Nitecore NB10000 Powerbank Review

I have in my hands today the new Nitecore powerbank, which is a lipo pouch cell, allowing a very flat, rectangular (phone like!) size and shape.  It’s also comparatively high capacity, so read on for some thoughts and testing!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Price

These go for $59.95 at NitecoreStore.com.  This is a referral link.

Short Review

For my personal use, this is likely the powerbank I’ll carry.  It’s very small comparatively, and works well.  There has been some discussion about the capacity, specifically vs cylindrical cell powerbanks, but I can say that doesn’t trouble me.  This powerbank works well.  Is the most power dense powerbank?  I don’t know about that.

Long Review

Key Features

Capacity: 10,000mAh 3.85V (38.5Wh)
Rated Energy: 6,400mAh 5V (TYP 1A)
Input: USB-C: 5V⎓2.4A / 9V⎓2A
Output: USB-C: 5V⎓3A / 9V⎓2A / 12V⎓1.5A
USB-A: 5V⎓3A / 9V⎓2A / 12V⎓1.5A
Dual Ports: 5V⎓3A (MAX)
Dimensions: 121.9mm×59mm×10.6mm(4.8” ×2.32” ×0.42”)
Weight: 150g±3g (5.29oz±0.11oz)
Accessories: USB Charging Cable (USB-A to USB-C)

Manual and Packaging

If you’re into peeling (and who isn’t into peeling) then this device might be worth the purchase price just for these peels.

Both sides have this much to peel.

What’s Included

  • Nitecore NB10000 Powerbank
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Manual and papers

Build Quality and Durability

The NB10000 (four zeros – every time, four zeros) is a cool little powerbank.  It’s flat, about the size of a cell phone (almost identical in fact, to my iPhone 7/iPhone SE – more on that later).  It’s heavy, which gives a bit of feel for the density of the guts.

Of course the next thing to notice is the carbon fiber panels on the front and back.  I think it’s real CF, so I think it’s very neat and I love that aspect of it.  That said, when peeling off the sticky cover sheet, these tend to lift just a bit.  Once that cover is peeled though, they don’t raise at all and aren’t a concern for me.  Additionally, the product literature claims that the frame itself (which you can see below as the “edge” pieces) is also carbon fiber!

The front and back are exactly the same.

One of the long edges has the item specifics – possible inputs and outputs, and also the capacity: 10,000mAh – which is from where the name is derived.

The non-port end has some molded naming, too.  The term “Energy Brick” isn’t overused, but it’s on this end, and in the manual too.

Te port end has three things.  A button, a USB-A port (out only) and a USB-C port (in and out both).

Overall the build quality externally seems great, and I’m pleased with what seems to be a very simple design.

Size

Dimensions: 121.9mm×59mm×10.6mm(4.8” ×2.32” ×0.42”)
Weight: 150g±3g (5.29oz±0.11oz)

This is a great size.  The other powerban I routinely use is the Nitecore F4, which I like because it runs on cylindrical cells, which can be interchanged and manipulated.  As far as utility, I strongly prefer the NB10000, because it’s easy to hold together in one hand with a phone or other device.

Power

Nitecore provides a cable for use with the NB10000.  It’s a USB to USB-C cable, and is intended for charging the powerbank.

I’d probably rather there be a USB-C to USB-C cable included, since the NB10000 does charge via the PD specification.  Here are the in specifications:

Input: USB-C: 5V⎓2.4A / 9V⎓2A

Here’s charge graph, at 5V.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to trigger 9V input.  I’m not sure if that’s a failing with the device or my setup (more likely my setup, I’d guess).  Charge at 5V happens at over 2.5A, which allows a full charge time of under 2 hours.

And here are the out specifications:

USB-C: 5V⎓3A / 9V⎓2A / 12V⎓1.5A
USB-A: 5V⎓3A / 9V⎓2A / 12V⎓1.5A
Dual Ports: 5V⎓3A (MAX)

Each test includes a 2 minute extra graph, which tests the max current output I was able to see.  The full graph demonstrates the NB10000 outputting power at the claimed current.

You’d expect to see a USB-A 9V here but again I was unable to trigger 9V when working with USB-C.

The NB10000 needs around 0.13A draw on the USB-C to stay active.  Below 0.13A and the output will shut off.

The USB-A port does have a minimum draw, but it’s below what I can test.  Somewhere under 0.08A.  At 0.08A, the port seems to stay on.

However, there’s a “Low Current Mode” available.  Holding the (only) button triggers LCM, and is indicated by a white led to the far right of the blue indicators.  (Far right, as viewed when the words on the ports are properly facing the user.)  Here’s an image showing both with and without the white indicator (and also blue indicators, which show the present charge level of the NB10000).

It seems like this mode is only for the USB-A port, though, and when it’s being used, the USB-C port seems completely deactivated.  (That’s right, deactivated.)

User Interface and Operation

There’s just one button on the NB10000 and really it’s not needed for much.  It does do some things though, one of which was mentioned just above (turning on Low Current Mode by holding the switch til one the right most indicator turns white).

Clicking the button activates the device.  Clicking it again does not turn it off though – it’ll just time out for that.  Timeout looks to be about 30 seconds.

Clicking the button also displays the charge level of the NB10000.  There are actually four indicators, with one being dedicated to being white for Low Current Mode.  The other three are blue.  Here’s how they display charge level.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Nice small device
  • Good USB-A and USB-C output
  • USB-C input for charging is great, and works well at 2.5A (@5V)
  • 18W output for various voltage levels
  • Low Current Mode is thoughtful, for those users who have the need to charge very small items
  • I love all the carbon fiber

What I don’t like

  • I wish the front/back were clearly defined in some way (orange CF on front? yes please)

Notes

  • This item was provided by Nitecore for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • For flashlight related patches, stickers, and gear, head over to PhotonPhreaks, another site where I write!
  • Use my amazon.com referral link if you’re willing to help support making more reviews like this one!

Author: zeroair

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