Keeping your devices sharp on the road is an eternal challenge for the road warriors among us. Today, anchor unveils a range of chargers promising to keep even the most energy-hungry satiated. The new series uses gallium nitride (GaN) for its silicon, which promises much higher power with much lower heat loss. In other words: smaller chargers, less heat.
The GaN technology isn’t new, exactly — but the technology is finally appearing in consumer products at reasonable prices, which is worth celebrating.
“GaN allows us to completely change the way we charge our electronics by delivering better energy transfer, faster charging speeds and smaller, more portable chargers,” said Steven Yang, CEO of Anker Innovations, in a press statement. “Our partners gave exclusive access to advanced GaN technology that enabled us to make chargers that last longer and are more durable.”
The new range of chargers includes wall chargers with USB-A and USB-C ports, ranging from the super-compact but slower 65W ‘735’ charger with two USB-C and one USB-A connection, to the 150W beast dubbed ‘747’, and a few smart ‘sockets’ and wireless charging solutions.
To me, the reason these chargers are interesting is mostly portability. Anker’s 737 charger, in particular, delivers 120W of power at once to two USB-C devices and a USB-A device. Together, that means you can charge two laptops at once, or – more likely – a laptop and a phone or tablet, plus an accessory, without needing more than one outlet.
The top-of-the-line 747 packs in even more, but sacrifices the 737’s small size in favor of an additional USB-C port and an additional 30W of power.
On paper, these chargers perform better than the chargers that come with an Apple laptop, for example. Time (and reviews) will tell if they are equally robust and reliable, but Anker has proven over time to be quite a serious player in this field, with quality products that aren’t exactly the cheapest, but strike a good balance between quality and price.
As a hardware hacker and maker, I’m also excited to see more power delivery options available for my own projects; USB (and, more recently, USB-C) is a versatile, almost ubiquitous standard. Having access to fast, reliable chargers is a boon for both prototype builders and makers on the go.