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Best Portable Generator Reviews 2017 | Top 14 Generators

Finding a reliable power portable generator is no easy task. Many makes and models flood the market making it tougher to decide which is best. Truth is, there is no “best”. There’s only the best for YOU! Different options support different needs.

For example, a heavy-duty portable generator is an overkill if you intend on using one for the purpose of recharging your car or boat battery.

On the other hand, a light portable generator you would use to recharge a car or boat battery is insufficient in powering a residential home during an emergency crisis.

Here’s our top picks!

4 Common Uses For Standby Portable Powered Generators


An emergency news broadcast recently broke across America. A massive category 4 hurricane is looming off the coast and major power grids are anticipated to fail across the northern and western areas of the country from the hit. Everyone is stirred into a frenzy making a mad dash for the scarce few portable generators on store shelves.

But you did things differently. You were smart. You prepared yourself and your family ahead of time. They will see you as a hero/heroin for thinking ahead of the curve and protecting them in the event of a crisis situation like above.

Portable generators keep food cool in refrigerators, provides heat, provides electricity to charge phones to make emergency calls and gives you peace of mind.

Automobile, RV, and Boating

Have you ever accidentally left your lights on in your vehicle to make a quick errand, only to come back and find out your car battery died?

Maybe you were going on a boating trip and upon arrival forgot to power the main battery the night before?

Or maybe while traveling in your RV you’re unable to use the microwave or watch television because of a lack of sufficient power?

Whatever your situation a small portable generator comes in handy when recharging your battery without a jump, recharging your boat battery without making the long trip back home, or allowing you the convenience of utilizing more RV amenities.

Light Construction Building

If you’ve ever arrived at a work site as a general contractor or construction worker with no power, you know the frustration of working around it until the main power source cuts online. You can’t use the power tools you want to use or do all that you would need to do.

A towable AC generator for construction sites keeps you ahead of your work schedule with zero delays supplying you with ample power to get the job done!

Special Events

Birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, baby showers, and block parties are taxing and you run the risk of short-circuiting your main power line. If you don’t want a surprise electric bill it’s best you invest in an all-in-one power generator for special events. Not only will it save you money in the long run, a solid generator gives you peace of mind.

In the following portable generator reviews, we present the best portable generators for sale that offer the best bang for your buck.

We’ve searched high and low for countless hours researching the top fourteen generators based on our knowledge and experience for your convenience to help you avoid expensive mistakes.

Top Fourteen Portable Generators Reviewed


14. Yamaha EF2000iSv2, 1600-Watts

The Yamaha EF 2000iSv2 is a powerful, portable, and efficient gas powered portable inverter delivering high levels of electrical output without sacrificing portability. This is the solution for your mobile power needs.

In our tests what strikes us as most impressive is how ‘whisper’ quiet it is. Crank the engine at full speed, stand 6 feet away, and you can have uninterrupted conversation without raising your voice, or talk on the cell phone without screaming, “Can you hear me now?!” After 15 minutes you forget it’s ever on.

When we took it out on a marine test run we were considerate of the noise levels so as not to disturb our fellow boaters. This unit never posed an issue. Turns out no one ever noticed. With the amount of power it dishes out it boggles the mind how consistently silent it is during operation while more powerful machines are 10x as loud.


Easy pull cord – After one or two practice runs, you’re off to the races.

Portability – This tightly constructed package weighs no more than 45lbs without gas.

Noise Reduction Technology – We couldn’t be more pleased with the lower sound decibels of this unit.

Safely Power Small Electronics – Because it’s an inverter as well, you can power computers, phones, iPads, televisions, etc. while camping.

Fuel Efficient – Generates 10.5 hours of continual electricity without refueling using innovative technology to get the most out of its fuel efficiency.


Ships Without Engine Oil – Though far from being a deal breaker, it’s worth keeping in mind. Purchase standard 4-stroke 10w30 engine oil at Lowes or Home Depot.

Fairly Pricey – Though you’re investing $800 – $1000 on a single unit, what you get in return is a sturdy, American-made generator that will last you decades. Cheaper alternatives always cost you more in time and money in the end.


