Practical Analysis of the Sharge Shargeek 170 Power Bank: A Revolution in Charging?

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sharge shargeek 170 power bank
sharge shargeek 170 power bank

Another side of the transparent energy storage trend? Sharge touts its latest accessory as its “coolest powerbank” yet “with unmatched charging.” Its updated cyberchic chassis is prepared for output and input powers of 140 W each, and also supports bidirectional charging. Can its real-world performance live up to its Kickstarter hype?

The Shargeek 170 is the first power bank to launch under the updated OEM brand naming scheme, succeeding revised accessories such as the Storm2 and Storm2 Slim although they are now known as the Shargeek 100 and 130 respectively. This is reflected in the logos found on its new transparent casing.

In this sense, Sharge points out that he has been inspired by a science fiction-themed Pink Floyd song to design the 170. Consequently, unlike its predecessors, it adopts a unique “prism” shape very different from the average of the power banks. In this sense, it also has a download capacity of up to 170 W and a charging capacity of up to 140 W via USB Type C.

Unboxing and first impressions

 

The Shargeek 170 appeared in a box with a bunch of bubble wrap (and an ICEMAG but that’s for another review), cling film, and no retail packaging, probably due to its current reward status on Kickstarter.

This was as disappointing as it was understandable, although the experience is balanced out somewhat by the extravagant “240W” USB-C to -C cable (boxed) that was also released, as well as a white 140W PD 3.1 power brick. The latter could also be a pre-retail preview, as it was also unpackaged, which, given that its casing was damaged when removed from the shipping container, was a shame.

However, it wasn’t too damaged to work and he wasted no time in powering up the 170, which was the first thing he did as the power bank was completely dead when he took it out of the box.

The new Sharge charging accessory combo peaked at ~131W and took just under 50 minutes to fully charge, which, given all the operating variables, was acceptable performance for its rated specifications.

140W Charging Test 

Let’s jump into testing with a 140W output PD 3.1 compatible device: the Lenovo Legion

Now, I was disappointed to find that neither the Storm2, 2 Slim nor the Chargeasap Flash Pro would work with the laptop, possibly because those power banks are on older Power Delivery standards. The Shargeek 170 was also initially unresponsive, which was also disappointing. A bit of troubleshooting revealed that the USB PD 3.1 port only works when the laptop is powered off – however, the 170 could only charge the Slim 5 14 with ~40W at most.

Sharge also claims that the 170 functions as a two-way charger. In other words, it should act as a sort of replacement power brick for the Slim 5 14’s Type-C charging port in combination with a fast enough power brick (like the Sharge 140W PD 3.1 adapter that also came with this review unit).

And yes, “two-way fast charging” is operational, although, again, it doesn’t recharge the 14-inch Legion PC at the advertised speed. Even the 140W power brick could only power it at ~80W.

Luckily, I still had my old Razer Blade Stealth lying around, and was able to test the 170 for DP up to 100W (with an official Razer cable). This gave a result of 70W maximum, which is consistent with other power banks and chargers I have tested.

Furthermore, the 170 could charge both laptops simultaneously and also accommodate a smartphone through the type A port, which made its power exceed 100 W.

The former Lightning-enabled flagship charges at no more than 9V/2A – as seems to be the case with all the gadgets I test, even though it’s theoretically capable of more. This fruit phone… well, it’s consistent, at least.

Moving on to the more universal realm of USB Type-C, we find the Galaxy S23 Ultra (written after the sad and untimely demise of my Galaxy Note 10+ from previous reviews ) exhibits Quick Charging 2.0, which is Samsung’s for ~23W, or ~65 minutes 0-100% charging time.

That was disappointing too, as the 170 is rated for the S23 Ultra’s full rate of 45W (or 15V/3A), as well as 140W. On the other hand, I have had similar results with Samsung mobile devices and other power banks, even with the smartphones’ own OEM cables.

Conclusion 

The Sharge 170 has made a splashy entry into its target market, with a refreshing departure from the traditional power bank look. I have to admit that I suspected it would be less portable than its predecessors based on its appearance; However, although it is longer than the Storm2, it is not much heavier and still fits in a backpack. Its new “prismatic” shape also makes it very easy to grip and carry.

The case also integrates a ” full color smart display ” that functions to display a (re)charge timer in 7-segment numbers. It wasn’t very accurate on first use, but over time it has become more accurate with calibration. The power bank also has a watts indicator, which is in line with the readings of a dedicated multimeter. It’s also very shiny, which adds to its overall appeal as a desk toy. In that sense, it has good viewing angles in real life, although it must be admitted that on camera it appears much more reflective.

It’s also very shiny, which adds to its overall appeal as a desk toy. In that sense, it has good viewing angles in real life, although it must be admitted that it is much more reflective on camera.

All in all, I like the idea of ​​the Sharge 170, although this review unit failed to live up to all its 140W hype with the Legion Slim 5 14.

Lenovo ‘s support material specifies a 20V/7A output for this type of performance, while the power bank is rated to go up to 28V/5A – again, that makes the laptop’s failure to use the output 20V/5A like the Blade Stealth made it even more of a baffling mystery.

However, it remains true that I was unable to verify Sharge’s input/output claims for the 170 in their entirety with the test equipment I had on hand – even though I should have been able to do so. On the other hand, it is possible that, like its power brick, it was slightly damaged during transport: I couldn’t get its screen to cycle through various modes with the power button, as is the case with the Storm series, in the normal way. (According to Sharge, retail/ Kickstarter units should be able to do this)

It also refused to charge its 2 smaller siblings Shargeek Storm2 Hands-On Analysis Storm2 and Storm2 Slim at the same time, which would have been helpful in high-wattage testing. So, stay tuned while I get a second “140W USB” device to confirm or refute these findings in a continuation of this review. Meanwhile, the 170 has demonstrated its ability to discharge at over 100W, at least, and perform USB-PD tasks at the 100W mark.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise