If you’ve been reading the latest tech news over the past year and more recently during this year’s CES 2020, you may have read about GaN technology or Gallium nitride. To the lamen, it’s a semiconducting material that can operate at high temperatures and has been mostly used in LEDs since the 1990s. Today though, thanks to its resistance to high temperatures, it is now being put to use by replacing silicon for this material in power adapters.
The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 is such an adapter that utilises GaN technology and that means one thing, it’s a lot smaller than conventional power adapters that carry the same power output. So how small is small, well the main body is 1.6 x 1.4 x 1.5 inches small. This is roughly the size of the older Apple iPad USB wall plug adapter, but where this Apple adapter has a maximum output of 18W, the Anker Atom PD 1 packs 30W through its single USB-C PD port.
This kind of output means you can take the Atom with you and it can power either your iPhone, iPad Pro or even your MacBook Pro 13” efficiently without breaking a sweat. With its 30W output, this little adapter makes it a very decent piece of tech to pack into your travel bag and know you can easily power or charge a variety of tech from it.
The Anker Atom PD 1 is around 40% smaller than official MacBook charger, so it is no surprise that it is only able to fit just one USB-C port on the business end of the adapter. This means none of the 30W power is being shared between ports, but that doesn’t stop you from powering a MacBook or MacBook Pro from it and then use the spare MacBook ports to charge an iPhone or iPad from it.
This golf-ball-sized charger has enough juice in it to qualify Power Delivery support. This means you’ll be able to charge your iPhone X up to 50% in just 30 minutes. So this kind of speed means the single port isn’t being used up too long, and in a way, this can reduce the desire for the Atom to have another USB-C port. It certainly would have been nice, albeit I am not sure you’ll be able to power two devices from an adapter this small. As technology advances though, maybe next year, eh?
Anker’s build quality rings true with the PowerPort Atom PD 1. It’s glossy white exterior feels solid to the touch and it still surprises me how far technology has come to be able to squeeze this amount of power into this adapter. Anker’s MultiProtect safety technology ensures you get complete protection for you and the devices that are connected to it. Plus their worry-free 18-month warranty is available too in case anything goes wrong with the device itself.
The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 retails currently for £39.99 from Amazon ($29.99 in the US), which is a little higher than what you’d expect from a single port USB-C power adapter, however, you have to consider the technology inside and the overall size it has allowed to be reduced by, and if that benefits you in some way. Be it a reduction in weight, or reducing the number of extra adapters that you may have had to carry.
In time I am sure we will see this technology utilised in many more similar devices, even from Apple. But if you wish to relish this technology today, then you can’t go wrong with packing an Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 into your travel bag and embrace the future of convenience.