What do you need for those who travel with a bundle of devices that are recharged via USB? A charger that can recharge as much as possible and take up little space. The equation that is difficult to solve is progressively simplifying thanks to the appearance of battery chargers based on GaN technology, that is, on components that by exploiting gallium nitride become smaller, less expensive in terms of energy and dissipate less heat. This allows companies like the well-known Anker to put power supplies like the PowerPort Atom III on the market that we've been testing these days.
Anker PowerPort Atom III what sets it apart
If we were to describe the PowerPort Atom III without going into too much detail, you would be wondering what reason there is to present it with a few more words than what is needed to say that it exists. It is a charger with 4 ports, one of which is a Type-C port, nothing at first sight to call home …
In reality, it is enough to look at some of the images we have taken to understand that we are dealing with a product like no other. First there are the dimensions; this power supply is much smaller than any other we have handled with the same number of ports. Secondly, there is the maximum power. Despite being so small, it is capable of delivering up to 65W of output of which 45W comes out of the Type-C port while the USB ports are capable of delivering up to 12W each.
What is it for
What a power supply of this type can be used for is easy for anyone with a modern device to understand. The 45W port of the PowerPort Atom III is perfect for powering a MacBook Air, but it also works for a MacBook Pro if you don't intend to run it and charge it at the same time. This same port is also excellent for charging an iPad Pro which, as known, is capable of absorbing up to 30W.
While you carry out this operation, another (about) 20W remains available to recharge a couple of smartphones or tablets at a more than decent speed. At this time we have no knowledge of any other power supplies of this size that are capable of doing the same thing for the same price.
The ports .. … the port compared to an old charger with USB port- C Thickness halved
We ran some tests by keeping 4 different devices connected to the Anker charger. In particular, we connected a MacBook 12 ″ Retina (30W) to the USB-C port and three iPhones to the other three USB-2 ports. Charging was fast and perfectly in line with the specifications of the devices to be charged and the ports that performed this function. The most interesting aspect is that the heating of the PowerPort Atom III was very modest, more or less that of the Apple charger for the 12 ″ MacBook.
The PowerPort Atom III is currently our favorite travel charger. Depending on the Mac we carry, recharge a 12 ″ Retina MacBook or an iPhone with the Type-C cable on Lightning from the Type-C port. We also use it to charge another iPhone, iPad mini 4 and Apple Watch at the same time. All while saving a lot of space in our suitcase that we use for short trips.
It borders on and does not come to perfection in just one aspect: instead of three USB-2 ports we would have preferred two USB-C and two USB-2, this would have allowed us to charge the Mac and an iPhone at the same time at the highest speed. But we understand that at the moment there may be technical limitations on such a setup, caused by the size versus power needed and perhaps even by market valuations. That's why the PowerPort Atom III is the best solution we've ever owned for mobile charging.
Anker PowerPort Atom III costs at the time of the review 39.99 euros on Amazon