Anker USB 24W / 2.4A + 2.4A (4.8A max) Car Charger review: USB car charger takes on two tablets at a time

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MSRP: $35.99

The Good The unobtrusive Anker USB 24W / 2.4A + 2.4A (4.8A max) Car Charger packs two high-speed USB charging ports into a device the size of a standard single-port charger. Dedicated Android and Apple charging ports ensure maximum charging speed for tablets and large smartphones and can be used simultaneously.

The Bad Users who want to, for example, charge two iPhones will be stuck trickle-charging one of them. The white color scheme stands out in most cars' interiors.

The Bottom Line If you find it at a discount, the Anker 24W USB charger is an excellent option for powering multiple smartphones or tablets while on the road.

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8.9 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Performance 10

The Anker 24W charger differentiates itself from most of the USB car chargers out there in a few ways, but at first glance, it isn't very noteworthy.

This little 2-inch-long white dongle plugs into your car's 12V power outlet and provides 5V USB power for your gadgets that need it. I wasn't a fan of the white and gray, "iDevice-esque" color scheme and would have preferred a darker finish to better blend with most cars' dark interiors. The unit also uses a sealed design and can't be opened to swap fuses -- presumably, this is to streamline the compact device's design and because most people couldn't be bothered to swap fuses on a car charger when they could just buy a new one.

However, I liked that the device didn't have an LED power indicator light to draw unnecessary attention to itself at night.

Double the ports, double the power
Things get interesting when you start to pay attention to the business end, where the USB ports reside. Firstly, this is a dual-port charger that is capable of charging two USB devices at once. Furthermore, the ports are high-speed USB chargers that can output up to 2.4 amperes of current to charge compatible tablets and to fast-charge smartphones that can handle the additional current.

What's more, those ports can output their maximum 2.4 amps of current simultaneously for a claimed total of 4.8 amps. Most dual-port chargers that I've tested can only output maximum current through one port. Now, with this, if you're in a cross-platform household and wanted to charge an iPad and a Nexus 10 at the same time, you could.

Anker 24W, 4,8A USB car charger
The Anker charger features two high-speed USB charging ports optimized for Apple and Android devices. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The best of both worlds
However, the two USB charging ports are not identical.

One is labeled Apple and features the unique pin configuration and circuitry required for Apple products, such as the iPad, to charge at their maximum rate of between 2.1 and 2.4 amps, depending on the generation.

The other port, labeled Android, is designed to charge non-Apple devices at their maximum rate -- anywhere between 0.5A and 2.4A, depending on the device. Interestingly, despite being labeled "Android" this port is equally adept at charging Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and other USB-powered devices (such as GoPro cameras or GPS devices). I suppose labeling the ports "Apple" and "Not Apple" would have just been too awkward for Anker.