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Function 101 BentoStack Charge 8000 review: More than just a quick charge
Battery packs typically don’t offer anything more than, at most, a couple different ways to charge your devices, and that’s it. The BentoStack Charge 8000 has a USB-C port, a USB-A port, and wireless charging—checking all the basic requirements—but it also offers a stack of storage compartments and boxes, the inspiration for its clever name.
Note: This review is part of our roundup of portable power banks. Go there for details on competing products and our testing methods.
The battery pack itself sits at the top of the stack. In order, from top to bottom, you’ve got the battery pack, a shallow compartment to hold a pen or pencil, a deeper compartment big enough for wireless earbuds or charging cables, another shallow tray with slots to hold watch bands, and finally a bottom compartment that’s deep enough to hold a wall adapter, more cables, or other odds and ends. Small dividers in the two larger compartments let you keep items separated if you want.
You can rearrange the different layers, removing the two shallow compartments, if you like. All of them line up and sort of just sit in place. Still, Function101 includes a large rubber band you can use to hold the entire stack closed if you’re traveling and don’t want everything to fall out.
As far as performance goes, we were able to verify that both ports support Apple 2.4a, Quick Charge 3.0, Samsung 9V, and Huawei 9V charging standards using the AVHzY USB Power Meter’s test mechanism. We also verified that the USB-C port supports power delivery up to 12V/1.5A, as advertised. (See our power bank testing methods for details.)
Using the same tool, we were able to log that it takes one hour and 44 minutes to charge the BentoStack Charge 8000 from empty to full at the max accepted charge rate of 9V/2A through the USB-C port.
As far as efficiency goes, the BentoStack has an 8,000mAh (29.6Wh) battery. Using our testing method, we were able to measure 26.516Wh of power drained from the pack. That’s an efficiency of 89.58 percent. That puts the BentoStack in the top-third of all battery packs we’ve tested, and higher than the overall average of 83.14 percent.
The wireless charging pad is capable of charging at up to 10W, but our testing capped out at 8.7W of power output. Apple’s iPhone line, for example, can charge at 7.5W, so you’re going to get the full charging speed.
You don’t have to power on the pack when you plug something into it—it automatically recognizes that a device is connected and starts charging it. You do, however, have to use the power button on the left edge of the pack, next to the five indicator lights, in order to turn on wireless charging. When you press the power button, the light directly next to it will turn purple, letting you know the wireless charging feature is looking for a device. If one is present, that light turns blue and it begins charging.
The other four lights let you know at a quick glance how much power is left in the pack, each light indicating 25 percent of the charge.
Overall, the $99.95 BentoStack is a little pricey for the size and capacity of the battery pack, but you’re not just getting a pack for that cost. You’re getting an organizer and storage device. If the idea of having both of those functions combined into one is appealing, the BentoStack will get the job done.