Anker took to New York City to unveil three new products to add to its lineup, during its #AnkerOnBoard event. The company has released the "smallest 27W charger yet" in the PowerPort Atom PD 1. There is also a new projector in the Nebula Capsule II that is powered by Android TV, and finally the Soundcore Model Zero+ which is a unique smart speaker that includes Dolby Audio enhanced sound. Anker has essentially launched products for its most popular product lines today, and each of them are pretty impressive to say the least.
First up is the new Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1. As mentioned already, this is the world's smallest 27W charger. Basically, it's the same size as a regular phone charger, but it has enough power to charge a laptop like the MacBook Pro or even the Nintendo Switch. Anker was able to pack that kind of power into such a small wall charger by using Gallium Nitride (GaN) components. This is because most chargers use silicon components, which are not very efficient and are also bigger, bulkier. According to Anker, silicon components waste around 20-percent of total potential power through heat emission, when charging a USB device. That is not the case with Gallium Nitride components. Anker's CEO, Steven Yang noted that Anker "has worked for the last 12 months developing GaN technology in order to provide chargers that not only lower power efficiency, but also considerably reduce the size of the charger." Anker will be using Gallium Nitride on its future charging products for a number of reasons, firstly because it'll make chargers smaller and lighter, but also better for charging.
The Nebula Capsule II is the follow up to the extremely popular Capsule - which was a portable projector, about the size of a soda can. The biggest upgrade that Anker gave the Capsule II was in the software department. Instead of using a forked version of Android on its projector, Anker is now using Android TV. What this means is that all of the apps on the NVIDIA SHIELD TV and other Android TVs, will now work on the Capsule II, and this includes Google Assistant. The Google Assistant, surprisingly, is always listening. You can say "OK Google" or press the microphone button on the remote to talk with the Google Assistant. And it will work the same as on any other Android TV. Anker also changed the charging method with the Capsule II, instead of using micro USB it's now USB-C. The Capsule II will last around three hours when streaming content, and takes about two and a half hours to charge over USB-C. The Capsule II will also project a 720p image at 200 ANSI lumens. That's actually a big upgrade over the original Capsule and its "SD" image.
Finally, wrapping up Anker's new products today, there is the Soundcore Model Zero and Model Zero+. The Model Zero+ is a smart speaker with the Google Assistant built-in, which is going to allow you to use your voice to control smart home products all-around your home, including some of the products from Anker's sub-brand, eufy. The Model Zero+ is the "first portable wireless speaker to integrate Dolby Audio", which is going to give you some pretty impressive audio quality out of this speaker. So voices are going to sound super crisp, and mids still sound nice and clear, and bass is going to be pretty boomy. Of course, that is also due to the fact that it has Anker's BassUp Technology included here. Which allows you to turn on or off the bass, depending on how you like to hear your music. Anker is really taking pride in the design of the Model Zero+ speaker as well, stating that the speaker was envisioned by artists and sculpted by designers. It was built with premium materials including brushed aluminum and woven fabric. This is going to allow it to fit in with whatever home decor you may have in your home.
Background: Anker was founded about seven years ago, by a former Google engineer, Steven Yang, who also brought in some other engineers from Google and Apple. This is why Anker's products always look so well built, but they are also pretty inexpensive. Though with some of today's announcements, Anker is looking to get into the more high-end space - particularly when it comes to audio. Anker is well-known for having quality products that aren't expensive. Many look to Anker for purchasing smartphone accessories, but in the past few years, the company has been expanding its portfolio. Adding in audio products under its Soundcore brand, different car accessories in its ROAV brand, smart home products in its eufy brand and Nebula has all kinds of entertainment products like projectors. Anker is really showing that you don't need to spend a fortune to really pick up some high-quality products. With today's announcements, it is adding in some more Google services, which isn't a surprise seeing as Anker does have a good relationship with Google. With the Nebula Capsule II sporting Android TV (and being the smallest projector on the market), and the Soundcore Model Zero+ having Google Assistant built-in.
Impact: Anker's PowerPort Atom PD 1 is going to be available on Amazon at the end of November, with a price of $29.99. When it comes to the Nebula Capsule II, it will be launching tomorrow on Kickstarter. It is going to ship in early 2019. It will cost $369 for early birds, and there will be a Kickstarter Exclusive model for $399. Finally, the Soundcore Model Zero and Zero+ will be available for $199 and $249 respectively, beginning in November, at select retailers nationwide. The Model Zero is the same as the Model Zero+, but it is a Bluetooth only speaker, which means there is no Google Assistant included here, but you are still getting the fantastic sounding audio and visual design of the Model Zero+. Unsurprisingly, the Model Zero+ is not going to be sold at Amazon, and this is due to Amazon not allowing Google Assistant speakers to be sold on its website.