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I've tested hundreds of travel chargers, and this is my new favorite

In the past, I faced a dilemma between selecting a powerful office charger and a convenient universal travel charger. Satechi has solved my problem.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer
Satechi 145W USB-C 4-Port GaN travel charger

Satechi 145W USB-C 4-Port GaN travel charger

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • Satechi's new 145W USB-C 4-Port GaN charger is one of the most powerful travel chargers you can buy.
  • The adapter comes with several international plugs so you can use it anywhere on the planet.
  • It's perfect if you don't have any legacy USB-A devices to charge.

Being a frequent traveler, I've often felt that the gear I used on the road was a compromise, lacking the versatility, power, or quality of the equipment I left at home or in the office. The need to balance weight and global compatibility invariably imposed constraints and limitations.

Also: 10 tiny 'everyday carry' tools and gadgets I keep on my keychain

However, Satechi's new 145W USB-C 4-Port GaN (gallium nitride) travel charger has changed the game for me. It's the best charger I own, surpassing even the finest offering from Apple.

View at Satechi

For the past few years, the Apple 140W MacBook Pro charger has been my staple for travel. It allowed me to charge my MacBook Pro at the highest speed, as well as charge a power bank, which in turn powered all my other devices.

This setup was functional and worked well, yet it had its drawbacks, including the necessity to pair the charger with a universal adapter to accommodate various international AC outlets. 

But no more.

Features

Power output 1 x USB-C port used - up to 140W

2 x USB-C ports used - up to 100W

3 x USB-C ports used- 65W/30W/45W or 100W/25W/20W

4 x USB-C ports used - 65W/30W/25W/20W up to 145W total
Adapters included US (default), UK, EU, and AU

The no-compromise choice

The Satechi charger, compact and comparable to Apple's standard 140W supplied with the MacBook Pro, boasts four USB-C ports. It's also equipped with a smart power distribution feature that allows for a maximum output of 145W.

Satechi's 145W USB-C charger vs Apple's 140W MacBook Pro charger

Satechi's 145W USB-C charger vs Apple's 140W MacBook Pro charger

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Two of its ports utilize Power Delivery 3.1 technology, each capable of providing up to 140W of power individually. The device intelligently adjusts the power output based on which ports are in use and the connected devices' requirements. The remaining two ports, supporting Power Delivery 3.0, can each supply up to 45W when used singly.

Also: What is GaN? Everything you need to know about gallium nitride-based charging tech

In my testing, all outlets met their rated power outputs with no issues, whether used singly or in combinations.

No matter what you need to charge, this unit has you covered.

GaN and Graphene = Winning combination

One of the benefits of chargers making the switch to GaN technology is that these new transistors allow the unit to run more efficiently, which in turn means less heat generation.

The Satechi boasts an additional feature to maintain its coolness: the use of graphene as a thermal insulator. This innovative material actively regulates heat dissipation, keeping the charger from becoming more than mildly warm. Indeed, during my testing, the unit remained comfortably warm, never becoming hot, even while outputting its maximum rated power over long durations.

Also: The best GaN chargers you can buy right now

A travel charger wouldn't be complete without the versatility to adapt to different power outlets, and this one includes four interchangeable international adapters (EU/AU/UK/US), complemented by a mesh carrying bag for the ultimate convenience while traveling.

ZDNET's buying advice 

I was going to say that the 145W Satechi is one of the best travel charger I've tested, but that would be a lie. This is the best travel adapter -- which is even better -- I've tested. The one caveat here is that everything I take with me when traveling can be charged using USB-C and I no longer need a legacy USB-A port when charging. You might be different, so bear that in mind. 

Beyond that, whether you're measuring this travel charger on power output, temperature, or worldwide compatibility, the Satechi 145W USB-C 4-Port GaN travel charger wins hands down.

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