Anker’s PowerPort III Charger is a Great Travel Buddy (If I Ever Travel Again)

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: $52
PowerPort III interchangeable plugs
Michael Crider

There’s not much to say in a review about Gallium Nitride (GaN) chargers. They either work or they don’t. This one does, but it comes with a few extra bells and whistles. The Anker PowerPort III offers 60 watts of charging across two USB-C ports, but it also comes with three swappable outlet adapters: US, UK, and Europe.

Here's What We Like

  • Easy swapping between plugs
  • US plug folds flat
  • Two USB-C ports

And What We Don't

  • Not the smallest or lightest
  • ...or the cheapest
  • Other plugs are quite big

That makes it a pretty good deal if you need both a high-power charger and a power adapter in one. If you don’t, there are both smaller and cheaper options available.

A Beefy GaN Charger

The PowerPort III is a little less than three inches square, and a little more than an inch thick, tipping the scales at seven ounces. That makes it pretty sizeable, at least compared to some of the latest designs—my personal Aukey 65-watt charger is about half the size and weight.

PowerPort III vs Aukey Omnia, ThinkPad standard AC adapter
PowerPort III vs Aukey Omnia, ThinkPad standard AC adapter. Michael Crider

But having the smallest charger around isn’t necessarily the most important thing, especially if you’re traveling internationally and you’re bringing a pretty hefty bag anyway. The PowerPort III’s swappable plugs are lighter and less voluminous than a dedicated outlet adapter, meaning you can leave it behind if you’re traveling between North America, Europe, and a few countries that use compatible outlets, like South Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Costa Rica, et cetera.

Granted, that’s not happening a lot at the moment, and probably won’t be for some time. Sigh.

Swapping Plugs

The swapping mechanism is a plastic groove that slides down to meet two electrical prongs, which fit into receiver ports on the three outlet plugs. On the US version, there’s a tiny metal stud that deploys into a hole in the charger housing when the outlet prongs fold down, locking it in place. The UK and EU adapters don’t fold down, and don’t have the stud.

PowerPort III safety stud
Michael Crider

The PowerPort III’s maximum 60-watt output should be enough for either one mid-range laptop or any combination of smaller laptop/tablet and smartphone to charge at full speed. The secondary USB-C port is handy for charging up accessories, too. That said, there’s definitely room on this thing for a third USB port, preferably an A one to cover those gadgets/cables that haven’t joined us in the future yet.

Great for Travelers

Between the size and the price, this isn’t the best choice for a charger specifically for phones or smaller gadgets. To make the best of it, you really need to be using it for a laptop, and on an international trip. I also wish that it was possible to fold the UK and EU plugs down—if you’re keeping them in place, it makes the effective volume of the charger leap up quite a bit.

PowerPort III on outlet
Michael Crider

But if you need a mid-range capacity for charging, no more than two USB-C ports, and the flexibility to plug into outlets in every country on a rather complex itinerary, the PowerPort III gets the job done. If you can find it on sale, it would be an easy recommendation.

Rating: 6/10
Price: $52

Here’s What We Like

  • Easy swapping between plugs
  • US plug folds flat
  • Two USB-C ports

And What We Don't

  • Not the smallest or lightest
  • ...or the cheapest
  • Other plugs are quite big

Michael Crider Michael Crider
Michael Crider has been writing about computers, phones, video games, and general nerdy things on the internet for ten years. He’s never happier than when he’s tinkering with his home-built desktop or soldering a new keyboard. Read Full Bio »

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