AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W Review

AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W
AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W

AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W

AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W - The first single port 100W USB-C PD charger from a major brand

Summary

The AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W combines the highest possible power output with GaN tech. Creating one of the smaller chargers ready to power any size laptop. From basic office work to the most demanding creative and gaming models.

Overall
4.8
  • Performance
    (5)
  • Design
    (5)
  • Safety
    (4)
  • Portability
    (5)
Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)

Pros

  • Fast charges iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, LG, and Motorola phones
  • Charges Switch in both handheld and TV mode
  • Fits in most Switch carrying cases
  • Charges a 12 to 16-inch laptop
  • Max possible output of any USB-C PD charger
  • Travel friendly design
  • Works worldwide with 100-240V power input (may need a plug adapter)

Cons

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

Model: PA-B5
Tech Specs:
AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W specs

AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W specs

  • Ports: USB-C
  • USB-C Output:
    • 100W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/5A)
    • Quick Charge 3.0
    • Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
    • Huawei FCP
    • Apple 2.4A
  • Input: 100V–240V, 2.5A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 2 x 2 x 1.2 inches | 57 x 57 x 32 mm
  • Weight: 5.3 oz | 150 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

Included In Box:
AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W box and contents

AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W box and contents

  • AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W
Good For:
  • Additional charger for home or work
  • Commute
  • Travel
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Power banks
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld & docked)
  • iPad Pro
  • 12-inch laptop
  • 13-inch/14-inch laptop
  • 15-inch laptop
  • 16-inch laptop

First Impression

The AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W is small for its output, but still hefty. Smaller than my MacBook Pro’s 61W USB-C power adapter. It is an easy winner over Apple, Dell, HP, and other laptop chargers for commutes and travel. Folding prongs and a not too bright power LED indicator add to its travel ready checklist. Better pricing in most cases, too.

As of this posting only the white model is available. But a black model is expected in the future.

 

Compared To Similar Chargers

ChargerAUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W


Apple 96W USB-C Power AdapterNekteck 90W USB-C PD
Output100W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
96W USB-C PD90W USB-C PD
FeaturesGaN techUSB-IF Certified
CableNo cable includedNo cable includedUSB-C cable (built-in)
Dimensions2 x 2 x 1.8 in
5.3 oz
4.9 x 4.9 x 1.2 in
8 oz
3.4 x 3.4 x 1.2 in
14.9 oz
Price$39.99$79.00$29.99

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2020-10-25.

 

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/11/SE
  • Apple iPad Pro
  • Essential Phone
  • Google Pixel
  • LG ThinQ/V30
  • Razer
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S9/S10/S20
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8/9/10
  • 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.

For iPhones the USB-C port also supports Apple 2.4A. An older, but still functional fast charging standard. Older iPhones (4-7) can fast charge using the same USB-C to Lightning cable.

Quick Charge 3.0 Phones

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

 

Using a Moto G6 for testing we don’t see Quick Charge engage. So charging is at its normal rate. This is normal with older Motorola phones when QC is offered over USB-C. Samsung Galaxy, LG, newer Motos, and other QC supporting Android phones would be expected to fast charge.

Nintendo Switch

 

Works well for all model Nintendo Switch in handheld/tabletop mode.

  • Nintendo Switch (original) – Charges near its max rate while playing and sleeping.
  • 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 also supports the Switch’s dock. Providing enough power for video output to your TV.

Learn more about charging the Switch.

USB-C Laptops

 

Using a 13-inch MacBook Pro for testing we can draw up to 56W from this charger. That’s expected, after accounting for efficiency loss.

Different model laptops have different power demands. But a 100W charger can support any size laptop. And is ideal for the largest, most power hungry models. Including the 15 or 16-inch MacBook Pros. Or 15 to 17-inch gaming laptops.

Possible Issue With 15-inch/16-inch MacBook Pros

I have been made aware of reports on a charging while sleeping issue. All reports deal with a 15-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro. When the charger is connected to those laptops, and while they are asleep, it does not charge at full speed or at all. Users report heading the charging ding going off over and over. I haven’t seen testing data. But it sounds like power negotiation is not occurring properly. The laptops charge fine when awake.

Unfortunately I do not have access to a similar laptop to test for this issue myself. My 13-inch MacBook Pro had no issues when I tested it while sleeping. But my MacBook only draws up to 60W. Where as the larger models draw 87-96W. Protocols change above 60W, so the issue could be limited to that range. I have also not seen any report that mention any other brand laptop. So it could be an issue between how either Apple and/or AUKEY are handling power negotiation.

