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 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, but the 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 newseems similar in size to Anker's ($85), or at least not much bigger. Meanwhile, the 737 Charger (120W) looks to be only about 20% to 25% beefier than Anker's ($60), which uses GaN 2 technology. (The new 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.
- , $60: Available now at Amazon and Anker.com
- , $70: Available now at Amazon and Anker.com
- , $95: Available now at Amazon and Anker.com
- , $95: Available now at Anker.com
- , $100: Available now at Anker.com
- , $110: Available for preorder, shipping this fall