Gauteng recently shifted from four-hour rolling blackouts to a more frequent 2½-hour window within a 24-hour period. With most of us working from home, it may be time to consider a back-up solution.

Setting up or rewiring a home to run off alternative energy supplies is a costly affair and not feasible for the mass market.

Enter the RCT Megapower 54k universal power bank. It is a compact, portable AC power supply that has a charging cable and drawstring carry bag. The 54k refers to its 54,000mAh battery capacity.

The powerbank is about 22cm x 16cm x 3.5cm and takes up to eight hours to charge fully — so ideally overnight. It has two 230V AC sockets, two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. Next to the power button it also displays how full the battery is.

The powerbank I normally carry around is 10,000mAh, enough for a couple of smartphone charges, so this one is huge by comparison, but still on the compact side. It’s not something I can throw into a handbag, but I would pack it as hand luggage.

The 2-pin sockets and USB ports are ideal for plugging in a router, dongles, MacBook and items such as hair dryers, or if you’re going camping, kitchen gadgets.

RCT says it can power a 30W connectivity set-up like a fibre terminal and Wi-Fi router for 4½ hours, or a 32-inch TV for three hours.

I was on the shorter load shedding blocks while testing it, so it was able to power my laptop and phone simultaneously as needed. My internet equipment has a separate backup power source as I work from home.

The only downside is that it’s noisy when in use, but noise- cancelling earphones should do the trick.

This universal powerbank is a plug-and-play product that requires no technical knowledge. Having a power supply at your elbow, rather than having to use an extension cable or adaptors, is convenient wherever you are.

It is a simple, fuss-free solution for working from home. It costs R5,000 and an 80k capacity (80,000mAh) version is available for R6,499.

Cool factor 4/5
Usability 4/5
Value for money 4½/5

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