lbs/21.2kg (2000 model)
Dimensions: 17.56 x 10.51 x 13.86-in/446 x 276 x 352mm
Unfortunately, we were treated to this same noise each time it charged via mains power, with only a small decrease in noise when it wasn't charging and was just performing its duty as a power station. There is a 'quiet charging' option in the app which limits the input/charging speed, but getting to sleep with it whirring away in the background would be tricky.
We would have expected the fans to only kick in if the unit started to get too hot, but they seem to be on all the time. We began reviewing this model in the UK when it was winter and the inside temperature was sitting at about 62.6°F / 17°C, so there should have been no need for the fans unless we were pushing it to its maximum output limits.
Despite the noise, there's no denying this thing is exceptionally fast to recharge. It's recommended that you only charge it to 80%, but it only takes 1.5 hours for a full charge with AC. Ideal for last-minute trips, it's quicker to charge than a lot of pocketable power banks.
Zendure SuperTank Pro: Functionality
- App for additional control, customization & monitoring
- A multitude of ports to charge/power many devices at once
- Super quick charging
The Zendure app unlocks more customization options and features over and above what you can control via the buttons on the device's main body. Once you've registered for an account (be sure to check your junk folder for the verification email), you're walked through the setup process. Initially, we had lots of niggles with the app, which were resolved after talking to Zendure customer service (who were very good). Long story short, it needed a few complete reboots and upgrades before the power station would 'talk' to the app and vice versa.
Within the app, you have more visibility and control. You can see exactly how much charge is left in the power station and, if you have things plugged in, you can view how many watts are going in and out, as well as how much time is left until empty. This is especially handy if you're not near the device. We currently have it hooked up to solar panels in another room (the solar panels are outside), but we can see exactly how many watts are being fed into the SuperBase Pro at any given time, which changes constantly depending on the sunlight levels.
You can also turn on quiet(er) charging, change the color of the ambient light, turn AC/DC charging on or off, see how much energy you have used through the power station (and where that energy came from — the grid or solar) and how much carbon has been saved. You can compare your green energy use with other people who are using the power station.
The SuperBase Pro is equipped with a household-grade Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). If the power in your house goes off, it will switch over to the battery, keeping all of your essential household electronics powered up in the event of power outages.
The data on the app is displayed in real-time and matches the display on the LCD screen on the unit most of the time, with a few blips where they don't seem to be quite in sync. Generally, though, it's spot on.
One thing we haven't managed to get to work yet is the 'location' function. The app continuously tells us we're in the middle of the ocean, which we can assure you, we aren't. This is not a deal breaker for us, so we haven't tried too hard to fix this, though we can definitely see the benefit if you're going to be leaving the power station unattended (e.g., at a music festival) as in theory the app will show you exactly where the power station is.
You can also share the device's location with friends. If you're going 'off-grid' or out at sea, they can check in to see where it is (and hopefully you'll be with it). The SuperBase Pro is upgradeable by firmware so it will only improve over time.
Should you buy the Zendure SuperBase Pro?
There's no denying the impressive capabilities of this thing. It has six AC plug sockets, four USB-C ports (two 100W and two 20W) and three 13.6V DC outputs. It charges ridiculously quickly with AC, and with solar in the right conditions and with decent solar panels (though it's still impressively quick even when it's overcast).
If you're someone who is going to be running sky-watching sessions with groups of people out in the field for nights on end waiting for the perfect dark sky, or simply wanting to go 'off-grid' for a couple of nights, the Zendure SuperBase Pro will keep you powered up, no problem. Just remember a pair of noise-canceling earplugs if you're sleeping in close proximity to it (like in a campervan) and charging devices using AC at the same time.
If the Zendure SuperBase Pro isn't for you:
If you came here from our best power banks guide, you'd have seen that this is currently the only 'power station' on the list, so perhaps you were looking for something smaller and more portable for day-to-day use instead.
For that, there's the SuperTank Pro (also from Zendure) which provides the ability to charge four devices simultaneously via USB-C or using an adaptor (included) for USB-A legacy devices.
The BioLite Charge PD range is a no-frills, rugged and easily portable option, but if you need something that is lightweight, waterproof and practical (perhaps if you are hiking a long way or camping overnight) the Celestron Elements FireCel Mega 6, which also acts as a torch and handwarmer, might be just what you're looking for.