If you’re in the market for a nice little charger to toss in your bag for on-the-go use, Aukey’s new dual-port, 30-watt USB-C PD charger should at least make your shortlist.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s not some game-changing device that’s going to enhance the way you juice up your devices in a life-altering way. It’s just a useful, compact charger with a lot of oomph for its size.
It features a pair of ports on the back: a 30-watt USB-C port with Power Delivery, and a standard 5-volt, 2.4-amp USB-A port. The maximum output is 30 watts if you use the USB-C port by itself. This is slower than most stand-alone chargers that ship with power-hungry devices like laptops, but it gets the job done (albeit, a bit slower).
How much slower, you ask? I did a bit of real-world-comparison testing to find out. First, I compared the Aukey charger with the stock charger from my Pixelbook (which is rated at 45 watts) on both the Pixelbook and the Pixel 3a. I also compared the Aukey to the Pixel 3a’s stock charger on just the 3a (since the 3a’s charger doesn’t put out enough power to charge the Pixelbook without putting it in sleep mode).
I tested the Pixelbook at 15% and 25% remaining battery on the stock and Aukey chargers, with the device at 50% brightness. Here are the results:
The charging times weren’t much different. The 45-watt Pixelbook charger juiced the laptop about half an hour faster than the 30-watt Aukey. Given the Aukey’s smaller, more portable size (and more versatile use), this is a worthwhile trade-off. I keep the stock charger plugged up at my desk and the Aukey in my bag.
I also tested the Pixel 3a at 25% with the stock, Pixelbook, and Aukey chargers (using the USB-C port on the Aukey):
The difference between all three was negligible at roughly 10 minutes from slowest (Aukey) to fastest (Pixelbook stock charger). Because most phones have a much lower threshold for charging rates than more power-hungry devices (like laptops), the three chargers are similar enough that there’s no reason to choose one over another.
If you use both ports at the same time, the maximum output is limited to 18 watts—just under the threshold most laptops need to charge while in use. In other words, you’ll need to put your laptop in sleep mode (or shut it down completely) if you want to charge it and another device simultaneously with the Aukey USB-C PD charger.
After using Aukey’s USB-C PD charger for several weeks on my laptop and phones, it quickly became the go-to charger for my bag. It’s a great, multi-device charger for travel, hitting the coffee shop, or any other on-the-go scenario in which you might need to give your gadgets some juice.
This brings me to my final point: the size. As you can see in the images above, it doesn’t look dramatically smaller than the Pixelbook charger. But the rounded edges of the Aukey make it feel so much smaller compared to the sharp lines of the Pixelbook charger.
I carry all my miscellaneous gear—chargers, cables, mouse, etc.—in a smaller bag that I toss in my laptop bag. The Aukey fits in this smaller bag much better than the Pixelbook charger. So, yeah, despite not being a lot smaller, it’s sleeker, more compact, and better for travel.
And, at only $27, there’s no reason not to pick one up.
Here’s What We Like
- Compact and convenient
- USB-C and USB-A ports
- USB-C PD is great for most laptops
And What We Don't
- Using both ports slows the charge rate below the requirement for most laptops
- 30 Watts might not be enough for in-use, power-hungry laptops