AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub Review

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub
AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub - An all-in-one charging solution for your laptop at your desk and your phone on the go

Summary

The AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub offers desktop charging for up to 14-inch laptops and two USB devices. It can also wirelessly charge compatible phones. And you can take wired or wireless charging out of the office with its removable power bank.

Overall
4.6
  • Performance
    (4.5)
  • Design
    (4.5)
  • Safety
    (4.5)
  • Recharge Time
    (5)
Sending
User Review
4 (1 vote)

Pros

  • Base fast charges iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel
  • Power bank fast charges iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, LG, and Motorola phones
  • Charges Switch while you play
  • Power bank be recharged by Nintendo Switch AC Adapter
  • Power bank fits in most Switch carrying cases
  • Base charges 12 to 14-inch laptops
  • Includes AC power adapter to power base and charge power bank
  • Charge several devices at once, within limits
  • Power bank is within FAA limits for lithium batteries and flights
  • AC power adapter worldwide with 100-240V power input (may need a plug adapter)

Cons

  • Base won’t fast charge Quick Charge 3.0 enabled phones; but does normal charging
  • Power bank can’t use USB-C PD and Quick Charge at the same time
  • Doesn’t include a USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Doesn’t include a USB-C to USB-A cable for Quick Charge devices

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

Model: PA-WL01
AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub base specs

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub base specs

Tech Specs – Base:
  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A x2
  • USB-C Output:
    • 45W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A)
  • USB-A Output:
    • 12W USB (5V/2.4A)
    • Apple 2.4A
  • Input: 100V–240V, 1.5A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 7.3 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches | 185 x 140 x 23 mm
  • Weight: 11.2 oz | 317 grams
AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub AC adapter's specs

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub AC adapter’s specs

Tech Specs – Power Bank:
  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A, Qi wireless pad
  • USB-C Output:
    • 18W USB-C Power Delivery 2.0 (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A)
    • Apple 2.4A
  • USB-A Output:
    • 18W Quick Charge 3.0
    • Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
    • Huawei FCP
    • Apple 2.4A
  • Qi Wireless Output: 5W (5V/1A)
  • Input: 18W USB-C PD (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A)
  • Capacity: 10,000mAh | 37Wh
  • Size: 6.1 x 2.9 x 0.6 inches | 155 x 74 x 15 mm
  • Weight: 7.8 oz | 222 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub box and contents

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub box and contents

Included In Box:
  • Charging Base
  • Wireless Charging Power Bank
  • AC Power Adapter
Good For:
  • Additional charger for home or work
  • Commute
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld)
  • iPad Pro (pre-2018)
  • 12-inch laptop
  • 13-inch/14-inch laptop
Estimated Number of Charges – Power Bank:
  • iPhone 6/7/8: 4 charges
  • iPhone Plus/X/XR: 2 charges
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S9: 2 charges
  • iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S10: 2 charges
  • Nintendo Switch (2017): 3.5 hours of play
  • Nintendo Switch (2019): 5.5 hours of play
  • Nintendo Switch Lite: 5.5 hours of play

First Impression

The AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub fits in well on a desk full of devices. Its matte black and gray color keeps it from standing out. A small LED glows to show whether the power bank is currently charging or wireless charging is in use. The included power bank fits nicely into its slot. Raised near the top end to assist with pulling it out. The USB ports are all on the same side, so you can arrange your cables in the same direction.

It does have a larger footprint than a few USB cables. Or of a wireless charging pad. But it only requires a single power outlet to offer up all its function. And it can free up your laptop charger for other uses. Besides desktop use it could serve as a shared charging station at home. With the power bank allowing for easy grab-n-go when heading out for the day.

 

Comparing Included Power Bank To Similar Power Banks

Power BankAUKEY Graphite Charging Hub Power BankAnker PowerCore 10000 PD

Review
AUKEY PB-Y13 10000 USB-C

Review
AUKEY PB-Y25 Sprint WirelessNovoo PowerCube Mini 10000

Review
Price$149.99$48.02$29.99$29.99$12.99
PortsUSB-C, USB-AUSB-C, USB-AUSB-C, USB-A x2, micro-USBUSB-C, USB-A x2USB-C, USB-A
Output18W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0

Qi Wireless
18W USB-C PD18W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
18W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0

Qi Wireless
18W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
Capacity10,000mAh10,000mAh10,000mAh8,000mAh10,000mAh
FeaturesRecharge via USB-C or charging hub baseTrickle ChargingPass Through ChargingTrickle Charging
CableNo cableUSB-C to USB-C cableNo cableUSB-C to USB-C cableUSB-C to USB-A cable
Dimensions6.1 x 2.9 x 0.6 in
7.8 oz
4.5 x 2 x 1 in
6.8 oz
5.8 x 2.9 x 0.4 in
6.9 oz
5.8 x 3 x 0.6 in
7 oz
3 x 1.4 x 1.1 in
3.5 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2020-03-28.

 

You can see more USB-C chargers here.

You can see more USB-C power banks 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
Charging Base

 

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.

But in a more typical use case the USB-C port would be in use by a laptop. So one should really consider what the USB-A and Qi wireless can provide. As that is most likely where your phone will connect.

