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Next generation charging: why you’ll want a GaN power brick

The HyperJuice is about the height and width of a credit card, with the thickness of a deck of cards. That’s a fraction of the size of a traditional 100w charger, or even Apple’s 61w MacBook Pro charger. What’s more, it can charge your laptop, tablet, smartphone and Nintendo Switch at their maximum charging speeds, and all at the same time, thanks to the 2x USB-C and 2x USB-A ports onboard.

Being able to throw one small charger in a bag as opposed to having to lug around a nest of power bricks for keeping all your gadgets charged is a boon for travellers but, in the age of COVID, I’ve found the HyperJuice just as handy to use as a charging station at home. With the combination of the kids’ iPads, Nintendo Switch consoles, smartphones and laptops occupying various power outlets, being able to replace this with just one charger that can also charge them at a faster rate than the bricks those devices come with has been a bit of revelation.

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GaN-based chargers are also much more efficient at transferring current over traditional chargers, which means less energy is wasted to heat while charging, resulting in less of a hit to your power bill.

Each USB-C port is capable of 100W, making them ideal for charging larger devices like laptops and tablets, while the two USB-A ports offer a maximum of 18W each. If all four ports are occupied, then the 100W will be shared across all ports. HyperJuice supports both the USB-C PD 3.0 and Quick Charge 3.0 standard, which means you should get the fastest charging rate possible from most of your devices. However, devices that use their own proprietary charging standard such as those found on Huawei and Oppo smartphones will charge at a slower rate.

At $US100 ($137), the HyperJuice is well priced for what you’re getting and pin converters are included in the box so it can be used in virtually any country. However, if you’re after something cheaper and don’t need all those extra ports, then there are other options such as Aukey’s single-port Omnia GaN-based 100W charger.

It’s worth noting that with the first generation of GaN-based chargers such as the HyperJuice, we’re only seeing part of the circuitry replaced with GaN. The long term goal for the industry is to replace the entire charging circuitry with high performance GaN parts which will enable even smaller, more powerful and energy efficient chargers.

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