Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 Review

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1
Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 – Smallest 30W USB-C PD charger on the market

Summary

The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 is the smallest 30W USB-C PD charger on the market. It uses GaN tech to good effect and a compact design. Too bad the prongs don’t fold.

Overall
4.6
  • Performance
    (5)
  • Design
    (4.5)
  • Safety
    (5)
  • Portability
    (4)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Fast charges iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel
  • Charges Switch while you play
  • Fits in most Switch carrying cases
  • Among the smallest USB-C PD chargers on the market
  • Uses GaN (gallium nitride), higher efficiency at a smaller size
  • Works worldwide with 100-240V power input (may need a plug adapter)

Cons

  • Won’t fast charge Quick Charge 3.0 enabled phones; but does normal charging
  • Prongs don’t fold
  • Doesn’t included a USB-C cable

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Anker provided the product in this review.

Model: A2017
Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 specs

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 specs

Tech Specs:
  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output: 30W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 15V/2A, 20V/1.5A)
  • Input: 100V–240V, 1.2A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 1.8 x 1.6 x 1.5 inches | 46 x 41 x 38 mm
  • Weight: 1.9 oz | 53 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

Included In Box:
  • Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1
Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 box and contents

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 box and contents

Good For:
  • Additional charger for home or work
  • Travel charger
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Power banks
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld)
  • iPad Pro
  • 12-inch laptop

First Impression

The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 is 45% smaller than Anker’s previous 30W USB-C PD charger. That’s the benefit of GaN. To look at it another way, the Atom PD 1 is 33% larger than an iPhone USB charger. But provides six times the power output. Not a bad trade. And at only $4 more than Anker’s larger 30W charger it is an easy buy. The only downside is the prongs don’t fold like many other USB-C chargers. But at this size how much will that matter in your bag?

 

Compared To Similar Chargers

ChargerAnker PowerPort Atom PD 1Anker PowerPort Speed PD 30

Review
Anker PowerPort PD 1AUKEY PA-Y18 18W PD

Review
Price$32.99$25.99$19.99$19.99
Output30W USB-C PD30W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD
Switch Safety Rating
FeaturesUSB-IF Certified

GaN tech

Non-folding prongs
USB-IF Certified

Folding prongs
Folding prongsFolding prongs
CableNo cableNo cableNo cableNo cable
Dimensions1.8 x 1.6 x 1.5 in
1.9 oz
2.3 x 2.4 x 1.1 in
3.6 oz
2 × 1.7 × 1.1 in
2.1 oz
1.4 x 1.4 x 1.3 in
1.5 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-09-18.

 

You can see more USB-C chargers here.

Device Testing

Check with your device’s manufacturer to verify which charging standards it supports.

USB Power Delivery & Quick Charge 4+ Phones

  • Apple iPhone 8/X/XR/XS
  • Essential Phone
  • Google Pixel
  • LG ThinQ/V30
  • Razer
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S9/S10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8/9
  • Xiaomi Mi 8/9
  • ZTE Axon Pro 9/10

 

Using an iPhone 8 for testing we find USB PD phones will fast charge over the USB-C port. iPhones will need to use a USB-C to Lightning cable, not included. And Android phones will need a USB-C to USB-C cable, also not included.

Quick Charge 3.0 Phones

  • HTC
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Nokia
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • Sony
  • Xiaomi Mi 5/6
  • ZTE

 

Using a Moto G6 for testing we get normal charging rates. But as no Quick Charge or compatible fast charging standard is supported that’s as fast as it goes. Still, 10W is a decent charge rate.

Nintendo Switch

 

The Nintendo Switch charges near its max rate, up to 17W. It’ll fast charge while you play. Its charge rate while sleeping is also normal. But it won’t power a docked Switch. That requires a higher 15V output than this charger offers. Learn more about charging the Switch.

USB-C Laptops

 

Using a 13-inch MacBook Pro for testing we can draw up to 28W from this charger. That’s expected, after accounting for efficiency loss.

Different model laptops have different power demands. But in general a 30W charger can support 12-inch laptops. It can power a larger laptop in a pinch. It will charge while sleeping. But may only extend runtime if used while the larger laptop is active.

GaN (gallium nitride)

GaN (gallium nitride) is a replacement for traditional silicon. It can sustain higher voltages than silicon and offers less resistance to current. That makes it more efficient (10-25%) and able to handle more heat. In 2014 GaN performed the same as silicon 3-5 times larger. The most recent leap (2017) reduced the size of GaN transistors to half their previous size.

