Growing up in Michigan I lost power all the time. It’s an ongoing issue, one that will hopefully get corrected at some point, that residents have unfortunately came to accept. For years the first solution was to purchase a generator, which remains the best solution to this problem. As portable batteries, laptops/tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots and more challenge these dated thoughts, power stations offer an interesting alternative to more traditional solutions. Among the bigger names in the space is Monster, with their monstrous 296 watt-hour battery. Given the insane power, is Power Grid worth looking into or are you better off with something else?
Monster Power Grid Review Overview
Monster went in a very different direction with Power Grid’s packaging. Instead of the more refined look we’ve come to expect, it makes a strong case for why this product should exist in the first place.
On the front is silver foiling that draws attention to the various ports and Monster guarantee. Electronics and the device itself are given an eye catching gloss to further the look. There is also a QR code that we could not get to work, though even without it the box explains possible use cases.
So Much Information
Some examples given are powering a 60w mini-fridge for five hours, 30 phone charges, five additional hours with a drone, to even roughly four hours of power with a 32″ TV. All the ports are also detailed, with the back explaining what owners can hope to gain from Power Grid.
Inside is some foam holding Power Grid securely in place with two boxing containing all the accessories.
Not much is included with Power Grid. There is a power supply, non-polarized cable, automobile auxiliary power outlet (car cigarette lighter) cable, plus an adapter.
These items allow owners to charge at home, or on the go by using their motor vehicle. With the final accessory, the port adapter, can be used to jump start your car. It’s a handy function that increases Power Grid’s versatility.
Despite the plastic body, Power Grid feels like a substantial product. I don’t think dropping it will break anything, especially since the there is additional shielding that protects the actual battery.
In terms of looks, it’s designed more like a speaker than power station. The long design with a sturdy handle makes it extremely easy to carry to where you need it. It also separates the power input from all the outputs, making it extremely easy to understand. Monster also included specifications on each port, so there is no question what these ports are build for. These go up to 300w on the AC ports, which is where the Power Grid 300 namesake comes from, 60w USB-C, to even a 10w wireless charger.
For this review we were lucky enough to receive their fun color, volt. On the website it looks like a greenish yellow, packaging is closer to lime green, with the actual product reminding me of highlighter yellow. I actually like how it looks. Not only is it more interesting than black, it’s less likely to show damage than white.
Power Grid has an understandably small learning curve. Simply poking the power button will turn it on. It will remain powered for roughly 30 seconds after which it will turn off if nothing is active. Interestingly, Power Grid will turn off even if wireless charging is active and not being used, though activating any other port will not gain the same benefit.
Manually turning off Power Grid is a little more complicated. While this is also performed by pushing the power button, it must be held for roughly 5 seconds. Activating/deactivating the light works exactly the same way, with it cycling through three different light settings with a press of the button.
Once powered, every location can used by pushing its corresponding button. Disabling is just as easy, just push the button a second time. If you’re ever in doubt, the display and button itself will have a visual indicator to show they’re currently active.
For basic tasks I was pleased with how Power Grid performed. I had no issue charging my phone, tablet, Samsung computer, or similar item through the USB ports. When using the AC ports, practically any reasonable electronic worked without a problem. Tested products include my iMac, Macro Max S, projector, and more. Example of things that won’t work are space heaters or an air fryer, as they use a substantial amount of power. However, even if something works the bigger question is how long will it remain powered.
As much as I love how clear Power Grid’s display is, there is a distinct lack of information. Instead of giving easy to understand numbers, there is a fairly basic battery icon with a bars that give an approximate usage range.
Other major players, such as Anker, include various helpful metrics on even their lowest level option. These can be game changing, as knowing 30 from 15 percent can radically change what you’re willing to do.
Details aside, the display at least makes it clear what Power Grid is doing. At a glance I can tell which ports are active, whether wireless charging is working, and any other concerns.
Even though there is no way to eliminate the lack of display information, it can be mitigated through solar panels. Unfortunately, we did not have any on hand, though various options like this should work with Power Grid. These are a great way to maximize time or simply charge this behemoth for free.
Monster Power Grid Review Verdict
At its core, I genuinely believe Monster Power Grid is a solid product. What it lacks in display, it makes up for in other benefits. These include support for 3-prong plugs, wireless charging, which pairs perfectly with their speakers, and appealing port configuration. Simple changes like putting the flashlight on one of the sides, instead of the front, makes it a more usable in a wide variety of situations. For these reasons, it helps to keep in mind what you hope to get out of Power Grid. I imagine most recreational use will be fine, though it might fall short when used for work, vloging/streaming on the go, or anything that is extremely demanding.
Editor’s Note: Monster Power Grid was provided to us for review purposes.