Imagine a 5W charger but with six-times the speed – that's essentially the Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1
Anker is a well-known brand for chargers, cables, battery packs and a lot of other smartphone accessories. Last fall, it debuted a new wall charger in the PowerPort Atom PD 1. It garnered a lot of attention for one big reason. It's much smaller than other USB-C PD chargers, but still outputs 30W of power. How is that possible? Gallium Nitride or GaN. Using this over silicon means that the charger can be much smaller while outputting plenty of juice and running at a cooler temperature. Essentially the best of all worlds.
Basically all wall and car chargers that are currently on the market use silicon. For many, many years, this was seen as the best way to charge smartphones. But, Gallium Nitride is quickly becoming a better option. This is due to the fact that it has a lower power draw, and is able to withstand higher temperatures. So as smartphones are using faster and fast "quick charge" methods, Gallium Nitride chargers are going to be the new standard.
The PowerPort Atom PD 1 is a very small wall charger. You really can't appreciate just how small it is, until you see it in person. Before I opened the box with the PowerPort Atom PD 1 included, I knew it was smaller, but I didn't expect it to be this small. It's roughly the size of a 5W wall charger (like the ones that Apple ships with its iPhones). But it is able to do around 30W.
This is not a multi-port wall charger, which makes sense, it's already crazy enough that you can get 30W out of this small charger. There's a single USB-C PD outlet, that can charge virtually anything. From a smartphone, to a laptop, and everything in between. The only real downside to the PowerPort Atom PD 1, and what keeps it from being a great travel charger, is the fact that the prongs do not fold in. So that they are protected while in your bag, when you are traveling.
We've been using the PowerPort Atom PD 1 for over a month now. Using it with various devices, including the Google Pixel 3 XL and Samsung Galaxy Note9. It was able to charge both of these pretty quickly. The Galaxy Note9 was a bit slower, due to the fact that Samsung's quick charging standard is slower than the Quick Charge 3.0 that the Pixel 3 XL sports. But it worked as expected.
It is able to do around 30W of power, which is pretty decent, but that's not all of the power that a laptop like the MacBook Pro can handle. The MacBook Pro comes with a 60W wall charger, so when you are using the PowerPort Atom PD 1, you are actually only getting around half of the juice that you would be getting from the stock charger. If you are using your laptop for normal web browsing and such, you won't notice a difference. However, if you are gaming, you will definitely notice a difference. As games will use more juice, more than what the PowerPort Atom PD 1 can give it.
Overall, the Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 is a great window into the future of these charging products. It may not be able to charge absolutely everything at full speed yet, but it will be able to in the future. Anker has said that it is going to be releasing more Gallium Nitride chargers in the next few years, and it's going to be exciting to see where Anker is able to take these things.
The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 is priced at $29.99, and you can pick it up from Amazon.Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 - Amazon - $29.99