This week’s Editor’s Choice was a recent choice for Gadget of the Week. accolade is given to products that represent a significant advance in technology, or a remarkable approach to innovation or user needs. The EcoFlow Delta 2 portable power station is Editor’s Choice for the week starting 24 April 2023.
What is it?
The EcoFlow Delta 2 is a portable power station, meaning that it can provide electrical power for various devices and appliances at times and in places where a traditional power source may not be available or is unreliable. Not only is it portable, and can be easily transported and used in a variety of settings, but it is a self-contained device that has a built-in battery, inverter, and charging ports. It can be charged from wall outlets solar panels, wall outlets, or even car adapters. It can then, in turn, provide power for anything from a smartphone and laptop to a small fridge and TV.
The unit has a 1024Wh capacity and 1800W output, which translates into charging a laptop computer 16 times, or running a coffee maker for more than three-quarters of an hour, among other. However, it has an additional feature called X-Boost that allows for devices with a rating of 2400W to be powered.
EcoFlow says that X-Boost features an intelligent voltage control that marginally reduces voltage, allowing one to power devices with a lower-rated power supply. This allows for the use of power-hungry devices, such as microwaves, albeit with a higher rate of battery consumption.
We did not test the solar charging capabilities of the unit, but EcoFlow says that it is able to charge fully within 3-6 hours, depending on one’s solar panel wattage. However, the unit charges quickly when plugged into a wall socket, with the battery charging to 80% within 50 minutes, and to 100% after an additional 30 minutes. There is a low frequency hum produced when charging, but it is at low volume. The LCD display shows the battery percentage, remaining usage time, and input/output watts.
It has a massive array of ports, including for two traditional 3-prong plugs (type M), two 2- prong plugs that also accommodate the new format of 3-prong plugs (type N) that will soon become an additional standard here. Type C plugs can go into a type N socket. It has four USB-A ports, two of which support fast-charging, and two USB-C ports. It also has two DC5521 ports, which supports connectors that power devices using DC current.
Linking the unit to the EcoFlow app via Bluetooth allows one to control these output ports and view more information about the device, such as the current output. The app includes features like auto timeout settings, toggling on/off for beep sounds, and viewing unit specifications.
Despite having many ports and a modestly-sized battery, the unit weighs only 12kg with dimensions of 40×21,1×28,1cm which makes it easy to move around, especially with its well- placed handles.
With over 3000 full charge and drain cycles, as well as an outstanding 5-year warranty, the unit offers exceptional longevity.
We put it to the test in a setting that was heavily affected by loadshedding, where several people in a small business were prevented from remaining productive for long periods every day. A workshop running several lights and a computer, and equipment like an oscilloscope, voltmeter, hot air station and soldering iron, ground to a halt every time Eskom pulled the plug.
The Delta 2 was brought in, and transformed not only productivity, but also work satisfaction. Up to four hours of loadshedding was handled seamlessly by the portable power station, but it had one further massive positive impact: when someone was busy with intricate work, and heavily focused on the task at hand, the focus and work remained uninterrupted. It was a transformative experience.
Overall, it was a superb experience.
What does it cost?
The EcoFlow Delta 2 Portable Power Station is available at a recommended retail price of R24,999 on the official EcoFlow website at https://za.ecoflow.com.
Why does it matter?
The Delta 2 is a compact and lightweight portable power station that charges quickly, making it an excellent alternative to traditional electricity supplies. Its many ports and different charging options make it a great option for those who wish to use it at home, work or when traveling. For those who need more power, the unit is expandable. The Delta 2 extra battery or Delta Max extra battery boosts power capacity to either 2kWh or 3kWh, respectively.
What are the biggest negatives?
- The unit’s buttons may be difficult to select when multiple devices are plugged in, as
- the plugs get in the way, but there’s an app for that.
- It’s not cheap, although it delivers tremendous value.
What are the biggest positives?
- Lightweight, compact unit with a sleek appearance.
- Great battery capacity and fast charging.
- Superb for control and information.
- Expandable capacity.
- Long 5-year warranty.
Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee. Jason Bannier is a data analyst at World Wide Worx and contributor to Gadget. Follow him on Twitter on @jas2bann.