This is a remarkably sturdy unit that will give you plenty of power to go camping, fishing, use power tools, power your RV (size dependent) and give you peace of mind with its noise canceling technology.


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13. Champion Power Equipment 46539, 3500-Watt

One customer purchased this generator *right before* Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey. He ran the generator daily for several hours over 8 days problem-free.

Another customer powered on this generator during a wide-scale blackout. He ran 2 full-size refrigerators, 1 large freezer, a coffee pot, two lamps, and a humidifier – all at once.

What we appreciate about the Champion 46539 is it’s homeowner friendly design. The wireless remote allows you to start/stop the machine while comfortably inside your home so on those cold mornings you can power your generator at the touch of a button.


Push Button Electric Start – Additionally, you can start/stop this generator upwards 80ft away.

Long Run Time – On a full tank of gas at 50% load you can expect roughly 12hrs run-time.

Emergency Relief – Going through a major storm? Experiencing a local blackout? Don’t get left in the dark. The Wen 56180 is the solution for your power needs.


Gas Tank Quick Fills – Biggest complaint is the gas tank fills up a little slower than other models. Try to fill too fast and it spills. No big deal unless you’re in a hurry. Solution? Take your time filling ‘er up and be a little patient.

Genny weight – It’s a tad on the heftier side, but manageable. Handle placement is a little odd so when dragging it, take short steps to avoid clipping your foot.


This is a solid, disaster and emergency relief residential compatible power generator. With its straight-forward instructions and installation, you’ll be up and running in no time.

As a side note, oil does not come with this machine. Be sure to purchase your own as recommended by manufacturer else you run the risk of ruin.

All and all, this generator performs wonderfully, and we’re confident you’ll be happy with your purchase.


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12. WEN 56180, 1500 – 11,000 Watt

We’re impressed with this unit. It comes with wheels and handles along with tools necessary for easy assembly.

Quite frankly, the gas usage was better than we anticipated. We could run it all night and still be at nearly a half tank of gas by morning running basic appliances, mostly the fridge/freezer.

Surprisingly, it’s fairly light. We’ve tested many portable generators and a lot of them are FAR from “portability”. It would take an army tank to move some of them. But the mobility on the WEB 56180 makes it worthwhile.


U.S. Based Customer Service – We like that we can get in touch with native tech support agents knowledgeable about WEN products. It makes troubleshooting problems easier, faster, and stress-free.

2-Year Warranty – Rope on the pull start recoil broke? No problem. Give WEN’s excellent tech support a call and they’ll send you a whole recoil assembly free of charge. No matter what happens to this generator, you’re protected by their iron-clad warranty.

Trusted Name Brand – WEN is an older American company (one of the few genuine ones left) with a rich history of innovation others have copied and reproduced for decades.


Noise Level – Not bad, not great. It’s somewhere in-between. You may have to raise your voice a bit to be heard, but it’s tolerable compared to more expensive alternatives.


The WEN 56180 won’t power a million and one things simultaneously, but for emergency situations, it will keep costly perishables cool/frozen, allow you to charge a few phones, use a computer, and stay connected to the outside world.


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11. PowerPro 56101, 900-Watts


Weighing shy of 36 pounds and equipped with a carrying handle, the PowerPro 56101 was made for mobility.

It uses an oil and gas mix to eliminate the hassle of changing the oil or remembering to do so.

It has a sturdy build with the capacity to run central air, refrigerator, lights, power tools and so on with no problems.


Customer Service – If you call them with any issues, you won’t be on hold for longer than 1 minute. If you email them they’ll respond promptly within 24 business hours. From our experience, they’re helpful, kind, and genuinely want to solve any problem. Granted, you won’t need to call much because it’s a solid machine, to begin with, but if you have to, this is your peace of mind.


Fuel Tank Drainage – Admittedly, it’s not this generators bright spots. If you drain the fuel tank according to the manual, it’s cumbersome. It can be done, it’s just tedious sometimes.