GaN is not new. It is in the laser diodes of Blu-ray players. And the transistors in various wireless infrastructure. In 2018 we started to see USB-C chargers with GaN hit the market. Since then many brands have released GaN chargers. With more on the way.

There isn’t an output advantage for GaN chargers. A 45W GaN charger charges as fast as a 45W silicon charger. And both heat up to similar temperatures. The difference is the GaN charger is smaller and lighter. While matching the silicon charger’s performance.

Costs continue to drop, but GaN is still more expensive than silicon. As such GaN chargers are usually priced at the high end of their peers. As with many things getting the smallest and lighter version costs a bit more.

Those Prongs, Though

Reviews of the Anker’s GaN charger keep mentioning the non-folding prongs. We saw it at CES after their debut. It is on this review’s Cons list above. Early reviews love this charger. And even with the prongs it is still smaller than Anker’s last 30W USB-C PD charger. And yet, the larger brick with folding prongs can be more appealing.

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 prong comparison

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 prong comparison

I’m a well organized individual. Everything has its place in a bag. I use smaller bags to separate items in my main bag. For me the prongs aren’t a big deal. I’m aware of them, so I organize around them. Once done it is no longer a problem.

A lot of people aren’t as organized. Stuff gets tossed together. With that you can envision the prongs as a problem. Maybe you pull out the charger and your earbuds come with them. Or maybe they don’t fit in the corner, making it harder to put everything back in that fit earlier.

That’s a lot of maybes. And maybe none of that will happen. But the possibility occurs to us. Which generates the comments.

This isn’t the first USB charger made for travel with fixed prongs. Most phone chargers (iPhone, Google, Samsung, and more) have fixed prongs. Consumers have managed to work with those. Whether this charger will work well for you or not comes down to how you’ll carry it. If you’re okay finding a good space for it then you’ll be fine. If you’re going to toss it in you might pull the errant cable once in a while.

Summary

The Anker PowerPower Atom PD 1 is the first low cost GaN USB-C charger on the market. It is a good buy for Nintendo Switch owners wanting a tiny charger without any performance loss. While it costs more for the GaN tech, it isn’t a significant increase in price.

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 prong comparison

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 prong comparison

The nearest size USB-C charger I’ve seen to the Atom PD 1 is the AUKEY PA-Y18 18W PD. It is 24% smaller and 21% lighter. But the Anker charges the Switch 50% faster. The AUKEY offers the Switch 12V output, which the Switch under draws from. So it charges the Switch up to 12W. While the Anker’s 15V can charge it up to 18W. Either will charge while you play. But the Anker will give you a 3.5 hour recharge while playing.

The charger does get warm despite the new tech. I ran my MacBook Pro off of it for an hour. The laptop charged up 50% while doing office work and Internet browsing. The side of the Atom PD 1 got up to 87.4°F (30.8°C), which is only warm to the touch. The top of the charger got up to 111.1°F (44°C). It wasn’t too hot to unplug and hold, but you could feel the difference between the sides and the top.

The Atom PD 1’s price isn’t unreasonable for the new tech. Anker’s previous 30W USB-C PD charger is much larger and heavier. Its MSRP until recently was $35, more than the Atom PD 1’s MSRP at the time of this review. The Atom PD 1’s current price is only $4 less than its much smaller sibling.

About Anker

Anker has U.S. based support (web, email, phone) and a 18 month warranty. They are a beloved brand within and outside of the Switch community.

Bottom Line

The Anker PowerPower Atom PD 1 is one of my recommended 12-inch laptop chargers. And it is great for any smaller USB-C PD device. There isn’t a significant cost increase for the GaN tech. And you’ll get over the non-folding prongs once you see how small it is in person.

Buy if you:

  • Want as small of a charger as possible for your MacBook Air or 12-inch laptop
  • Have little room to spare in your bag
  • Feel more comfortable with a USB-IF certified charger

Don’t buy if you:

  • Need a charger to support the Nintendo Switch’s dock or a 13 to 15-inch laptop
  • Want to fast charge a LG or Motorola Android phone
  • Must have folding prongs
Buy on Amazon

 

Be sure to check the Deals page to see if this or a similar charger is on sale.


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