ZMI PowerPlug Turbo Review

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo
ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo - My most often recommended USB-C PD wall charger

Summary

The ZMI PowerPlug Turbo is one of my most often recommended chargers. A travel friendly, 45W USB-C PD with cable included. And among the lowest cost chargers on the market.

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
  • Charges Switch in both handheld and TV mode
  • Fits in most Switch carrying cases
  • Good value with included cable
  • Travel friendly design
  • Includes a USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Works worldwide with 100-240V power input (may need a plug adapter)

Cons

  • Quick Charge 3.0 over USB-C is against USB-C specs

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

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo specs

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo specs

Model: AD03Z
Tech Specs:
  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output:
    • 45W USB-C Power Delivery 2.0 (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A)
    • Quick Charge 3.0
  • Input: 100-240V, 1.2A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 2.4 × 2.2 × 1.1 inches | 60 × 57 × 28 mm
  • Weight: 3.6 oz | 101 grams

Learn more about Fast Charging.

Included In Box:
  • ZMI PowerPlug Turbo
  • USB-C to USB-C 2.0 cable, 5 feet/1.5 meters
ZMI PowerPlug Turbo box and contents

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo box and contents

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

First Impression

The ZMI PowerPlug Turbo has a great size and weight for a second charger. Or as a toss in your bag and go travel charger. It was so appealing that when I showed it to my wife she took it right out of my hand. The first ZMI charger I bought now lives at her work, I had to buy a second one for my own use. The included USB-C cable is no frills, but no fuss either. At 5 feet the length is good for most locations. I put a velcro cable wrap on it to keep it neat when packed.

Compared To Similar Chargers

ChargerZMI PowerPlug TurboMonoprice Obsidian Speed USBNekteck 45W USB-C PDRAVPower PD Pioneer 45W GaN

Review
Price$19.95$16.99$19.99$43.26
Output45W USB-C PD

Quick Charge 3.0
45W USB-C PD45W USB-C PD45W USB-C PD
FeaturesTravel friendlyUSB-IF Certified

Travel friendly
USB-IF CertifiedTravel friendly
GaN tech
CableUSB-C to USB-C cableNo cableBuilt-in cableNo cable
Dimensions2.4 × 2.2 × 1.1 in
3.6 oz
2.8 x 2.2 x 1.2 in
5.4 oz
2.1 x 2.1 x 1.2 in
6.7 oz
2.8 x 2.1 x 0.6 in
2.8 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-11-19.

 

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. And Android phones will need a USB-C to USB-C cable, which is 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 don’t see Quick Charge engage. So charging is at its normal rate. This is normal with Motorola phones when QC is offered over USB-C. Samsung Galaxy, LG, and other QC supporting Android phones would be expected to fast charge.

Nintendo Switch

 

The Nintendo Switch charges at its max rate, up to 18W. It’ll fast charge while you play. Its charge rate while sleeping is normal. This charger can also power the Switch’s dock. Learn more about charging the Switch.

USB-C Laptops

 

Using a 13-inch MacBook Pro for testing we can draw up to 42W 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.

Quick Charge 3.0 Over USB-C

The presence of Quick Charge over USB-C is against USB-C specifications. That said such chargers have been around for years without issue.

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. A few USB-C focused engineers warn against using any USB-C product against specs. Their concern is unforeseen consequences. And we have seen bad USB-C products in the past. But since the first QC over USB-C charger came out in 2016 we haven’t seen any systemic issues emerge.

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 ZMI PowerPlug Turbo is great value 45W USB-C PD wall charger. Inexpensive, proper power profiles, included USB-C cable. And back with U.S. based support and warranty. There is a reason I recommend this charger more than any other to the Nintendo Switch community. And use it myself for both my Switch and MacBook Pro.

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

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

As a 45W USB-C PD charger it can fast charge most small to mid-sized USB-C devices. Newer iPhones and Android phones that support USB Power Delivery. The iPad Pro (all versions). And up to 13-inch laptops under most conditions.

It also supports Quick Charge 3.0 over USB-C. That should work with Samsung and Quick Charge enabled Android phones.

I like this charger for commuting or traveling with a USB-C laptop. It doesn’t cover every workload scenario like a 60W charger would. But as I rarely get the fans running on my MacBook Pro I’ve found a 45W charger works fine for my less demanding needs. I’ve also used it to setup a docked Switch at friends’ homes. And with a USB-C to Lightning cable it’ll charge my iPhone when available.

Even if you only have a USB-C phone or tablet this charger is worth looking at. Its price point and included cable make it a great value. You may not need more than 18W. But most name brand 18W USB-C PD chargers cost the same, and don’t include the cable. If the larger size doesn’t matter to you it is the better deal.

About ZMI

ZMI USA has U.S. based support (web, email, phone) and a 18 month warranty. They were founded in the USA and are backed financially by Zimi Corporation. Zimi is the exclusive mobile power accessory supplier to Xiaomi.

Bottom Line

The ZMI PowerPlug Turbo is one of my most often recommended chargers. At 45W it works well with a lot of devices. And its price is hard to beat, especially with a USB-C cable included. It may be overkill for smaller devices, but its value is superb. A solid addition to your tech bag.

Buy if you:
  • Need a second charger for your MacBook, MacBook Air, or 13-inch MacBook Pro
  • Have small to medium sized USB-C devices to power, but not at the same time
  • Want a travel friendly charger at a low price
Don’t buy if you:
  • Want the smallest charger possible for your phone
  • Need to power a 15-inch laptop
  • Aren’t comfortable with Quick Charge on the USB-C port
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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