Imagine the future world, where all devices are using the same long-range wireless charging standard, your battery is effortless recharged whenever you’re near a transmitter, bliss. While we may be a fair way away from that nirvana, USB-C offers a promise of almost that level of convenience, it just needs to be plugged in.
Thanks to USB Power Delivery (PD) OEMs can now deliver up to a maximum of 100W of power (20V @ 5 amps) from one USB-C cable. This means that a single USB-C PD power source can charger anything from a laptop, phone, tablet, headphones, earbuds, keyboard, mouse… you get the point. As the USB C port becomes more ubiquitous I find myself more and move in the joyful world of only needed one type of connector.
Now some of you may be calling out, but what about bad cables or chargers, or non-standard implementations of USB C, and yes, you’re 100% correct. You do need your wits about yourself when buying USB-C gear, and some OEMs use the port to deliver proprietary charging.
My solution for the first issues is I now only buy from companies I trust to follow the standards, my solution for the second is I don’t use tech from companies that don’t support the basic USB-C standard.
With that all in mind, I had been looking for a replacement for my various power cords and wall plugs I carry in my gear bag. Enter the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE™ Dual USB-C PD GaN Wall Charger 68W. This little charger it’s a tech enthusiasts dream.
Featuring two USB-C ports, one capable of up to 18W for fast charging your phone, the other up to 60W for charging a laptop (maximum output is 68 W). Because it’s a Gallium nitride charger it is able to deliver higher wattage out of a smaller form factor compared to traditional chargers.
This makes the overall charger smaller than you’d expect for the power output. As you can see above the GaN charger is only slightly larger than a traditional 18W phone charger but can replace a laptop charger and a phone charger using the same brick, and only taking up one wall socket.
With this one GaN charger, I have managed to remove my bulky and always in a mess USB-C laptop charger and my 18W USB-C wall charger, and because it’s from Belkin I can trust that they have implemented the USB specifications correctly and I won’t blow up anything I plug into it.
As you can see the charger is overall smaller than the two charges I am replacing, and while I collected a lot of cables for the photo I actually carry everything individually and it takes up even less room the way I store my cables, and honestly 90% of the time I’m only charging one device.
So what are the negatives? Initially, I couldn’t see any drawbacks from this setup until I was in a situation where my laptop was flat, I need to use it, and the PowerPoint was on the other side of the room from the desk. Because I only carry 120cm USB-C cables it wouldn’t reach. I ended up having to use the laptop on my lap sitting against the wall near the power socket.
That’s not a fault in the charger, just the limitations of my USB-C cable, I am seriously thinking of swapping in a single 3M USB-C cable into my cable bag just in case. The other small gripe I have is that the charger is only available in White, I’d love it if they offered it in the full Belkin MIXIT↑ colour range.
At $89.95AU RRP the BOOST↑CHARGE™ Dual USB-C PD GaN Wall Charger is neither cheap nor expensive. When compared to my first party laptop charger it’s about half the price, so depending on your frame of reference it’s actually a very reasonably priced accessory, remember this isn’t just a phone charger.
I am now seriously considering getting several more of these, and in the future when I need replacement laptop chargers these are what I will be getting, both for home and work. You can grab a BOOST↑CHARGE™ Dual USB-C PD GaN Wall Charger from Belkin or most major electronic retailers.
Belkin provided a charger for the purposes of this review