The ASUS 9600mAH ZenPower is the portable power bank sold by ASUS. It was announced earlier this year and it has just reached Malaysia recently. Like the smartphones and tablets offered by the Taiwanese company, the ZenPower is relatively cheap. But is there any catch using cheap power banks like this? Does the low price bring any compromises and will it be harmful to your expensive electronic gadgets? Well, this review will clear your doubts.

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Sections

  1. Introduction, Unboxing & Design
  2. Performance & Verdict

Unboxing

The ASUS ZenPower comes in a small box that matches its colour: a pink box for our pink ASUS ZenPower. The box is printed with the picture of the power bank, the specifications, the serial number and other information you probably do not even bother to read.

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Inside the box you will see the ZenPower, a USB cable, the user manual which comes with as many as 14 languages and a piece of warranty document. The USB cable is flat so it will get tangled easily but it is quite short too. As usual, no charging adapter will be provided. Since you will have at least one charger at home, this should not be an issue. The power bank is wrapped nicely with plastic cover to prevent any scratches out of the box.

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Design

I guess many of you will say that the ZenPower looks a lot like Xiaomi’s Mi Power Bank and I can’t help but to agree with you. The metallic body, the USB cable and the way it operates (more about this later) of the ZenPower is extremely similar to its competitor. ASUS ZenPower also comes in 5 different colours, namely blue, pink, gold, silver and black. Only the first two are currently available while the others are marked as “coming soon” on ASUS Malaysia Online Store. Personally I feel that the power bank looks sleek. My favourite is the black unit as it has ASUS’s concentric circle design around its button and I hope it will reach our shores soon.

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The chassis of ZenPower is made of aluminium and it is more squarish than Mi Power Bank. The metal body gives the power bank a premium feeling and it should be able to help the power bank to dissipate heat while charging. I didn’t have a case for it but so far the ZenPower is still free from scratches. I feel that the power bank is well built and I think it would have no problem surviving occasional drops.

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ASUS claimed that the ASUS ZenPower is the World’s first credit card size power bank. Well, the truth is that the ZenPower is 0.5cm taller and 0.5cm wider than a normal credit card. The thickness, on the other hand, is about the thickness of 25 credit cards stacked together (I didn’t have 25 credit cards, of course). While the claim is not 100% true, I am impressed by the size when I unboxed it. The ASUS ZenPower is definitely one of the most compact power banks in the market.

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Coming at only 215g, there is no question over its portability. However, while the ZenPower is compact in terms of height and width, its thickness is similar with other power banks. Unlike the ultra-thin 5000mAh Mi Power Bank, it is almost impossible to place the ZenPower and your phone into the same pocket. Of course, you have to take note on the difference between the capacities of these 2 power banks and ZenPower is not thicker than any of its competitors with similar capacities.

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Some specifications and certifications are printed on the bottom of the power bank. The top of the power bank houses the micro-USB port for input, full-sized USB port for output, 4 small LEDs and a button. The button serves two purposes. First of all, it allows you to reset the power bank if the charging process stops for whatever reasons. Secondly, pushing it will show you the remaining power level. Each LED will represent 25% of charge so you can estimate how much juice if left from the ZenPower by observing how many LEDs has lightened up. This actually means that you do not have to press on the button to start charging the phone. The charging will commence automatically once the USB cable is plugged into the device.

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