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Nintendo Switch AC Adapter Review

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter with Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch AC Adapter with Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter with Nintendo Switch

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

Interested in using this charger with a USB-C device other than the Switch? Check out my general review at USB-Current.

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter – The inflexible USB-C charger included with the Nintendo Switch

Model: HAC-002

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter specs

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter specs

Tech Specs:

  • Ports: Built-in USB-C cable
  • Output: 39W USB-C Power Delivery 2.0 (5V/1.5A, 15V/2.6A)
  • Input: 100-240V, 1.0A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 2.6 x 2 x 1.4 inches | 66 x 51 x 36 mm
  • Weight: 6.1 oz | 173 grams

Learn more about USB Fast Charging Standards.

Switch Chargers Ratings:

Included In Box:

  • Nintendo Switch AC Adapter
  • Built-in USB-C cable is 5 feet/1.5 meters
Left: ZMI PowerPlug Turbo. Right: Nintendo Switch AC Adapter.

Left: ZMI PowerPlug Turbo. Right: Nintendo Switch AC Adapter.

Good For:

  • Additional Nintendo Switch charger for home or work
  • Power banks (30W or higher only)
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld & docked)
  • 12-inch laptop

Pros:

  • “Safest” charger for the Switch
  • Made by Nintendo specifically for the Switch
  • Charges the Switch and official controllers
  • Includes a built-in USB-C cable
  • Works worldwide with 100-240V power input (may need a plug adapter)

Cons:

  • Limited 5V power profile, missing 9V and 20V options
  • Not a travel friendly design
  • Doesn’t fit in most Switch carrying cases

First Impression

The Nintendo Switch AC Adapter comes included with the Nintendo Switch. It is also available by itself or as part of the Nintendo Switch Docking Kit. It is a typical wall wart power adapter. The brick is thinner than some, but it’ll still take up more than its own space on a power strip. The built-in USB-C cable limits you to 5 feet, which is good enough for most TV setups. The non-folding prongs complete the not quite travel friendly design. On the upside it a Nintendo product. So its use is covered under the Switch’s 12 month warranty.

Power Meter Readings

Nintendo Switch
Switch gaming power meter

Switch gaming power meter

Switch gaming power negotiation

Switch power negotiation

The Nintendo Switch charges at its max rate, charging while you play. Its charge rate while sleeping is also normal. Learn more about charging the Switch.

The PD protocol negotiation with the Switch is typical. It connects at 5V and moved up to 15V after negotiations. Current steps up once the 15V connection is made.

Nintendo Switch Dock

While we have the official Nintendo Switch charger let’s take a look at the power connection with the dock. The dock is used to connect the Switch to a TV or HDMI display. The charger plugs into the dock. The dock then acts like a charger itself with the Switch.

Dock w/o Switch power negotiation

Dock w/o Switch power negotiation

Dock with Switch power negotiation

Dock with Switch power negotiation

I could not record power meter readings. When connected to both the dock and my tester the AC adapter kept resetting. But I did capture the power negotiations before the resets began. We see the same voltage behavior in both. The current is much lower when the Switch isn’t connected, but is still present. The dock itself requires a little bit of power. If you have accessories connected to the dock’s USB ports those also draw up to 0.5A each.

Phones
Moto G6 power meter

Moto G6 power meter

This charger will not work with any iPhone. The built-in USB-C cable cannot be made into a Lightning connection. Likewise it wouldn’t work with any iPad except the 2018 iPad Pro with USB-C.

The Moto G6 charges at 15% of its normal rate. This is due to the restrictive 5V power profile. Android phones that support USB PD won’t fair any better. The charger is missing the 9V power profile they need to fast charge. Low output power banks that only accept 5-12V input won’t work at all with this charger. Learn more about fast charging various Android phones.

Laptops
MacBook Pro 13-inch power meter

MacBook Pro 13-inch power meter

MacBook Pro 13-inch power negotiation

MacBook Pro 13-inch power negotiation

Provided a laptop will accept 15V you can get close to 39W out of the Switch AC adapter. That’s enough to support 12-inch laptops. As well as 13-inch models running office, Internet, and entertainment apps. Larger laptops may not work. Learn more about charging USB-C laptops.

This is also how it can charge 30-60W power banks fine, but can’t charge 15-18W power banks. The 30-60W usually accept 15V input, while the lower output models only accept 5-12V.

