When Dabbsson's DBS2300 Portable Home Backup Power Station arrived, along with the DBS3000B Smart Expandable Battery and the DBS200S Solar Panel, it made me realise once again that the best portable power stations, no matter what the marketing material says, are quite big.
This makes sense, of course, as power backup units are essentially glorified batteries with a user-friendly interface (which I appreciate isn't a nice thing to say about a $4,000 setup such as this). That said, the Dabbsson unit in question here has a lot going for it, from the semi-solid state LiFePO4 batteries to the AI-powered temperature and energy management system.
It's not the ultimate portable power station, especially for those who need a reliable device for outdoor use, but this doesn't mean you should dismiss the Dabbsson DBS2300 if you need an emergency home power backup unit. Read my full review below to find out if you should invest in one today.
[First reviewed October 2023]
Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station review
Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station review: price and availability
The Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station was announced in April 2023 and is available to buy now at Dabbsson US and Dabbsson UK with prices from £1,899/ £1,999 (approx. AU$ 3,009). The unit is also available as part of a system, which may include the Smart Expandable Battery (DBS2300 + DBS3000B), costing $3,299/ £3,599, or the Smart Expandable Battery and the Solar Panel (DBS2300 + DBS3000B + DBS200S) for $3,299/ £3,997.
Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station review: build quality and ports
- Semi-solid state batteries
- Bright LCD screen
- Quiet cooling fans
The Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station is a solid offering, and not just because of the semi-solid batteries that power that unit and that's part of the appeal. The LiFePO4 batteries are said to be safer than Li-NMC batteries used in many other power stations and more resistant to puncture or other types of damage (not suggesting anyone tried piercing the batteries, though).
The semi-soled state batteries also ensure the weight is kept to a minimum. It's subjective, of course, as the Dabbsson DBS2300 is by no means featherweight at 53.1lb (24.1kg). Adding the Expandable battery units doubles the weight, which, considering they are the same size and capacity, isn't that surprising at all. there are handy carry handles on top of all units, which makes it a little easier to lug them around.
Speaking of portability, although the marketing material suggests that you could use the Dabbsson station outdoors, it really is only suitable for indoor use. The non-rugged design should give it away, but the warning label on the unit says so, too. Not many of the ports are covered, which is a tell-tale sign that it should be used when there is the slightest chance of rain.
The station is said to last seven times longer than the industry standard power stations, whatever this might mean, thanks to the AI-enhanced temperature and energy management system that regulates voltage, electrical current and temperature, among other things.
There are 14 ports littered around the unit, including three USB 2.0 connections (one with quick charge capabilities), four USB-C connections (two of the quick charge variety), a car charger port, one Anderson and two DC outputs on the front of the unit and a couple of AC output on the side below the flap hiding the solar input and control units.
The station on its own has a maximum capacity of 2330Wh and a maximum power output of 2200W, more than enough to power most household items for a bit. Dabbsson even provided a handy chart to give you an indication of how long the unit can power different devices, as per below:
|Header Cell - Column 0||DBS2300||DBS2300 & 2x DBS3000|
|Coffee Machine||2.1 hours||7.2|
|50" TV||17.2 hours||57|
|Hair Dryer||1.2 hours||4.18|
|Washing Machine||4.3 hours||14.4|
|PlayStation 5||10.35 hours||34.2|
Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station review: performance
It should come as no surprise that I tested the Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station indoors – didn't want to risk it getting damaged. This proved to be a bit of an ordeal due to the size and weight of the full setup, which also included the extra battery unit and the solar panel array. The panel, in particular, takes up quite a lot of space.
Let me lament a bit longer on the solar panels. It comes in a surprisingly compact case, which is actually the solar panels folded up with a handle. Unfolding the panels is easy; however, getting them to stand up without bending the panels is a bit more difficult. Each panel segment has its own fabric kick-stand, which is great, but they aren't quite sturdy, which makes the process of erecting them longer.
As for the light-gathering efficiency of the solar units, it could be better. I used them indoors with the sun hitting them through the windows, and the virtual input gauge hardly moved. I'm sure exposing the panels to full-on sun in July would improve the situation, but I'm also conscious about the indoor use nature of the device. Not to mention the fabric backing of the solar panel, which would look and feel pretty awful soaking wet.
Solar charging niggles aside, the Dabbsson DBS2300 is intuitive to operate and makes minimal sound when on. Admittedly, I haven't tried powering all my devices simultaneously, and I live in an area with very few power cuts, but smartphones, laptops, and action cameras were all sufficiently and safely charged.
In terms of portability, the handles feel sturdy, and the aluminium housing is firm enough. I doubt many people will transport the units around on a regular basis; it's more likely you'll set them down somewhere in the garage or in a storage room and let them sit there until they are needed.
Although the warning label says the Dabbsson unit should only be used indoors, I'd argue that as long as there is a way to keep it safe from the elements, it can be transported and used in a semi-outdoor environment, such as a car camping situation.
It'd almost be a waste not to use it for anything else but a backup for potential power cuts. I appreciate that some people might live in an are where power cuts and blackouts are more common, which would mean that the Dabbsson power station is best stored at home.
The LCD unit is clear and contains plenty of information about the unit. You can also use the Dabbsson app to control your setup. I almost preferred this method to using the buttons on the physical device. Using the app, you can turn anything on and off, including the power station itself, which is very convenient.
You can even operate the built-in flashlight or toggle the surge output Dabbsson calls 'P-Boost'. Plus, the app makes it easier to monitor energy input and output – more straightforward than the LCD screen, for sure, which can be slightly confusing on occasion.
Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station review: verdict
The Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station does what it says on the box: it provides a reliable backup solution in home power emergency situations. It has plenty of ports to power all your electronics and appliances, and you can build your setup gradually, thanks to Dabbsson's modular approach.
Portable power stations from no-name brands can be dangerous due to the occasional self-combustion of cheap Li-ion batteries, but the semi-solid state LiFePO4 batteries inside the Dabbsson station ensure not just safer use but longevity, both of which are welcome features.
It would have been better to make the units more weatherproof, which would have made them more versatile and suited for outdoor use. But hey, you can't win it all, can you?
Dabbsson Portable Home Backup Power Station review: also consider
A solid alternative to Dabbsson's Portable Home Backup Power Station is BioLite's BaseCharge Home Emergency Kit. It comes with a bunch of fun accessories, like the glamping lights and the headlamp, which will not only make home emergencies more bearable but also fun. Read my full BioLite BaseCharge Home Emergency Kit review.