The PowerPro 56101 will make life a little easier. Having power on demand gives you the freedom to do the things you’d normally do regardless if you’re connected to the main power supply or not. A solid power generator like this one gives you peace of mind. We wholeheartedly recommend this unit.

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10. Champion Power Equipment 42436, 1200-Watt


Don’t let the “off-brand” name fool you. The Champion Power 42436 is machine aluminum built with high-quality material, overhead valves and cast iron sleeves with double rubber mounts to reduce vibrations. It starts easily enough, going from no load to full without a hitch. It’s quiet and light, but it what sound it does emit sounds like quality (i.e. no rattling, clicking, or clanking).

It comes with a handy colorful start-up guide and owners manual for instructions on how to make it last for years of trouble-free service.


Low Fuel Usage – If this genny stays below 50% load, you’ll get remarkable fuel economy.

Great Warranty – 2 year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support

Light and quiet

Durable and Dependable

Very affordable for the average working household


Pull String Decomposes – Frequent users have noted that the pull string is cheaply made and with enough pulls breaks sooner than it should. However, in cases where this happened (rare) Champion quickly replaced the part under warranty.


This genny is worth every penny. It’s fantastic for camping, going on vacations, RV traveling (cross-country), and emergency situations. For a Chinese made product, it’s very well made. Nearly on par with American and Japanese brands.

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9. WEN 56200i, 1600-Watts


This inverter Generator puts out clean energy with ZERO voltage spikes and drops. Because harmonic distortion is just under 0.3 percent at zero capacity and under 1.2 perfect at full capacity, it’s safe to run modern household electronics such as laptops, phones, television monitors, tablets and other sensitive gadgets and gizmos you find useful in everyday life.

It also has a 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine operating at 51 decibels at quarter load. To put this in perspective, it’s quieter than your average conversation. You’re more likely to hear yourself talking more than you will the WEN 26200i (not that it can “talk” but, we think you get the idea – smiles). That’s impressive.


Super Quiet – With harmonic distortion less than 1.2 percent at full capacity from a true sine wave, this little powerhouse can easily handle the most sensitive, every-day-use electronics.

CLEAN Power Generation – To prevent waste the WEN 56200i has an Eco-Mode The generator automatically adjusts it’s fuel consumption in accordance to what’s plugged in. If you only need 600 watts, you get 600 watts. Nothing more or less. This saves money on petrol gas.

Easy-To-Carry Design – Shy of 48lbs it’s lightweight design along with it’s carrying handle makes it easy to stay mobile.

Parallel Connection Suitable – Need more than 2000 watts? No problem. You can link up to two additional generators to increase wattage output.

EPA 3 and CARB-Compliant


In a perfect world, we would rate this as the perfect power generator and sing “Kumbaya”. In reality, it’s still a machine prone to human error, no matter how small. Below are two of the biggest complaints we’ve seen thus far:

No Fuel Valve – It’s a minor gripe but we feel would make monitoring fluids a little easier for the average Joe.

Eco Mode is Shaky – It could use a little more work on the drawing board. Any load more than 1,000 watts requires you to shut it off. So if you intend on running it on larger appliances like a refrigerator, keep it off. The unit has trouble stabilizing the inrush amperage.


All in all, for the affordable price you’re getting one of the best portable gas electric generators money can buy. It has its flaws but nothing that takes away from the value you get from this powerhouse generator. It ranks highly on our top ten list because it deserves it. Highly recommended.

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8. DuroStar DS4000S, 3300-Watts


No matter where you reside, the DuroStar DS4000S will save your hide.

One customer’s story, Trevor Mankus, is an example of a family man who recently had a baby daughter prior to Hurricane Sandy slamming onto the Northeast shores of USA.

His old generator died and it would have cost him an arm and a leg to repair, so he was due for a new one.

He went to Amazon, read the hundreds of positive reviews, and made his final decision. The storm hit weeks later.

