Anker's New Compact GaNPrime Chargers Output up to a Whopping 150W
The company's new GaNPrime charger line uses next-generation GaN 3 technology so the chargers can be compact while outputting enough juice to power a laptop.
David CarnoyExecutive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
ExpertiseMobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakersCredentials
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Thanks to Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology, chargers have been getting more powerful while shrinking at the same time. The latest example of that trend is Anker's new line of GaNPrime chargers with next-generation GaN 3 technology that the company says is even more energy-efficient. GaNPrime products are up to 53% smaller than silicon laptop chargers, Anker says, and with their increased power output, "a single GaNPrime device can charge up to four or even six devices at the same time, depending on the charger."
Most of the new GaNPrime chargers are available now, including the 737 Charger (120W), but the 747 Charger (150W) will ship in August. While I like the chargers themselves, I can't say I'm a fan of how the products are named, which is a bit confusing when you factor in previous-generation models with similar names.
I received early samples of both the 737 Charger and 747 Charger and my quick take on them is that the big thing that GaN 3 -- or GaNPrime, as Anker calls it -- provides is an increased maximum output power to up to 150W with slightly better energy efficiency when converting from AC to DC power (93.6% versus 92% for GaN 2). You also get some size benefits. For example, the new 747 Charger (150W) seems similar in size to Anker's 100W 736 USB-C Charger ($85), or at least not much bigger. Meanwhile, the 737 Charger (120W) looks to be only about 20% to 25% beefier than Anker's 65W 737 USB-C Charger ($60), which uses GaN 2 technology. (The new 65W 735 Charger uses GaN 3 but seems similar in size to the 65W 737).
There are a couple of other key features that Anker is highlighting. The first is PowerIQ 4.0, which gives the new chargers the ability to detect what device you have connected to the charger and distribute optimum charging power to each device while giving priority to the device with the lowest battery level. Secondly, Anker is touting Active Shield 2.0, a heat-sensing feature that monitors temperatures while charging more frequently than the previous generation.
Here's a look at the full line of chargers with pricing and availability.