We’ve seen our fair share of portable power stations, and most of them roughly share the same designs. They come in rectangular box shapes and bear rugged materials, which makes it easier to transport them from place to place if needed. There isn’t any rule that says they have to be made that way, though, especially if you’re willing to skimp a little on the battery capacity to add some style and flourish. For example, Duracell, a name long associated with batteries, has had the rather amusing idea to pay homage to its most popular product line, resulting in portable power stations, or extra large power banks, that look like overgrown D-size batteries, with a few tricks up their sleeves that add some flavor to a normally boring piece of tech.
There was a time when consumer electronics revolved around these cylindrical batteries that had to be thrown away once they lost their charges forever. We’ve thankfully mostly moved on from these wasteful energy sources, replacing them with rechargeable and reusable variants, but there’s still a certain fondness attached to the image of these old alkaline batteries that have become icons of their kind, just like floppy disks. Riding on the nostalgia trend these days, Duracell had the clever idea to put that iconic design on a portable power station, almost like a tongue-in-cheek joke on these extra-large batteries.
The Duracell M250 and M150 both look like giant D batteries, complete with a black and bronze color scheme and a smaller disc shape on top that designates the positive end of the cylinder. They’re rather small compared to most portable power stations but also considerably larger than even the largest power bank. The size differences are quite understandable considering these two only have 60,000mAh and 25,000mAh battery capacities for the M250 and M150, respectively, though those are enough to charge most electronic devices, including a laptop via the 100W USB-C port. The larger Duracell M250 even has a 100W AC port for other use cases.
The portable power stations have more than just looks, though. That protruding disc at the top actually functions as a MagSafe-compatible 15W wireless charger, and you can lift that top lid to tilt an iPhone or iPad to the desired angle so you can watch your screen even while charging. Tilting that cover also reveals a small storage compartment for cables and chargers, things you’d want to keep near the power station. To charge the power station itself, you’d have to put it on the included dock, an elegant solution that unfortunately means having to carry a separate part with you on your trips.
Admittedly, this traditional battery form is not the most space-efficient shape for traveling, putting the “portable” part of its name into question. Still, there’s no argument that it’s an interesting design for a portable power station, putting an almost poetic spin on the product category. It will definitely be an eye-catching presence in coffee shops or even on planes, though interest could turn into derision when you start fumbling to put the large can in your bag or luggage.