USB-C Cable with 5A/100W Support

This AUKEY charger requires a USB-C to USB-C cable which supports 5A current. Such cables include an eMarker and allow for up to 100W power transfer.

Most USB-C cables are only rated for 3A current. Limiting them to 60W power throughput. When a charger offering more than 20V/3A (65-100W) connects it checks the cable for an eMarker. The eMarker tells the charger about the cable’s capabilities. Such as increased power throughput. If it doesn’t detect an eMarker, then the charger assumes the cable is only rated for 3A current. In this case the charger will then only offer up to 60W.

So if you connect most any other USB-C cable you have to this charger it’ll limit itself to 60W. That’s fine if your device only draws 60W or less. But if you want 65-100W you’ll need to get the right type of cable. I also recommend marking the cable with colored tape or by some other means. So you know it should remain paired with its charger.

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.

Quick Charge 3.0 Over USB-C

The presence of Quick Charge and other fast charging standards over USB-C is against USB-C specifications. Such chargers have been around for years without issue. But we don’t know what the future holds.

Under section 4.8.2 of USB-C specifications a proprietary charging method cannot change the voltage of USB-C output (between 4.40V and 5.25V) in a manner not defined by USB methods. Quick Charge operates at higher than default voltages. And so goes against the specifications. USB Power Delivery is an open source charging method. Created alongside USB-C, it is with specs even though it also increases voltage. The big difference is USB PD uses communication lines to negotiate power transfer. While proprietary methods take over the data lines for their negotiation. They do so because legacy USB connections, such as USB-A, don’t have comm lines.

There is no known risk with running proprietary charging standards over USB-C. Manipulating the data lines does disrupt data transfers. But when plugging into a wall charger or power bank there is no data transfer anyway. Some USB-C engineers warn against using any USB-C chargers with third party standards. Their concern is unforeseen consequences. Future technology may prove to be incompatible with such configurations. And pulling out a charger several years from now with a new device could have a bad result.

I have not run into any issues with these fast charging standards on this or any other charger. But as it is a spec violation I want you to be informed. If you’re a stickler for meeting USB-C specifications this isn’t a good charger for you. If you’re more pragmatic it works fine and has no known issues.

Summary

The AUKEY PA-B5 Omnia 100W offers the maximum possible output for any USB-C PD charger. As USB Power Delivery specs only go up to 100W per port. It meets the needs of a 16-inch MacBook Pro and similarly large gaming laptops. It is overkill for most any smaller device, but still compatible. Which was the idea behind USB-C and USB Power Delivery. This is as close to “One charger to rule them all” as we can get right now.

For phones it fast charges iPhone 8/X/XR/XS/11/SE, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel. It should also fast charge LG and newer Motorola phones. And any other Android which supports Quick Charge. Huawei phones will enjoy FCP support. Though it doesn’t support the fastest charge standard used by Huawei. Nor does it support PPS, the fastest charge standard used by the latest Samsung phones.

For the Nintendo Switch it charges in handheld mode as fast as any other option. And can power a docked Switch.

The GaN tech makes this 100W charger as travel friendly as many 45W models. There will be hot spots like a larger charger. But it is safe to handle any type of solid material up to 122°F (50°C). Plastic enclosures, such as this, are safe at even hotter temperatures.

When buying this charger you need to buy a USB-C to USB-C cable which supports 5A power. Your average USB-C cable only supports up to 3A. This charger will work with that, but only up to 60W output. You need a 5A supporting cable to get higher output. If you don’t know that you have a 5A cable I suggest you buy one and mark it. There is no way to visually verify the specs of a USB-C cable.

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 PA-B5 Omnia 100W is a rare, full 100W USB-C PD wall charger. Offering as much output as any USB-C PD charger can. Use of GaN tech makes it smaller than most 60-100W laptop chargers. An excellent candidate for a cheaper second laptop charger. Or a more travel friendly charger.

Buy if you:
  • Need a second charger for your large laptop
  • Want a second charger for your small or medium laptop with future proofing
  • Are looking for a cheaper third party or small travel charger
Don’t buy if you:
  • Only need to power smaller handheld devices
  • Take issue with the USB-C spec violation of supporting other fast charging standards

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


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