Let's talk about chargers. They are probably the least exciting thing about a computer. Do not get me wrong. They are obviously necessary. But when was the last time you were really excited?
And yet, here I am, a tech blogger who tells you that today is the first day of your remaining life as a charger lover. Why? Because of three alternately wrapped letters: GaN. Back at CES, I wrote an article titled "GaN Chargers Are Still Worth Enthusiastic." I stand by it. And you too will stand by GaN.
Incidentally, this is the abbreviation for gallium nitride. The most important thing you need to know about it is that it has allowed accessory manufacturers to get a lot of performance on a surprisingly compact footprint. I've been pretty excited about them since I took up Anker's 30W PowerPort atom at CES. The thing wasn't the fastest charger in the world, but it did the trick for a 13-inch MacBook with a footprint that is only slightly larger than the charger that came with the iPhone.
Nowadays, however, I'm carrying around a 15-inch laptop, so 30 watts don't do much. In fact, you will see the battery drain while it is plugged in. I also tried a few new adapters at this year's CES, but none really scratched the itch. Aukey's $ 55 OMNIA 100 W PD charger is pretty close to my sweet spot.
It's half the size of Apple's proprietary charger and has about the same footprint as the Google Pixelbook adapter I've had with me for a few years. But that's just a modest 45w. It is even more powerful than the 96 W model that Apple sells for the 15 and 17 inch models.
However, the size is ideal, also because Aukey didn't try to stick another port on it. This is a charger for one device at a time that is perfectly fine for most of my requirements. In this distant time it will have a permanent place in my pocket when I can go on a trip again.
I will say that it is surprisingly heavy for its size. This is a tight little charger. It stays in all of my sockets, but it will be a test to see if it stays in place in Delta's notoriously loose seat chargers. My suspicion is that this is most likely not the case – which is a pretty big blow to it for my own one-time trips. The good news is that these companies appear to have an even smaller model every four to six months.
In the meantime, if you're looking for a lot of money in a small space and need $ 24 less than Apple's 96W model, it's an otherwise great option.