Here’s what happened:

When Hurricane Sandy came knocking people were without power for 5 days straight. He prepped his generator filling it with gas, checking oil levels, starting it up, and letting it break in for several minutes. From the day power went out until it came back online it powered 2 sump pumps, 1 refrigerator, 1 microwave, 1 HVAC system for heat, miscellaneous items (cell phone chargers, hair irons, radio, etc.).

The worst of a Hurricane is not a Hurricane, but power outages. Going without power for even a single day makes life miserable. Trevor was pleased he made the right choice protecting his loved ones from a very uncomfortable experience.


Highly Reliable – You don’t have to be trapped in a hurricane like Trevor to benefit, but there’s peace of mind knowing that if you had to use it for extreme purposes, you could. Anything else is a piece of cake.

Quiet As A Mouse – If you were to run this side-by-side with your lawn mower it would be louder. Much louder. That speaks volumes for itself.


No Wattage Meter – Though it’s beneficial to know the current load if you pay attention to how much gas is consumed you can get an accurate reading on how far you’re pushing this limit. 4 gallons = 8hrs on a full load.


If you treat this generator with tender lovin’ care, it will return the favor and keep you out of trouble in times of need. It’s low maintenance. Easy to follow instructions. And keeps the energy flowing.

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7. Champion Power Equipment 76533, 3800-Watts


This portable generator comes equipped with Volt Guard, a built-in surge protector to guard your appliances and other light electronics against spiking in voltage. It also has Cold Start, a modern technological advancement that starts your generator in the coldest of weather (brrr brrr).

The automatic low-oil shut-off sensor is a nice touch. It keeps you from accidentally running this machine bone dry resulting in permanent engine failure.

Lastly, what’s unique about this generator is the use of propane instead of gas. Unlike regular gas, propane has a long reliable shelf life you can rely on in any emergency situation


Two-Year Warranty – Purchased new you are protected from any non-homeowner related damage. If any part of the Champion malfunctions you’re covered for two years.

Propane and Gas fueled – Run out of gas at the wrong time? No problem. You can use propane as a backup fuel source for sticky situations.

Travel Ready – Comes with a standard 30A RV outlet and plenty of power to start and operate 15,000 BTU RV


Fairly “Loud” – At 78 decibels, it sounds like a lawnmower. If you keep it insulated it won’t disturb the neighbors and will give you peace of mind.


The Champion Power Equipment 76533 is truly a champion.

It’s easy to put together, fires up straight out of the box on propane gas, runs 11+ hours on a half load with basic electronics (television, video game system, microwave), has a generous 10-gallon tank minimizing refills and puts a smile on our face.

In other words…

…we like it (smiles).

We recommend it.

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6. Champion Power Equipment 73536i, 2000-Watts


This unit thus far has exceeded our expectations. While reviewing each unit on this page what we look for primarily is how noise level decibels, fuel efficiency and ease of transport. They are, after all, PORTABLE generators.

Though quiet by most standards, you can reduce noise even further by placing a foam pad underneath the unit to absorb vibrations and limit noise.

It’s great for dry camping and just as quiet and light as most name brand generators out there for a much smaller investment.


Quiet – This generator is ideal for campsites, RV’s, and cabins

Feather Lightweight – This is a manageable 48lbs that come with a carry handle

Great Customer Service – The Champion brand are one of the few American companies that provide excellent follow-up post-purchase and most mom and pop repair shops are able to repair them because parts are widely available.

Inverter Technology – When less power is used the engine automatically adjusts itself to save fuel and reduce wear and tear on the engine

CARB Compliant


Won’t Run Your Air Conditioner – Though efficient for light use (television, microwave, RV lights, charge stations, etc.)it lacks enough power to run an air conditioning unit.


This unit is on par if not better than most name brand units. We’ve tested many versions and this one is the underdog performer. If you don’t have to spend more money for a quality generator, why do so?

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5. DuroMax XP4400E, 4,400-Watt


This is a good little workhorse. Nice quality, fires up every time you start it and is extremely quiet for its size.

When you first start it will produce a little smoke and sputter until the choke is released. Soon after it runs smooth and clean with no visible smoke or exhaust.

