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Apple 35W Dual USB-C Compact Power Adapter Review: Overpriced Convenience

Rating: 6/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $59
Apple 35W Dual USB-C Compact Power Adapter's prongs and legal print
Justin Duino / Review Geek

Before June 2022, none of Apple’s chargers had more than a single USB port. That changed with the introduction of the 35W Dual USB-C Charger and the 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter. Unfortunately, as with many Apple products, you’ll pay a premium over more-powerful third-party chargers.

In this review, we’re only going to be checking out the Compact variant of Apple’s new 35W Dual USB-C Power Adapters. As far as we can tell, both chargers work identically and cost the same. The only difference is the size and shape.

Here's What We Like

  • Compact and travel-friendly design
  • Power output is split evenly

And What We Don't

  • Expensive
  • Low power output for the price

Review Geek's expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>

The Compact Design Is Extremely Convenient

  • Dimensions (when closed): 1.86 x 1.86 x 1.13in (4.72 x 4.72 x 2.87cm)
  • Weight: 3.7oz (105g)
  • Plug type: Type A (no grounding pin)
  • Includes USB-C cable(s)?: No

Since the introduction and popularization of Gallium Nitride (GaN) power adapters, I’ve enjoyed buying smaller and smaller chargers that output ever-increasing amounts of power. Instead of lugging around large power bricks, I can now rely on a charger roughly the size of an earbuds case to power up my MacBook, iPhone, and everything in between.

So when Apple unveiled the 35W Dual USB-C Compact Power Adapter at WWDC 2022 alongside the redesigned MacBook Air, I was initially super excited. That enthusiasm faded when I discovered that it would cost just under $60 and only provide 35W of power.

Now that the 35W Compact Power Adapter is available to purchase and I’ve used the charger for several days, I have some thoughts on the charger. Starting with, the size and build quality are exactly what you’d expect from Apple. It’s small enough to fit in any daypack or backpack and feels like a $60 product, with a glossy exterior shell and soft-touch plastic wall-facing interior.

One nice feature of Apple’s power adapter is that it doesn’t matter which USB-C port you use. Some third-party chargers, like the UGREEN Nexode 65W, label each port so you can identify how much power output you should expect from it.

The 35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter, on the other hand, doesn’t prioritize one port over the other. You’ll get the full advertised output when you connect a single device capable of accepting 35W of power to either port.

Plugging in two USB-C cables requires the charger to automatically split the output based on the device’s power requirements. Apple’s support page provides several examples of how the 35W charger will divide its output:

  • If you connect a Mac notebook and an iPhone or iPad, each device receives up to 17.5W.
  • If you connect an iPhone and an iPad, each device receives up to 17.5W.
  • If you connect a Mac notebook or iPhone and an Apple Watch or AirPods, the Mac notebook or iPhone receives up to 27.5W and the Apple Watch or AirPods receive up to 7.5W.

Of course, if you have a device like a MacBook Pro that uses more than 35W of power, you should unplug any second device so as much electricity as possible can get to your laptop. As we’ll discuss below, if you have a power-hungry device, you’re better off buying a non-Apple charger (and potentially save a couple of bucks).

Third-Party Chargers Offer More for the Money

As previously discussed, GaN power adapters have become my go-to for at-home and on-the-go charging. Not only are they smaller than traditional chargers, but they’ve also become significantly cheaper.

For example, my favorite charger that I travel with is the Aukey Omnia Duo 65W charger. It’s almost $20 cheaper than Apple’s 35W Dual USB-C Compact Power Adapter, offers an additional 30W of power, is nearly identical in size, and also has two USB-C ports.

Take a look at our best charger posts or scroll through Amazon and you’ll find countless multi-port USB-C chargers that offer more power or less money. While some of these won’t match Apple’s refined design, they do provide more bang for your buck.

Additionally, if you do have a laptop or portable gaming system like a Nintendo Switch that require more power, shelling out for a third-party charger means you won’t need to carry multiple power adapters around with you. One high-capacity charger is all you would need to bring on your next trip.

The Best Phone Chargers of 2022

Best Overall Charger
USB C Charger TECKNET 65W PD 3.0 GaN Charger Type C Foldable Adapter with 3-Port Fast Wall Charger Compatible for iPhone 14 Pro Max/14 Plus/13, MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, Switch, Galaxy S22/S21
Best iPhone/iPad Charger
Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter - iPhone Charger with Fast Charging Capability, Type C Wall Charger
Best Wall Charger
Amazon Basics 100W Four-Port GaN Wall Charger with 2 USB-C Ports (65W + 18W) and 2 USB-A Ports (17W) - White (non-PPS)
Best Wireless Charger
Anker Wireless Charger, 313 Wireless Charger (Pad), Qi-Certified 10W Max for iPhone 12/12 Pro/12 mini/12 Pro Max, SE 2020, 11, AirPods (No AC Adapter, Not Compatible with MagSafe Magnetic Charging)
Best Car Charger
USB C Car Charger 48W Super Mini AINOPE All Metal Fast USB Car Charger Adapter PD&QC 3.0 Dual Port Compatible with iPhone 14 13 12 11 Pro Max X XR XS 8 Samsung Galaxy Note 20/10 S21/20/10 Google Pixel
Best Charging Station
Techsmarter 11-Port Charging Station with 100W Five USB-C PD, PPS 25/45W, Five 18W USB-A Ports & 15W Detachable Wireless Charger Pad. Compatible with MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Samsung, Dell, HP, Yoga…

Should You Buy Apple’s 35W Dual USB-C Compact Charger?

At the end of the day, Apple’s 35W Dual USB-C Compact Charger does what it’s supposed to do, and it does it well. Plug in your MacBook Air and iPhone, and both will be charged in no time. So if this power adapter is your only option, I have no problem recommending it.

But in a world where there are better chargers for less money, it’s really hard to recommend Apple’s power brick. You’d be better off spending your money on something that offers much more power and port selection.

You can buy the 35 W Dual USB-C Port Compact Charger directly from Apple or BestBuy for $59.

Rating: 6/10
Price: $59

Here’s What We Like

  • Compact and travel-friendly design
  • Power output is split evenly

And What We Don't

  • Expensive
  • Low power output for the price

Justin Duino Justin Duino
Justin Duino is the Reviews Director at Review Geek (and LifeSavvy Media as a whole). He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry. Read Full Bio »