For those of you that don’t know, the electronics industry is rapidly improving the way we power our devices. Over the past few years, the speed at which phones, laptops, and tablets charge has skyrocketed. The latest standard is called “Power Delivery”, and it can charge phones and laptops at huge speeds, up to 60 watts, where many devices are still charging at 10 watts or below. Most phones, even “quick charging” phones still only charge at 15 watts.
At the same time, our battery capacity has increased, the battery size has decreased, and the chargers has gotten smaller and more efficient. The Anker PowerPort Atom PD is the latest step in this race to the bottom in terms of size, and race to the sky in terms of charging speed. I got one to try out, here’s what I like about it:
Obviously, the main selling point of this charger is that it provides up to 30 watts of power in a case about the size of the standard Apple 5 watt charger. It lives up to that pretty well:
As you can see, the size difference is pretty negligible. That’s impressive for the difference in charging speed. The Atom PD is literally 6 times faster than the Apple 5w charger. This is thanks to Gallium Nitride, a new semiconductor that packs a much larger punch into a smaller area. I won’t get into the materials science here (I don’t understand it), but the results are obvious. Super charging speeds in a smaller footprint. Here are some more size comparisons:
Most of my devices have USB-C charging now, including my laptop and phone. That makes this charger a no-brainer for replacing a wide array of chargers I carry around for different purposes. Here is a line-up of the usual suspects:
The cool thing here is that I can ditch the other chargers when traveling, especially the cumbersome laptop charger that came with my Asus Flip C302 Chromebook. Have a look at the difference here:
So now I have ONE CHARGER TO RULE THEM ALL! I can charge my phone, my laptop, and my PowerCore Speed 20000 PD with the same compact wall plug. Goodbye, old chargers!
So, the big question is, does this thing really live up to the hype in terms of charging speed? The short answer is yes, it does. here are some measurements to prove it.
Asus Chromebook Flip C302
Intake from Atom: 29.5w
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Intake from Atom: 9.6w
PowerCore Speed PD 2000
Intake from Atom: 21.5w
So, yeah, it provides power pretty quickly, but also flexibly. These devices are in various states of charge (The Speed PD is almost full in this picture, so it would not take power as quickly as it usually would).
So there are a few things to keep in mind about this little guy.
- It gets hot. Not hot enough to burn you, but definitely and obviously hot to the touch after being in service for a while. I charged my laptop from 15% to full in about an hour, and the Atom was hot. Maybe this is a quirk of the GaN technology.
- The front is rounded, so it won’t sit flat with the prongs facing upwards. I don’t know why this bothers me.
- No folding pins. To be fair, the apple 5w doesn’t have folding pins either.
None of these are a dealbreaker for me, I really like it. Thanks for reading!