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Chargers using gallium nitride offer high wattages in a compact size. Here are some of the best options on the market to recharge your iPhone 14, iPad, Mac, and other Apple devices.
As the world of computing marches onwards, devices continue relying on chargers to recharge batteries via an outlet. In many cases, this involves a charger that takes a USB connection, one which can automatically detect the correct current it needs to pass on to the connected hardware.
With a growing need to use the chargers and Apple no longer providing them with iPhones in most countries, an entire industry has grown to sell extra chargers to consumers. It’s not just to acquire a charger when the manufacturer doesn’t supply one, as sometimes users want a spare they can carry around for a quick charging session on the move.
With the development of GaN, there has been a shift towards smaller, more compact chargers that can easily pack into a bag so they can be on hand at any time. They can often handle high-wattage items, such as a MacBook Pro, which makes them highly desirable.
Here are AppleInsider’s suggestions for GaN chargers if you’re in the market for a new power accessory.
What is GaN?
GaN refers to gallium nitride, a material that offers device producers an alternative to silicon. Specifically, it provides properties that silicon cannot beat in some applications.
This can include working at higher thermal levels and with better electrical transfer rates, which makes it a great material for producing components for chargers.
The “band gap” efficiency of GaN, which deals with how a material can conduct electricity, means it can handle far higher voltages over time than silicon. Current can also pass through a GaN chip faster than silicon, with a GaN chip also requiring less power overall.
GaN chargers offer very high wattage thresholds over typical silicone-based chargers and are generally more useful for devices with higher power needs.
The material also enables device producers to create smaller chargers using GaN than silicon-based counterparts. A compact charger that works more efficiently is certainly more desirable than a chunkier silicon variant.
Hyper 245W GaN Desktop Charger
The most powerful charger of the selection, the Hyper 245W GaN Desktop Charger is a compact unit intended for desktop use, thanks to a cable running to an outlet. Its small size can easily be mistaken for a USB hub, with its four USB Type-C connections, tiny indicator, and a discreet flat tubular body with ridges.
Those four USB Type-C outputs are effectively the same in that they can offer up to 100W of power individually, though as a 245W charger, the amount of power passing through it will be less per connection if you hook up four 100W devices. Since most chargers may only provide one or a small number of high-wattage connections, seeing all four capable of 100W is quite refreshing.
In its review, AppleInsider described it as “the most capable desktop charger we’ve tested to date.” It was praised for having “unparalleled output wattage,” being small enough for travel, and being in keeping with Apple’s Space Gray aesthetic.
Nomad 65W Power Adapter
Nomad offers several very small GaN chargers, with one tiny offering being a 30W Power Adapter. However, while that single USB-C adapter is small and reasonably priced at $29.95 from Nomad directly, AppleInsider suggests you look at the 65W model.
A little larger than its 30W stablemate, the 65W model includes collapsible prongs, enabling it to plug directly into an outlet and hide away the sticking-out elements for easier storage.
There are two USB-C ports, each of which can output up to 65W when used independently. However, you can use both simultaneously, with the power splitting to up to 45W for the top port, and 20W for the lower, so you can quick-charge your iPhone and reserve the 45W for a more consuming device.
The Nomad 65W Power Adapter is available from the company website for $69.95.
UGreen Nexode 200W USB-C Charger
Another desktop-focused charger, the Nexode from UGreen, is a black and grey hub designed to sit on your desk. However, the hub has six ports to distribute its 200W through this time.
There are four USB-C ports, with the left-most pair capable of up to 100W of power delivery, with the other two offering 65W apiece. There are also two USB Type-A ports, with each capable of 22.5W.
You can mix and match the ports in use with the total 200W power output varying to each port, depending on the combination. However, it can still recharge four low-power notebooks, a tablet, and two smartphones simultaneously.
Available from Amazon, the Nexode 200W USB-C Desktop Charger is $199.99.
Satechi 165W USB-C 4-Port PD GaN Charger
Measuring a petite 3.93 inches by 1.22 inches by 2.8 inches, Satechi’s 165W charger offers a compact and simple package. To help make it easier to use, it is supplied with a small stand so that you can sit it on your desk in portrait and landscape orientations.
Sporting four USB-C ports, it can output up to 100W through any ports with a single device attached. Two devices split the power to 100W and 60W, though three devices can output two 60W ports and one 45W or one 100W and two 30W connections.
If you use all four, the power is distributed to one 60W port, one 45W, and two 30W ports, up to a maximum of 165W in total. It also automatically adjusts the power distribution based on the hardware included, providing the highest wattage to the device with the highest capability for accepting power.
Satechi sells its 165W USB-C 4-Port PD GaN Charger from its website for $119.99.
Baseus GaN2 Pro 100W and 65W Quick Chargers
The Bases Gan2 Pro lineup has a few great options, but two to focus on are the 100W four-port and 65W three-port options. Both have flip-out prongs to directly plug into an outlet while making it easier to stow away.
The 100W model has four ports, consisting of two USB-C and two USB-A ports. It can output 100W through one of its USB-C ports, adapting the output depending on what’s plugged in, with a fully-laden output of 60W and 20W from the USB-C and 15W from the USB-As.
The 65W model has two USB Type-C ports with 65W maximum outputs with one device connected, along with a single USB Type-A with QC3.0 support.
Anker GaNPrime 65W, 120W, 150W Chargers
Anker is a prolific producer of accessories and so has many different charging and power products in its catalog. For this roundup, we will be looking at the GaNPrime collection.
The trio, made up of the 735 65W, 737 120W, and 747 150W chargers, all offer a combination of a single USB-A port and two USB-C, three USB-C for the 150W model. For the latter two, they can also provide up to 100W through a single port.
They are very compact examples of chargers with folding prongs and feature Anker’s innovations, including its exclusive PowerIQ 4.0 technology with dynamic power distribution and intelligent temperature monitoring for safety.
Mophie speedport 120
The third in a trilogy of GaN wall chargers available from Apple’s online retail, the Mophie speedport 120 is the highest wattage of the trio, capable of up to 120W from its three USB-C ports and single USB-A port.
Unlike its stablemates, the speedport 120 is designed for use at a desk and ships with a power cable to attach to an outlet. Up to 100W can be supplied from the first USB-C port, which will work with a MacBook Pro, with a maximum output of 119W possible with all ports in use.
The charger is also supplied with a 2-meter USB-C to USB-C cable and a strap for cable management.
The Mophie speedport 120 is also available from the Zagg store, priced at $99.95.
Belkin BoostCharge Pro
Belkin has a lot of chargers in its BoostCharge range, with some given the BoostCharge Pro name. Here are three selections from the catalog that could be worth a closer look.
The BoostCharge Pro 108W 4-Port GaN Charger is a desktop unit with two USB-C ports, capable of 96W maximum from one port, and two USB-A ports with 12W outputs. That is enough to recharge a MacBook Pro and an iPhone simultaneously.
The 60W USB-C PD GaN Wall Charger is a more straightforward unit that connects directly to an outlet and includes one USB-C port. Designed to be compact, it is claimed to be the smallest 60W GaN charger on the market.
The [email protected] USB-C PD GaN Wall Charger takes a slightly different route, as it tries to be as slim as possible when in use. Equipped with folding prongs and one USB-C port, the charger only sticks out a little from the wall when plugged into an outlet, making it a great space-saving travel plug.