For iPhones the USB-A ports support Apple 2.4A. An older, but still functional fast charging standard. Older iPhones (4-7) can fast charge using USB-A. Newer iPhones will charge ~15 minutes slower than USB-C PD.

Android phones will only get normal charging rates out of the USB-A ports.

The Qi wireless pad offers up to 5W, where the USB-A can offer closer to 10W. Wireless charging is more convenient and will work well for topping off. But if you’re in a rush you’ll want to plug in.

Power Bank

 

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.

For iPhones the USB-A port supports Apple 2.4A. An older, but still functional fast charging standard. Older iPhones (4-7) can fast charge using USB-A. Newer iPhones will charge ~15 minutes slower than USB-C PD.

The Qi wireless pad offers up to 5W. Compared to up to 18W from USB-C and 10W from USB-A. Wireless charging is more convenient and will work well for topping off. But if you’re in a rush you’ll want to plug in.

Quick Charge 3.0 Phones

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

 

Using a Moto G6 for testing we get normal charging rates. 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.

Power Bank

 

Using a Moto G6 for testing we see Quick Charge will fast charge over the USB-A port. Any QC supporting Android phone with USB-C can use the included USB-C to USB-A cable.

Nintendo Switch

Charging Base

 

If using the charging hub on your desktop you likely won’t be plugging the Switch into the charging base. As it’ll be dedicated to your USB-C laptop. But it can also be used as a shared charging station. In which case it’ll charge all model Nintendo Switch as fast as possible in handheld mode.

The USB-C port can support the Switch’s dock. But I wouldn’t recommend it for that use. When using the wireless charging pad the output drops below what the dock requires. The same happens if the power bank itself is being recharged. It isn’t worth juggling what devices you can charge when

Power Bank

 

The USB-C port works well for all model Nintendo Switch in handheld/tabletop mode.

  • Nintendo Switch (original) – Charges while you play, but the original model Switch underdraws at 12V. So it won’t charge as fast as a similar charger offering 9V or 15V (12W vs 18W).
  • Nintendo Switch (2019 update) – Charges near its max rate while playing and sleeping.
  • Nintendo Switch Lite – Charges near its max rate while playing and sleeping.

It will not support the Switch’s dock, as it doesn’t offer the required output.

Learn more about charging the Switch.

USB-C Laptops

Charging Base

 

Using a 13-inch MacBook Pro for testing we can draw up to 41W from this charger. That’s expected, after accounting for efficiency loss.

Different model laptops have different power demands. But in general a 45W charger can support 12-inch, 13-inch, and 14-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.

Power Bank

The power bank does not offer enough output to use with any size USB-C laptop.

Qi Wireless Charging

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub power bank wirelessly charging iPhone 8

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub power bank wirelessly charging iPhone 8

If on the charging base it automatically turn on when it detects a Qi compatible phone. When away from the charging base you’ll have to push the button on the side once to turn on wireless charging.

Wireless charging will work with another device plugged into a USB port. But the power bank has a total max output of 18W. So both the wired and wireless power transfers could slow down.

You cannot wirelessly charge a device while charging the power bank via its USB-C port. It has to be in its own charging base for that function.

I don’t have a tester to measure wireless charging rates. The specs (which are accurate in my other testing) states 5W output is supported. Which is on the low end for Qi wireless chargers. And reasonable for a power bank of this size.

A 5W wireless charge will take about an hour longer than a 7.5W wireless charger. And will charge slower than a 5W USB charger. Due to the inefficiencies involved with any wireless charging. All phones will get a faster charge using a wired option over wireless. With this power bank fast charging is available to many phone models. Provided to plug into the correct port and skip wireless.

The benefit of wireless charging is convenience. You don’t need to carry a cable. You can hold the phone and power bank together with a cable dangling. And if you only have one cable you can plug in one phone and wireless charge another. And is a must have feature for anyone with an Apple Watch or other device which only charges wirelessly.

Included AC Power Adapter

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub AC adapter

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub AC adapter

A barrel connection AC power adapter is included with the charging hub. It connects to and powers the charging base. Which in turn powers everything else. This frees up your laptop’s regular charger, unlike with a USB-C hub. You can move your laptop’s charger to another location where you like to use the laptop. Or make it a permanent part of your commute or travel bag.

The included AC power adapter has a built-in cable that is 5 feet long. It also has folding prongs. An interesting design choice given I wouldn’t expect a charging hub to be moved around that much. Otherwise it looks much like a typical 45W USB-C PD wall charger.

Note the barrel connection will only fit in one orientation into the charging base. The side of the barrel with a triangular cut out needs to be facing the bottom of the charging base.

Limited Total Outputs On Both Chargers

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub base USB ports

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub base USB ports

The charging base has two power circuits. One is for the USB-C port and charging pins for the power bank. The other is for the two USB-A ports. The two USB-A ports can each reach their max output of 12W under any condition. But the USB-C port can drop from 45W to 30W output when the power bank is recharging. The same happens when wirelessly charging a phone. The circuit appears to have a 45W max limit. And so it drops USB-C to a 30W mode to give 5-15W to the power bank and wireless charging pad.

