'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
We're traveling again, and while that is mostly a good thing, there are also some downsides.
Take, for example, charging gadgets.
Also: My 5 must-have devices for work travel now
Traveling to a different country has long meant carting with me piles of varying chargers -- for everything from laptops and smartphones to drones and cameras -- and a handful of outlet adapters.
There were times when I had more chargers than anything else, and they add quite a load to a bag or suitcase.
Also: The best smart plugs right now
The Polarries E-Cube 100 changes that.
I've been testing the Polarries E-Cube 100 for a few weeks and it's been with me on a number of adventures, happily taking over from the numerous chunky chargers that used to accompany me on my travels.
The 100W max USB output means that it can even charge my 16-inch MacBook Pro, albeit not at the full 140W. But the 100W charging is more than acceptable and means I can leave my bulky -- and expensive to replace -- Apple 140W charger at home.
Also: The Apple products you shouldn't buy this month
The two USB-C ports, along with two USB-A ports for legacy devices (yup, people still have those), offer plenty of ports when traveling.
Whether it's my laptop, smartphone, tablet, earbuds, drone, camera, or whatever else I need to keep powered up, the E-Cube 100 has been more than up to the task.
On the wall input side of things, the E-Cube 100 features three retractable plugs covering U.S., U.K., E.U., and AU plugs. This means it's compatible in over 200 countries.
The design of the E-Cube 100 means that the plugs all fold away when not needed -- making the package smaller and safer to transport -- and pop out firmly when needed.
The sockets feature a built-in safety shutter to prevent fingers or other conductive objects from being put into contact with wall power.
Also: This tiny smartphone accessory gives you a fantastic superpower
When testing chargers and travel adapters, there are three things I look for.
First is that it delivers on what it offers.
The E-Cube 100 definitely does this. I've pushed it to its limits -- and beyond -- and it delivers on every claim on the box, from the USB outputs to the resettable fuse.
Also: My favorite electric screwdriver for heavy-duty jobs
The E-Cube 100 is a very capable travel adapter, and thanks to the GaN technology, it can output more power and yet still remain cooler than adapters that use the older silicon technology.
Next, is it safe?
I've put the E-Cube 100 through a barrage of tests, including pushing it beyond its limits, and had no problems at all. One such test was having it running at full output for eight hours and keeping an eye on the stability of the power being outputted and the temperature.
The E-Cube 100 passed all these tests with flying colors.
Finally, there's longevity.
Also: How to keep your home secure when you travel
This is harder to gauge, but I've been using the E-Cube 100 extensively since I got my hands on it late last year, and it's still working perfectly (and I've not been careful with it or with keeping it in its protective carry case).
I'm confident of its reliability. So much so that it's been my sole means of charging my devices on most trips.
The Polarries E-Cube 100 is currently available for backing on Kickstarter, and you can pick one up for $65 (the recommended retail price is listed as $119), with devices slated to start shipping in April of this year. For that, you get the travel adapter, the carry case, and a 240W USB-C cable.