Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 Review

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 outlet
Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 outlet

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 - GaN charger with two USB-C ports

Summary

The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 is a dual USB-C charger. With a single connection you get 60W output. And with two connections each port offers up to 30W.

Overall
4.6
  • Performance
    (4)
  • Design
    (5)
  • Safety
    (4.5)
  • Portability
    (5)
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Pros

  • Fast charges iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel
  • Charges Switch while you play
  • Fits in most Switch carrying cases
  • Charges a 12 to 15-inch laptop
  • GaN tech reduces size and weight
  • Folding plug
  • Charge two devices at once
  • 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
  • Splitting of 60W output is not dynamic
  • Doesn’t included a USB-C to USB-C cable

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

Model: A2029
Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 specs

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 specs

Tech Specs:
  • Ports: USB-C x2
  • USB-C Output, Single Connection:
    • 60W USB-C Power Delivery 2.0 (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3A)
  • USB-C Output, Dual Connection:
    • 30W USB-C Power Delivery 2.0 (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/2A, 20V/1.5A)
    • Same output limit on both ports
  • Input: 100V–240V, 1.7A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 2.7 x 2.7 x 1.1 inches | 68 x 69 x 28 mm
  • Weight: 6.4 oz | 184 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 box and contents

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 box and contents

Included In Box:
  • Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2
Good For:
    • Additional charger for home or work
    • Commute
    • Travel charger
    • iPhone
    • Android
    • Power banks
    • Nintendo Switch (handheld)
    • 12-inch laptop
    • 13-inch/14-inch laptop
    • 15-inch laptop

First Impression

The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 looks like Anker’s other two USB port chargers. Except it is the first with dual USB-C ports. That and the increased output would increase the size with silicon tech. But by using GaN tech it has the same dimensions Anker’s other dual USB port chargers. It is a bit heavier, but no more so than similar dual USB-C chargers. Unlike the earlier Atom PD 1, this charger has folding plugs (US version). If you use use two separate USB-C chargers this will be an improvement in both size and total weight. Not to mention one less thing to keep up with.

 

Compared To Similar Chargers

ChargerAnker PowerPort Atom PD 2Anker PowerPort II PD

Review
Anker PowerPort+ Atom IIIInateck 60W PD Charger with Dual USB-C

Review
Price$54.99$29.99$28.15$29.99
PortsUSB-C x2USB-C, USB-AUSB-C, USB-AUSB-C x2
Output60W USB-C PD30W USB-C PD

PowerIQ 2.0
60W USB-C PD

PowerIQ 3.0
60W USB-C PD
FeaturesGaN techQuick Charge 3.0 compatibleQuick Charge 3.0 compatibleUS, UK, and EU plug adapters
CableNo cableNo cableNo cableUSB-C to USB-C cable
Dimensions2.7 x 2.7 x 1.1 in
6.4 oz
2.7 x 2.7 x 1.1 in
5.3 oz
2.7 x 2.7 x 1.1 in
5 oz
3 x 2.8 x 1 in
6.8 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-12-14.

 

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. 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 at its max rate, charging while you play. Its charge rate while sleeping is better than average. Learn more about charging the Switch.

Despite the solo connecting offering 60W, the Switch’s dock does not draw power. This is likely due to a combination of the Switch’s dock being picky about its power source. And the nature of the split/unified power in the charger.

USB-C Laptops

 

Using a 13-inch MacBook Pro for testing we find the charger lives up to its 60W output claim, after accounting for efficiency loss.

With a single connection the 60W output can support 12-inch and 13-inch laptops. As well as 15-inch models running office, Internet, and entertainment apps. And it’ll charge them all well while they sleep.

With dual connections the 30W output can support 12-inch laptops. Larger laptops may be able to get by on 30W, depending on their needs and work load. They will do better charging while asleep than active.

One of my readers noted their Dell Latitude laptop gave a warning when using this charger. The warning stated the charger was too small to charge the laptop properly. They were able to click past the warning. And testing showed the laptop was charging at the expected rate.

Power Split Behavior

Anker lists the charger as supporting up to 60W with a single connection. And up to 30W on both ports with two connections. That is exactly the behavior I found during my testing.

 

With only one device connected it acts like a 60W USB-C PD charger. You can use either port and get the same output.

With two devices connected it acts like two, separate 30W USB-C chargers. Both ports offer the same max output. It doesn’t matter how little power is drawn from one port, the other port will not go past 30W.

 

The change to dual 30W output is immediate when a second device is connected. The change back to a single 60W is also immediate when the second device is disconnected. You do not need to reconnect the first device to get back up to 60W output.

 

Connecting a second USB-C cable without a device does not trigger the output change. So you could leave two cables connected. But if you connect a USB-C to Lightning cable it will. Even without an iPhone on the other end. The USB-C to Lightning cable itself initiates power negotiations with USB-C chargers.

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.

Summary

The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 is the first GaN tech, dual USB-C port charger on the market. It isn’t as small as some might have imagined. But it offers a lot of charging options. In a package no bigger than Anker’s other, lower output dual port chargers. It splits its output evenly with two devices connected. The other option was to do an unbalanced split, with one port limited to ~15W. Anker’s choice works better for those with more than one mid to large sized USB-C device.

For the Nintendo Switch it charges in handheld mode as fast as any other option. It doesn’t power the Switch’s dock. This is likely due to a combination of the Switch’s dock being picky about its power source. And the nature of the split/unified power in the charger.

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 ports

Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 ports

As a 60W USB-C PD charger (single connection) it works great for laptops and iPad Pro. As a dual 30W USB-PD charger it works well with any combination of the following:

  • Phone
  • Earbuds or other small accessories
  • iPad Pro
  • Nintendo Switch
  • 12-inch laptop
  • 13-inch laptop (asleep, running Internet or office apps)

With larger laptops, or while running more demanding software, the drop to 30W is more taxing. But you can charge your phone for 30-60 minutes without it becoming an issue.

There’s no fast charging for most Android phones. But any USB-C phone will take a charge at their normal rate.

This won’t meet everyone’s needs of charging two USB-C devices. But for Switch owners it is in a good niche. It performs best with several USB-C devices of various types. With different charging needs. Striking a balance of 60W vs 30W/30W is beneficial for those with small, medium, and large devices.

About Anker

Anker has U.S. based support (web, email, phone) and a 18 month warranty. They are a beloved brand within many online communities.

Bottom Line

The Anker PowerPort Atom PD 2 is a good dual USB-C solution for those with a variety of USB-C devices. It’ll handle USB-C phones, tablets, power banks, the Switch, and most laptops. Many of those in combination with the others.

Buy if you:
  • Want a single charger solution for several small to medium sized USB-C devices
  • Need to charge a pair of iPhones, iPads, or MacBook Airs
  • Will charge a larger USB-C laptop and only sometimes plug in a phone
Don’t buy if you:
  • Need to keep 60W output with both ports in use
  • Want to use it with the Nintendo Switch’s dock
  • Still have USB-A devices you travel with
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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