The control panel is multi-purpose with two 120V outlets, one 30 Amp outlet switchable between 120V and 240V, and a 12V outlet to charge a dead car battery (very handy!). Excellent voltage regulation along with an outstanding output for its relative size.


Charges Dead Car Batteries – If you’ve ever allowed your vehicle to sit in the garage long enough without starting or the chill outside affected the battery, it’s tiresome getting a running vehicle in place with jumper cables to give your car a boost. This feature allows you to charge your battery from anywhere.


Overstated Wattage Numbers – Though it’s marketed as 4,400-Watts, in reality, you can comfortably get 2500 – 3300 Watts before this genny starts to struggle to reach its advertised max.

Not CARB Compliant


The DuroMax XP4400E is built sturdy, works good, and surprisingly emits far fewer pollutants into the environment than a costly Honda, Subaru, or Yamaha units you find most common in traditional hardware stores. Overall, we are highly satisfied and you will be, too.

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4. Briggs & Stratton 30545 P3000 PowerSmart Series


From the moment you get your shipment in the mail, after putting in the required fuel and oil it starts up instantly right out of the box.

Stand just 10 feet away and it’s barely audible at 56 decibels. You will appreciate the built-in collapsible handle and strong, solid wheels that come with this unit, too.

It has a smart digital reader that’s easy to read and comes with a funnel and drain tray that helps with draining and changing the oil when necessary.


Better Than A Honda – Briggs & Stratton is hundreds of dollars cheaper and twice as good.

Quiet Generator – By far one of the quietest we’ve ever heard (not heard?). It is in no way loud or pretentious to camping buddies nearby.

Easy Oil Fill

Quick To Start


None. There were no complaints that warranted a mention. Customers are largely satisfied.


We compared this model to a name brand Honda that’s roughly $1000 more for near exact features and benefits. The Briggs & Stratton is not only $1000 cheaper, in most areas it actually performs better. The greatest benefit of name brand genny’s is it’s easily recognizable and trusted. But 3rd party manufacturers, due to lower overhead, smaller offices and less expenditure on advertising dollars sometimes tend to be better options. This genny is one of them. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better generator for your money.

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3. DuroMax XP10000E – (Watts) 8000 Running/10000 Starting


One gentleman, Fr. John Reade, went through a terrible widespread storm in the winter of ’09. It was sudden and unexpected subsequently causing multi-day power outages.

Naturally, he wanted his family to be safe, warm and protected during the blizzard so he made a smart decision to purchase a DuroMax XP10000E, gave it a bit of oil, a bit of gas, and it ran like a charm getting his family through the ordeal.

Though it lacks a speed control function, it doesn’t need it. Its automatic idle control function is nimble enough for producing current wattage. It runs baby bottom smooth with no fluctuating nor noticeable engine speed changes that would normally cause alarm from overload.

When you pull start it fires right up every time. No stuttering. No multiple attempts. Easy peasy. Great in emergency situations when there’s a power outage and you don’t have time nor patience to fiddle.


Includes Never-Flat Knobby Tires – Our gripe with most other high-end genny’s isn’t their lack of power or functionality, it’s the tendency for the tires to go bad, spring a leak, or give out under its weight for long periods of time.

Ever had to lug one of these puppies around? Take it from me. It’s no fun. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself would find it a daunting task. Fortunately, DuroMax had folks like you and me in mind when they installed no-flat knobby tires on the XP10000E model.

Excellent Customer Service – Report after report reveals that DuroMax’s customer service is second-to-none. The reality is that this genny is still a machine prone to faults, errors, and broken parts. Fortunately, the manufacturers stand by their products and offer to replace parts and occasionally labor services under warranty.


According to customer reviews, it has difficulty running most model electric stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryer. You may have to settle for microwaved food until your main power supply switches on but what it doesn’t run pales in comparison to what it does such as your water heater, fridge, well pump, forced air heater, and humidifier, sometimes at the same time.


The DuroMax XP10000E is a solid gas powerhouse. You simply can’t go wrong with this unit. Out of the box, there’s very little if any tinkering required. The only thing you’d have to add is oil (not included) and gas and you’re ready to go!

