RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop Review

RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop
RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop

RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop

RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop - Compact, multi-device fast charger

Summary

The RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop has enough output to keep up with a large laptop. Or to fast charge three handheld devices at once.

Overall
4.8
  • Performance
    (5)
  • Design
    (5)
  • Safety
    (4.5)
  • Portability
    (4.5)
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
  • Charges a 13/14-inch laptop
  • 4 USB ports, supporting fast charging on up to 3 devices at once
  • GaN tech
  • Compact design for a desktop charger
  • Works worldwide with 100-240V power input (may need a plug adapter)

Cons

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

Model: RP-PC136
Tech Specs:
RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop specs

RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop specs

  • Ports: USB-C x2, USB-A x2
  • USB-C Output – Single:
    • 65W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3.25A)
  • USB-C Output – Dual:
    • 45W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A)
    • 18W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A)
  • USB-A Output – Single:
    • 18W Quick Charge 3.0
    • Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
    • Huawei FCP
    • Apple 2.4A
  • USB-A Output – Dual:
    • 12W USB-A (5V/2.4A)
    • Apple 2.4A
  • Input: 100V–240V, 1.5A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 2.9 x 1.6 x 1.6 inches | 75 x 40 x 40 mm
  • Weight: 5.6 oz | 160 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

Included In Box:
RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop box and contents

RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop box and contents

  • RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop
  • AC power cable, 4.8 feet
Good For:
  • Additional charger for home or work
  • Travel
  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Power banks
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld & docked)
  • iPad Pro
  • 12-inch laptop
  • 13-inch/14-inch laptop

First Impression

The RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop is changing my mind on using a desktop charger. Don’t get me wrong, desktop chargers are fine. And certainly have their niche with home or work setups running several devices. But for me the space they take up hasn’t been worth the benefits they bring, just a personal preference. RAVPower’s new model takes up very little space. While offering great flexibility for charging several devices. It would also travel better than most other desktop chargers.

While compact the charger is still heavy. Its GaN tech helps, but there is still a lot of tech packed inside. All USB ports are on the front, ideally facing the user at their desk. The labeling on each port is hard to make out with grey text on a black background. But you don’t need to know which port is which, as the two USB-C and two USB-A offer the same output options. The included AC power cable plugs into the back, then off to the back or side of your desk. There is a green LED on the top and bottom indicating there is power. The whole setup looks and works the same no matter which side is facing up. Just keep the USB power horizontal as you’re use to.

 

Compared To Similar Chargers

ChargerRAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port DesktopBaseus 65W Three-Port MiniZMI zPower Trio Desktop Charger
PortsUSB-C x2

USB-A x2
USB-C x2

USB-A
USB-C x2

USB-A
Output65W USB-C PD

18W USB-A

63W max total output
USB-C 1: 65W USB-C PD
(5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3.25A)

USB-C 1: 63W PPS
(3.3-21V/3A)

USB-C 2: 30W USB-C PD
(5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/2.5A, 15V/2A, 20V/1.5A)

USB-C 2: 33W PPS
(3.3-11V/3A, 3.3-16V/2A)

30W Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A

63W max total output
65W USB-C PD
(5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/3.25A)

18W USB-C PD
(5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A)

18W Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A

63W max total output
FeaturesSupports fast charging for up to 3 handheld devices

GaN tech
GaN tech
CableNo cable includedNo cable includedNo cable included
Dimensions2.9 x 1.6 x 1.6 in
5.6 oz
2.9 x 1.4 x 1.3 in
4.2 oz
3.7 x 2.6 x 0.9 in
5.5 oz
Price$49.99$34.99$99.99

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2020-10-28.

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 see Quick Charge will fast charge over the USB-A port. The Moto G6 fails to get QC over USB-C, as that is an issue with that particular model phone. Other QC supporting Android phones would be expected to work over USB-A or USB-C.

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.

If a larger device, such as a laptop, is plugged in then an original model Switch will charge a bit slower (12W vs 18W). This is due to that model Switch under drawing power from 12V, which is offered on the lower output USB-C port. It is still enough to charge while you play, just not as fast.

It also supports the Switch’s dock. Providing enough power for video output to your TV. But be wary of doing so if you plan to use the other USB ports. Each time you plug or unplug it resets the charger. This will interrupt power, and the Switch will slip out of TV mode. Plugging certain combinations of 3-4 devices will also disable the higher output the dock requires.