Compared To Similar Chargers

ChargerNintendo Switch AC AdapterInateck 45W PD USB-CRAVPower PD Pioneer 45W GaN

Review
ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

Review
Price$29.99$27.99$49.99$19.95
Output39W USB-C PD45W USB-C PD45W USB-C PD45W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
FeaturesNintendo LicensedUSB-IF certified from the factoryGaN tech
CableBuilt-in cableUSB-C to USB-C cableNo cableUSB-C to USB-C cable
Dimensions2.6 x 2 x 1.4 in
6.1 oz
2.8 x 2.2 x 1.2 in
4.6 oz
2.8 x 2.1 x 0.6 in
2.8 oz
2.4 × 2.2 × 1.1 in
3.6 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-07-16.

You can see more USB-C chargers here.

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter with Moto G6

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter with Moto G6

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter with MacBook Pro 13-inch

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter with MacBook Pro 13-inch

Charging Nintendo Switch Accessories

The Nintendo Switch AC Adapter is designed to charge official Switch accessories. You can charge a Pro Controller, Joy-Con Charging Grip, or Poké Ball Plus by plugging in the USB-C cable. They charge better than a phone as they draw less power. Each controller only draws up to 2.5W. Where as a modern smartphone wants 8-16W. That said, you should charge the controllers through the Switch’s dock. The dock has three USB-A ports, and each can provide 2.5W . The controllers also include the needed USB-C to USB-A cable.

You can also recharge the Nintendo licensed power banks from Anker. Those accept a 15V/2A power input, which the Switch AC adapter can provide. Other USB-C power banks with similar power input needs (most 30W+ models) will also recharge. Lower output power banks (15-18W) usually want 9V or 12V power input. The Switch AC adapter provides neither, and its 5V output is weak. Most low output power banks end up refusing the connection.

Made To Support the Nintendo Switch Dock

Left: RAVPower PD Pioneer 45W GaN. Right: Nintendo Switch AC Adapter.

Left: RAVPower PD Pioneer 45W GaN. Right: Nintendo Switch AC Adapter.

Even docked the Switch rarely draws more than 18W. And I’ve never seen it get anywhere near 39W. So why does it included a 39W USB-C charger? Why not a more standard 18W or 30W option?

The charger’s 39W design does serve another purpose. Nintendo has programmed the dock to not output video unless it detects a USB-C charger that supports 15V/2.6A or more amps. This is to prevent a user from using their phone charger or other weaker power source. A sub-optimal charger could lead to the Switch’s battery continuing the drain and a halt to game play. That would be a bad user experience, so they try to make sure you are using the official charger.

A third party charger with enough output will get around the restriction. Most any 45W or 60W USB-C PD charger will work, as those offer 15V/3A. A few do not as they lack 15V power profiles, with Apple’s 61W USB-C power adapter being the most notorious.

Summary

The Nintendo Switch AC Adapter does what you need it to do out of the Switch’s box. It’ll charge the Switch in handheld or TV mode, and even support any extra controllers your bought. But the limited power profiles makes it less flexible for non-Nintendo devices. And it takes away from it being a good all-in-one travel charger choice.

Its 39W USB-C PD more than supports the Switch’s power needs. It’ll also charge the official controllers. Its 5V power profile will charge Android phones, but much slower than with their own charger. The 15V power profile will recharge 30W and higher output power banks. And some 12 to 14-inch laptops. It is purpose built for the Switch, with no regard to the universal nature of USB-C. Needless to say it goes against USB-C specifications in several ways.

For my own needs the Nintendo Switch AC Adapter lives behind my TV. It rarely comes out, and never to be used on anything but the Switch. There are too many good, inexpensive, universal USB-C PD chargers available for me to travel with. Even when I take the Switch and dock elsewhere I usually take a 45W or 60W USB-C PD charger to power it.

If you prefer to stay 100% within Nintendo’s support umbrella then this is the only wall charger you should look at. Nothing else is licensed for use with the Switch. But keep in mind the Switch’s warranty only lasts for one year. And the Switch hasn’t had any issues with good quality, third party chargers.

About Nintendo

Nintendo of America has U.S. based support (web, email, phone) and a 12 month warranty.

Bottom Line

The Nintendo Switch AC Adapter is the safest charger for the Nintendo Switch. And it even works with the Switch’s controllers. But its limited power profiles make it hit or miss with non-Nintendo devices. It is best left plugged into the dock, behind the TV. Get a more flexible USB-C charger for your Switch and other devices on the go.

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