I was excited to be selected to try out Anker’s new 18W USB C PowerPort charger as part of the Anker Testing Club. The PowerPort III Nano, to use it’s full name, is the latest and smallest USB C (Power Delivery) charger in the Anker range. I’d previously purchased the larger 30W PowerPort III Mini and was amazed by the difference it made over the 5W and 12W chargers supplied by Apple. But how would something the size of the smallest Apple charger stand up to daily life?
It may only be a charger, but Anker haven’t cut corners on the packaging. An easy peel tab makes opening the embossed blue white box a breeze - no hunting for scissors here. Inside the box the charger is wrapped in a protective film and securely housed in a pull out tray.
As the name suggests, the Nano is small, very small … tiny. The solid pins and layout of UK plugs will always constrain the size of wall chargers. However with the Nano, Anker have pushed these to the limit. The result is a charger that has the form factor of a regular 3 pin plug, a single USB C port on the bottom where the flex would go.
What Can It Do? - The Need for Speed
You’ll likely already have more chargers than you have devices, so why would you want another? or me the reason was speed. Charging an iPad with the 12W USB charger that came in the box takes time … a long time. Even the latest models of smartphone can take a significant time to power up with the supplied USB chargers. Upgrading to a USB C - Power Delivery charger can reduce this charging time significantly. Exactly how much will depend on your device, its supported power levels and the power of your charger, but the reductions can be big.
The tables below show the times taken to charge various devices from 10% using the 18W Nano:
00 mins 10%
15 mins 40%
30 mins 64%
45 mins 77%
60 mins 88%
75 mins 93%
iPad Pro 10.5”
00 mins 10%
15 mins 21%
30 mins 34%
45 mins 48%
60 mins 58%
75 mins 70%
How Far Can It Go? - Travelling Light
I travel a lot for work and can sometimes be out of the house for 15 hours in a day. Until recently this meant carrying a bulky laptop charger, plus a PowerCore and backup USB charger. So can the 18W Nano, alongside the PowerCore power bank, help keep all of my devices powered up through the day with limited access to power?
This was always going to a subjective test as not all days are the same, and level of use will vary. However I tried to consider some typical scenarios.
Even during video calls the 18W Nano had sufficient power to charge my iPad at a reasonable rate. Between call, charging was even faster as per the table above.
The 60W charger for my new laptop (MacBook Pro 13”) is big and I was skeptical that an 18W charger would make much of an impact. As suspected the charger made little impact when the laptop was in use, with the battery percentage holding steady. With the lid closed, the battery charged slowly.
So will the Nano be my new travel companion? … On days where I know I’ll have access to power sockets the answer is a definite yes. The 18W is sufficient to maintain my laptop charge when working, and quickly top-up my phone and tablet when needed. When I’m less certain of being able to plug-in for extended periods the PowerPort II Mini 30W is a better option for minimal extra size.
After two weeks of putting the Nano through its paces here’s my verdict:
- Size - did I mention that it’s tiny?
- Price - affordable option to embrace USB C Power Delivery
- None so far