If you’re a frequent traveller like us, you’ll have no doubt been on the hunt for portable power sources. Back in February, I had written a post about the excellent thinkplus GaN USB-C charger from Lenovo’s accessories division. It features a very small form factor with high power output of 65W.
At that time, I had mentioned I had tried to get my hands on the Anker GaN 29w charger and the RAVPower 45w charger. Unfortunately, they were not yet available at the time I did the review in the country I live in, but that doesn’t matter now because something even better has come along!
Before going into the review, I will share the usual disclaimer. The charger reviewed in this post was purchased at full retail price (USD$49.99 at the time of purchase) from Amazon.com. I am not sponsored by RAVPower or any manufacturer.
Is this the new ultimate travel charger?
RAVPower recently launched their 61W GaN USB-C charger in an incredible small form factor, *with* folding plugs. The thinkplus also has a small footprint, but the fixed plug can be a bit annoying. RAVPower has somehow managed to shrink their form factor down to a tiny block that’s barely bigger than my camera’s battery.
I’ve been testing the RAVPower since July and have taken it to Thailand, Canada, Italy and China and it has performed flawlessly in that time. My MacBook Pro registers it as 61W and it works very well for activating the fast charging mode in the Nitecore camera battery chargers that I use, and in my iPad and iPhone.
How does it perform in real use?
Compared to the thinkplus, I find the RAVPower form factor better because it doesn’t put as much leverage on the plug receptacle. In old planes with worn out receptacles, the thinkplus would sometimes fall out because of the length of the charger. The RAVPower has so such problems because of it’s short length in all directions.
The only downside I’ve found to these small GaN chargers is that they do heat up quite a bit. It’s nothing to worry about and I’ve done touch tests on both chargers reviewed on this site without any issue. It’s definitely warmer than the Apple charger, but nothing that will cause any problems.
The build quality is excellent with a great feel in the hand. I’ve dropped mine a few times by accident and haven’t had any repercussions. It feels like a nice, dense piece of precise engineering that exudes quality. The plastic body has this beautiful slight dome on each side which gives the impression they’ve shrunk this body down to the absolute minimum.
The folding plugs were a bit stiff at first, but they’ve loosened up over time to become perfectly weighted now. I’m glad that they were designed to be a bit stiff when new, because it’s very annoying when folding plugs take on a life of their own. I can’t see these folding plugs getting any looser and certainly not enough to ever reach the point where they unfold on their own.
It may seem strange that I’m showing so much excitement and passion about a charger, but when you’re travelling, having access to 61W of power in a package this small really makes a big difference, especially in a tight plane.
I’m also very OCD about how things are engineered and designed, and the RAVPower meets and exceeds any expectation I had. It’s a really great charger and has become my charger of choice for home use and travel. As a side note, my two thickplus chargers continue to work well and are now being used by my partner.