Ugreen goes lean and mean with Nexode Pro chargers [Review]

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Ugreen Nexode Pro GaN chargers★★★★☆
Ugreen's four potent Nexode Pro GaN chargers can cover most of your charging needs.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

If you’re looking for newer, better charging options than the old adapters you have lying around the house, but without having to spend much, don’t sleep on Ugreen’s new Nexode Pro lineup of four gallium nitride (GaN) wall chargers.

Ugreen continues to go the way of GaN with these “GaNInfinity”-branded gadgets — more charging power in a smaller space with as many USB-C charging ports as possible (without leaving out USB-A ports entirely; there’s always one).

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Ugreen Nexode Pro USB-C GaN Fast Chargers

Ugreen’s four new Nexode Pro chargers come in 160-watt and 100W versions in addition to a couple of 65W varieties we could call extra slim and extra small. Seems like only yesterday chargers this small would only pack 20 or 30 watts, yet even Ugreen’s new super-portable ones pack 65W.

Only the 160W adapter resembles anything chunky or heavy, and that’s only by the very latest compact-yet-potent GaN standard.

It’s really the build quality of Ugreen’s aluminum-framed 160W and 100W Nexode Pro chargers that gives them a bit of heft. Hower, you can easily stick even the biggest one in a bag with some cables and charge three USB-C devices and one USB-A device anywhere you can find power. Or leave it in the wall at home with some cable stays on your desk or dresser, and it’s your go-to.

Of the four, only the slim 65W version isn’t on sale yet. The other three are available via links to Amazon, below.

Plenty of packable power

Ugreen Nexode Pro chargers with quarter coin
Here you can see the port selection of each charger and get a good idea of their compact sizes.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

The 160-watter’s size gives it the advantages of truly laptop-worthy charging power — 140W for a 16-inch M3 Pro/Max MacBook Pro — and one more USB-C port than the other three chargers. But the other three all have the advantage of being more light and compact.

Like most good adapters these days, they all have folding plugs for portability. And they sport labeled ports for less confusion, even when you’re fumbling around with a bunch of gadgets and cables in an unfamiliar place. In each case, C-1 is the powerhouse for laptops and tablets like MacBooks and iPads (and C2 on the 160W version). The other USB-C ports are suitable for smaller items like iPhones.

And in each case a USB-A port — for items like AirPods or other earbuds cases and Apple Watch chargers — is at the bottom the port stack. And that continuity carries through to the skinny 65W charger, whose belt-tightening svelteness requires the ports to be vertical instead of horizontal.

The big advantage there? That skinny guy fits right in a pants pocket or in a crowded sleeve or small zippered pocket on a bag. It’s the most portable of the four, with the squat 65W version coming in a close second. And anyway, I didn’t see any real problem with slipping the 100W or even the 160W versions into the small pocket on a knapsack or computer bag. But if you travel super-light, you’ll probably want one of the 65W adapters.

Real-world effectiveness

Ugreen Nexode Pro GaN charger comparison
Compare the four new chargers.
Photo: Ugreen

Ugreen’s new chargers are part of a wave of new GaN chargers that keep getting smaller and more potent than silicone-based chargers. Ugreen aluminum-housed Nexode Pro 100W charger comes in roughly half the size barely heavier than Apple’s plastic 96W charger. And unlike the Apple charger with its solitary port, Ugreen’s version lets you charge a MacBook, iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time.

I find it perfectly reasonable when going on a quick trip to simply take one of UGreen’s Nexode Pro chargers — even with the requisite cables simply plugged into it and wrapped around the device — and cram it in my bag. Then, when I get where I’m going, unfold the charger’s plug, stick in the wall outlet, unfurl the cords on a tabletop, and boom, charge gadgets as necessary.

Tough to choose, so you might want at least 2

All of these four adapters work as advertised as fast chargers. I particularly recommend the 100W version for most people simply because of solid power, medium size, relatively light weight and selection of three ports (1 USB-C port up to 100W — good for a 14-inch M3 Pro/Max MacBook Pro — when used on its own and 65W otherwise; 1 USB-C port at 35W regardless of other ports in use; 1 USB-A port at 22.5W).

However, if you’re rocking a 16-inch M3 MacBook Pro, you might prefer the 160W for its full fast-charge capability with the laptop. Personally, I found the 100W charger brought my 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro from 5% capacity to half full in just a little under 25 minutes and the 160W charger brought it from there to full in 26 minutes.

I noticed each of the chargers felt warm to the touch in various uses — the slim 65W version more than the others. But I wouldn’t call an alarming amount of heat. GaN technology is highly touted as safe, despite the decrease in space in the chargers.

Where to buy:

Amazon for 100W — $74.99 with 15% off coupon available

Amazon for 160W — $119.99 with same coupon

Amazon for 65W — $55.99

Ugreen provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.

★★★★☆

 

Ugreen Nexode Pro 100W USB-C Charger
$63.74

This is a compact, 3-port GaN fast PPS wall charger for MacBook Pro/Air, Pixelbook, Dell XPS, iPad Pro, iPhone 15 Pro/14, Galaxy S23/Note20, Pixel 8, Steam Deck and more.

Buy now
02/25/2024 01:05 am GMT

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