Learn more about charging the Switch.

USB-C Laptops

 

Using a 13-inch MacBook Pro for testing we can draw up to 55.5W from this charger. That’s expected, after accounting for efficiency loss.

Different model laptops have different power demands. But in general a 65W charger can support up to 13-inch/14-inch laptops under any condition. It can also support a 15-inch laptop under light use. Or charge it while sleeping.

With another USB port in use max output from one USB-C port drops to 45W. That can keep a mostly charged 15-inch laptop running. But is a more suitable output level for a 13-inch laptop or smaller.

Multi-Device Output Options

Each port’s output potential is largely based on what other USB ports are active. It ranges from a single 65W to four ports offering 60W total.

1 USB-C = 65W USB-C PD
2 USB-C = 45W USB-C PD + 18W USB-C PD

1 USB-A = 18W Quick Charge
2 USB-A = 12W USB + 12W USB

1 USB-C + 1 USB-A = 45W USB-C PD + 18W Quick Charge
1 USB-C + 2 USB-A = 45W USB-C PD + 12W USB + 12W USB

2 USB-C + 1 USB-A = 18W USB-C PD + 18W USB-C PD + 18W Quick Charge
2 USB-C + 2 USB-A = 18W USB-C PD + 18W USB-C PD + 12W USB + 12W USB

Each USB-C and USB-A port has the same output potential. There is no “port 1” or “top port” to worry about. RAVPower’s Intelligent Power Allocation assigns the USB-C high and low. Plug in a phone and a laptop and the laptop should always get the 45W output.

Note that if you leave a Lightning cable (USB-C or USB-A) plugged in the charger will act like there is a device on that port. Even if your iPhone isn’t connected on the other end.

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 65W GaN charger charges as fast as a 65W 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.

USB-C Cable with 5A/100W Support

To get the full 65W output from a USB-C port on this charger will require a USB-C to USB-C cable that supports 5A current. That allows for the 20V/3.25 profile, where as standard USB-C cables would limit it to 20V/3A (60W).

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 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 the full 65W you’ll need to use a 5A/100W supporting cable. I recommend marking such a cable with colored tape or by some other means. So you know it should remain paired with this charger.

Find a 5A/100W USB-C to USB-C cable.

Summary

The RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop is the first actually intelligent multi-port charger I’ve tested. Most set a high and low output port you need to memorize. Or they simply split the total output evenly. This one offers the same output potential for each pair of USB-C and USB-A ports. Adjusting based on power negotiations with connected devices. You simply plug in your device and it offers the best it can, depending on how many devices are connected at once.

RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop ports

RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop ports

For phones it fast charges iPhone 8/X/XR/XS/11/SE, Samsung Galaxy, and Google Pixel. It also fast charges LG and Motorola phones, and any other Android which supports Quick Charge.

For the Nintendo Switch it charges in handheld mode as fast as any other option. And can power a docked Switch, but isn’t ideal for that if you plan to use the other USB ports.

Between its small size and intelligent output it is the most user friendly desktop charger I’ve come across. Taking up almost no space on my home office desk. And requiring little thought when plugging in a second or third device.

It isn’t ideal for those who’ve migrated most of their devices to USB-C. The two USB-C ports don’t offer anything many dual port chargers can offer for a lower cost. Plugging in both USB-C ports and a USB-A port disables high output, so a laptop goes from a good charge rate to a poor one.

The charger brick will travel well, not being too heavy and compact. Its AC power cable isn’t as travel friendly as a folding prong would have been. But RAVPower does include a velcro cable wrap, which helps.

About RAVPower

RAVPower has U.S. based support (web, email, phone) and an 18 month warranty. The warranty can be extended to 30 months if you register the product with RAVPower. They are a respected brand within the USB-C community.

Bottom Line

The RAVPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-Port Desktop can support a 15-inch laptop alone. A mix of 2-3 devices with fast charging. Or 4 devices with half of them fast charging. All in a compact form that takes up less desktop space than your mouse.

Buy if you:
  • Need to charge a laptop and smaller devices in one spot
  • Want a 4 USB port charger which works at home, work, or while traveling
  • Don’t want to memorize which port works with which of your devices
Don’t buy if you:
  • Have all USB-C devices
  • Need to charge two laptops at once

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


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