It’s everything promised and more. We love it and couldn’t be happier.

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2. Westinghouse WH7500E – (Watts) 7500 Running/9000 Starting


Bateau Jouet purchased his unit just before a nasty snow storm in Massachusetts. Sadly, it ripped down trees destroying major power lines. He could not have been happier (laughing). Not because he was without power, but because he had a rare opportunity to put this genny to the ultimate test. It passed with FLYING colors!

He powered two refrigerators, a furnace, large television, DVD player, kitchen lights, the bathroom, living room, all bedrooms, and a microwave all at once never going over 50% load.

In other words, this little workhorse barely broke a sweat! But I’m not surprised. Westinghouse is famously known for their higher quality generators. They’re akin to the Rolls Royce of generators without breaking the bank.

And apparently, owning a Westinghouse WH7500E has become a family tradition.

So pleased was Bateau that he recommended one to his father who has owned his now since 2012. They both couldn’t be happier with their purchase. Like father, like son.


All-In-One Packaging – unlike most cheap genny manufacturers that ship out barebone units, Westinghouse has kindly obliged our requests for an all-inclusive package containing the following: Westinghouse WH7500E unit with wheel and handle, tool kit, oil, oil funnel, and an operators manual.


What is there NOT to like?

It runs 12hrs+ on a 6.6-gallon tank at half load, comes with a 3-year warranty, equipped with an hour meter to monitor running time and oil changes, capable of running on up to 10% ethanol, has protective low oil shut off feature, and electrical overload protection.

You’d be hard-pressed to find any real jarring reviews. If you find any credible negatives, even one, we’d like to know about it.


Owning this gas powered portable genny with electric start is not only the smart choice to make, it may be ‘necessary’.

The last thing you want to happen is to pass on your opportunity to prepare yourself and family for the worst case scenario. No one can predict the weather, and Bateau had the forethought to ‘brace for impact’ when the unexpected happen, and boy was he glad he did. And so will you.

You truly do get what you pay for, and in many ways, much, much more!

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1. Generac 5735 – (Watts) 17500 Running/26250 Starting



There’s no question about it. THIS is an IMPRESSIVE machine. A force to be reckoned with. It’s easy to put together and starts right upon the first attempt.

This 25 kilowatt (surge capacity) genny is equipped with a cast iron engine and a frame sturdy enough to make the Himalayan mountains blush with envy.

This thing is solid as a rock!

It’s about as close to portable as you’re going to get for this size and amount of power. Though it pushes the boundaries of the definition of portable, it’s surprisingly manageable.


A SERIOUS Powerhouse – This isn’t your grandma’s generator. It’s a high-capacity machine more loyal than a Cesar Milan trained dog. It works like a true champ capable of powering your entire home regardless how many square feet you’re living in.


Generators Some Noise – Though unsurprising, it’s bound to kick out some noise considering it’s pumping nearly 17,000 watts or pure energy within the confines of a small build. The units muffler effectively dampens exhaust noise with the bulk of it coming from the engine and forced air fan. When idle it spins down and gets very quiet.

Consumes More Fuel Than Average – On 16 gallons you can reasonably expect 10hrs runtime at half a load. Admittedly, it doesn’t have the best gas mileage, yet you’re getting a far more superior genny for heavy-duty performance without compromising on if you should keep your lights on or your refrigerator. This genny can easily handle both and everything else flawlessly.


Overall, this is a wonderful 17,000kw unit for a great price. Other comparable genny’s are nearly 2x – 3x as much performing the same functions if not at a lesser ability. It’s a beast and can get any family plus a neighbor or two through an ugly storm if need be. There’s nothing you can’t run on this generator.

I say this boldly and with confidence; whatever you’re powering now on your main power supply can all be powered on the Generac 5735.

I simply cannot say the same for any generator on this page thus far. This genny was designed to handle all of your residential power needs without a cinch.

I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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Hope you enjoyed our guide, we love reviewing awesome portable products.

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