If you have a 12-inch laptop or a 13-inch MacBook Air there’s no issue. Those don’t draw more than 30W. But if you’re using a 13-inch laptop, including a MacBook Pro, it’ll depend on your normal workload. If you run Internet, office, or entertainment apps there shouldn’t be a problem topping off your phone, too. But if gaming or using resource intense apps you may get a slow battery drain while the phone charges.

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub power bank USB ports

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub power bank USB ports

The power bank has its own 18W max total output limit across both USB ports and the wireless pad. This limitation is typical of most power banks. The few I’ve seen which allow for two fast charging devices are unusually large. There is a limit to how much current can cross its circuits without extra hardware. Which adds size, weight, and cost.

Most smaller devices will revert to their normal charging rate. Which will continue to charge the battery while they are in use. Total charge time for two devices is about the same. Whether you fast charge them one at a time. Or charged them at a slower rate together.

How It Compares To Other Solutions

You can always put together your own charging solution with several different products. Some setups may not provide every feature the Graphite Charging Hub does. Others may be better for your own needs.

Here I put together a collection of other AUKEY products. Which offer much the same functions as the charging hub.

45W USB-C Wall Charger

AUKEY PA-Y13 46W PD Charging Station – Provides 45W USB-C PD on your desktop. Along with two USB-A ports. As well as Quick Charge, which the charging hub does not offer.

18W USB-C, Quick Charge, Qi Wireless Power Bank

AUKEY PB-Y25 Sprint Wireless – A 8,000mAh power bank. With the same 18W USB-C PD, Quick Charge 3.0, and Qi wireless charging. It is a smaller power bank. But also has 20% less capacity.

AUKEY USB-C to USB-C 2.0 – Needed to charge the power bank with the charging station. Will allow for an 18W charge, while the charging hub provides 15W.

5W Qi Wireless Charging Pad
AUKEY LC-C5 Graphite Wireless Charger – A 5W Qi wireless charging pad. Needed to add the wireless charging function provided with the charging hub.

AUKEY PA-U32 Mini Dual Port Wall Charger – You’ll need a 10W USB-A wall charger to plug the wireless charging pad into. Otherwise it’ll have to take up one of the USB-A ports on the charging station. The PA-U32 is the cheapest option available from AUKEY.

Total Cost

The total cost for these alternative products is $121 MSRP. Compared to $150 MSRP for the charging hub. But you have to buy five separate items. Take up two wall outlets instead of one. And have less charge time available when away from your desk. But you do gain Quick Charge at your desk.

The AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub is a tidier setup. With fewer cables and everything in one spot. That can be quite appealing for an otherwise cluttered desktop. Besides desktop use it makes for a versatile shared charging station. It’ll charge several phones at once. With the USB-C supporting larger devices. And a dedicated spot to keep a power bank for day trips.

Summary

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub base

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub base

The AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub can offer an all-in-one charging solution for your desktop at home or work. Or as a shared charging station in a common room. But it is going to depend on what devices you have to charge during the day.

The charging base offers 45W USB-C PD. But can drop to 30W when wirelessly charging a phone. Or recharging the power bank in its slot. For regular office work this won’t be a problem. But if you game or otherwise tax your mid sized laptop it could cause battery drain.

Devices which work best:

  • 12 to 13-inch laptops with 30-45W chargers, including MacBook Air
  • iPhone (8/X/XR/XS/11 can do wired or wireless)
  • Android phones with Qi wireless

Devices which work okay:

  • 13 to 14-inch laptops with 60W chargers, including MacBook Pro
  • Android phones without Qi wireless

Devices which won’t work well:

  • 15-inch laptops
  • Nintendo Switch dock
AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub power bank charging pin

AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub power bank charging pin

The included power bank is more flexible with smaller devices. Unlike the charging base it supports Quick Charge. Which significantly opens up its “works best with” device list:

  • iPhone (8/X/XR/XS/11 can do wired or wireless)
  • Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, Motorola, and LG
  • Other Android phones with USB PD, Quick Charge, or Qi wireless charging
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld mode)

But the power bank isn’t a full replacement for the charging base when on the go. It only has 18W output, so it won’t support laptops well. And at only 10,000mAh it wouldn’t last long with a large device anyway.

And the power bank has its own max total output limit. Disabling fast charging if both USB powers are in use. Or if using the wireless charging pad along with a wired connection.

About AUKEY

AUKEY has U.S. based support (web and email) and a 24 month warranty. You must have purchased the product either from them or through Amazon for support.

Bottom Line

The AUKEY Graphite Charging Hub can replace your laptop’s charger, USB cables for your phone, a wireless charging pad, and a small power bank. But it favors those with small to medium sized laptops. And iPhones or Androids with Qi wireless charging.

Buy if you:
  • Need to tidy up your workspace with a central charging hub to connect everything to
  • Are in the market for both a 30-45W USB-C wall charger and 18W USB-C PD power bank
  • Prefer an all-in-one solution you know will work well together
Don’t buy if you:
  • Need to power a 15-inch laptop or regularly push your laptop to its limits
  • Don’t work any Qi wireless compatible phones

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


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