This 3-in-1 charger is a great travel companion and desk accessory [Review]


Kuxiu X40 unfolded
This Kuxiu charger is cleverly designed to charge three of your Apple devices simultaneously.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The Kuxiu X40 3-in-1 charger simplifies travel by juicing up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods from one device, cable and outlet. It folds flat for sticking in your bag — it even comes with a little carrying case. Its handsome design and premium materials make it suitable as a permanent desk companion, too.

Without a handy travel charger like this, hitting the road with all your devices — iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods and possibly a MacBook, iPad or Nintendo Switch — can become a big nightmare of device-specific cables. iPhones and AirPods charge with a Lightning cable, the Apple Watch has its own unique puck thing and most other devices are on USB-C, except for some MacBooks that have MagSafe, too.

The Kuxiu X40 replaces two to three of the special charging cables that we, people with Apple devices, are used to taking with us everywhere we go. You don’t need your Lightning cable and your Watch cable. All you need to put in your bag is the Kuxiu X40 and a beefy USB-C power cable to charge all your devices on a weekend away from home.

It’s regularly on sale for less, but even its original $79.99 price is competitive for what you get.

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Kuxiu X40 3-in-1 foldable charger and stand review

Cleverly designed to charge three of your Apple devices simultaneously
A more efficient use of space than a New York City apartment.
Photo: Kuxiu

The Kuxiu X40 has a smart and compact design. Three layers unfold into a shape that evokes the Magic Keyboard for iPad or the foot of an iMac. It’s a tight package of aluminum and rubber. The metal frame gives it a solid feel; the soft rubber between every layer ensures that nothing gets scratched. The whole device is smooth and pleasant to the touch.

To use it, just stick your iPhone onto the elevated face of the stand. Pop out the Apple Watch charger and stick your smartwatch on the back. On the base, you can juice up your AirPods (if they charge wirelessly). It’s a clever use of space and it still looks very handsome loaded up with all your devices on it.

The USB-C cable plugs into the base and comes out the back.

The charger has a perfectly square footprint when folded up entirely. It’s a little less than an inch thick, but that’s not the only way to transport it. You can totally unfold it to maximum length and maximum thinness if you need to stick it in a shallow bag, pocket or purse. It’s truly portable.

In the box

With the Kuxiu X40, you get a USB-C cable that carries up to 20W of power and a carrying case.

The hardshell case may or may not be real carbon fiber, but nonetheless it’s lightweight. It zips open to reveal a stretchy band that holds the charger in place, with a little mesh net to hold your cable.

I really wish the cable came in black. Most of the color options (Black, Grey, Blue, Silver) would look better with a black cable.

I also wish it came with a wall brick, as it doesn’t seem to support very many charging modes. Plugging the X40 into the USB port of my Mac mini, for example, my iPhone teeters between charging and not charging. It’s a shame I have a bunch of high-power ports sitting on my desk, yet I have to run this all the way down to an outlet with a third-party charging brick.

The supported power inputs are helpfully printed on the bottom of the device: 5V/3A, 9V/2.22A and 12V/3A. With that input, it can charge at 3W, 5W, 7.5W, 15W and 22W. It’s unclear to me how that power is distributed across all three chargers — Kuxiu doesn’t advertise the device as certified 15W MagSafe, which makes me think it runs about 7W to all three chargers.

Annoyingly, I discovered that it doesn’t work when using the included cable plugged into the back of my Mac mini. I’m not really sure why. It would be nice to use the X40 at my desk without a cable running to the floor to a separate power brick, especially since the cable it comes with isn’t very long.

One travel charger to rule them all

A mess of three charging cables for three devices at a power strip.
Admittedly, those cables are too long and you wouldn’t use a huge brick to charge an Apple Watch, but the point still stands.
Photo: Kuxiu

All I took for a weekend of travel was the Kuxiu X40 and the USB-C cable/charger that came with my wife’s old MacBook Air. With just that, I could charge my iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods overnight. During the day, I unplugged the X40 and used the cable to charge the aforementioned MacBook and a Nintendo Switch. It worked so well, I did it again the following weekend.

Bringing the separate cables for all of these would have been a nightmare, but all I needed was the Kuxiu X40, one cable and one outlet. Provided you don’t need to charge it all simultaneously, it’s a great reduction.

Or, make it a permanent fixture of your desk

All three devices sitting on the Kuxiu X40
Huh, the power strip disappeared. But most of the cleanup is due to the Kuxiu X40.
Photo: Kuxiu

During the week, the Kuxiu X40 stays on my home office desk. It doesn’t look like a device specifically made for traveling the same way travel toothbrushes or travel mugs do. It’s nice enough to look natural as a permanent desk fixture.

Using the iOS 17 beta, I can put my phone on it horizontally and use StandBy mode. This will work even better if you own a newer iPhone with an always-on display and horizontal Face ID.

A minor complaint is the giant AirPods graphic on the foot. I feel like a simple lightning bolt on the bottom would have done just as well. In fact, the image might make you incorrectly assume that the X40’s foot is only for AirPods, when you can charge an older iPhone (or any small Qi-compatible device) on the bottom, too.


The Kuxiu X40, including the case and cable, smells terrible out of the box. Most new products have a faint stale aroma if you stick your nose right up to them. If you got that close to the X40 and took a big whiff, you would regret it immediately. The smell is still pungent if you hold it a foot from your face.

Two months after cracking open the X40’s box (I’m not very fast at writing reviews), the smell has dissipated somewhat, but not entirely.

I’m not sure what sort of conditions have led this to happen. As a tech blogger, I’ve bought a lot of things and reviewed a lot of things. Some of which I secretly suspected as being copycat products that came out of the same factory with a brand-name slapped on it, some of which I knowingly ordered as such from Alibaba.

I’ve unboxed products from all around the world, but never have I had a tech product smell so strong for so long.

I wish I could identify exactly what it smells like, or let you smell it through the internet. You should be glad that I can’t.

It’s a somewhat innocuous problem to have with a device that is otherwise so functionally useful in my life, so don’t let the smell get in the way of a purchase. My wife, who has an incredible sense of smell, surprised me and said she would still buy it, too.

A smart and attractive charger

The Kuxiu X40 is a premium charger with a smart design that will simplify your travels. Its small footprint and simple styling will make it feel at home on any desk. I recommend getting a long, black USB-C cable and a powerful GaN wall brick for it.

The original price is $79.99, but you can usually find it for $70 or less — a good price for what you get.

Buy from: Kuxiu


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