More and more devices are no longer including chargers in the box now, and why would they when we already have so many plugs at home? The EU successfully argued that electrical waste alone was a good enough reason for devices sold in its territory to only charge via USB-C. Although, USB-C has naturally become the default way to charge across the world, with only Apple’s iPhone being the major holdout, for now anyway. Even camera manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon, with most companies switching to USB-C charging directly in-camera.
Despite all this, the chargers that do still come with products are often ugly, bulky, heavy, and slow at charging any other product with a higher charge capacity. Companies like Anker have been leading the charge (sorry) to improve chargers for the best part of the last decade, with chargers that both look a lot nicer than most in-box chargers, but also are smaller and faster. And now with Gallium Nitride technology, they can make chargers even smaller and faster than ever before.
Anker Prime is the company's new branding for its latest and greatest chargers that offer a balance of size and charging power. The chargers are available in different outputs, depending on your needs, which in turn affects their size. The Anker Prime charger I am testing here is rated at 100W, which is powerful enough for most modern devices such as the MacBook Pro 13, iPad Pro, or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. But does it improve the charging experience?
Power (single-port): USB-C (1) 100W, USB-C (2) 100W, USB-A 22.5W
Power (two-ports): USB-C (1) + USB-C (2) 100W, USB-C (1/2) + USB-A 100W
Power (three-ports): Total 100W
Weight: 180 g
Size: 49.6 x 45.6 x 72 mm
The GaN technology that powers this plug is the real star, allowing for a smaller and more compact design with less heat, this is something that Anker is pushing throughout its Prime range. If you are worried about overheating your charger, then Anker also offers heat protection that it claims monitors heat levels in the charger 3 million times per day with its ActiveShield 2.0 tech to improve safety, reducing power or cutting the plug off completely on the rare occasion it should get too hot.
This plug has a 100W charge, this size is the Goldilocks of the current Anker Prime chargers. Prime chargers at the time of writing are also available in a smaller-sized plug with 67W of output, or 120W of power, but the charging plug is larger. At 100W, Anker claims that you can achieve a 34% time saving when charging an iPad Pro or iPhone 14 Max. Anker also claims over one thousand devices and counting are compatible with its chargers (anything that charges with USB-C should be just fine).
This charger is separated from others in the range by its super compact folding design which makes it 43% smaller than the 97W Mac wall charger, the Anker Prime plugs also have folding-in pins, which while more common in the US is a rarity in other parts of the world, and makes storage and travel so much easier.
Build & Handling
The Anker Prime 100W is so much smaller and lighter than the 87W Mac charger that I currently use for my laptop. Having the two side by side the difference is stark, and after picking them both up, I honestly never want to carry the Mac charger with me ever again, the Anker Prime charger just feels like a revelation in comparison.
If you are buying this mainly to charge your phone, then it is quite a bit bigger than most (still included) phone chargers, however, the Anker Prime is much more powerful. If your phone (or another device) can take advantage of all that power is another question, as maximum charging speeds often get in the way, the iPhone tops out at 27W for instance. However, what those other single-port chargers lack is the ability to divert extra unused power and charge multiple things at once.
My favorite feature of the whole design is the foldable plug pins, while these are much more commonplace in the US, they are very much appreciated here in the UK (and other countries with the type-G plug design) where it is a rare feature, and our chunky plug pins often get in the way when traveling.
Although it isn’t anywhere near as minimal as the featureless white cubes Apple provides, the overall design of the plug is just really nice, the exterior has a smooth matt finish with minimal branding, it has a futuristic look without looking overly sci-fi and I really like it.
Good news, the three outputs on the charger all perform to advertised speeds when tested both for single port speeds and in use at once. Digging into my MacBook system report, I can see that it is using the full 100W from one port, which took just a little two hours to fully recharge my 2019 MacBook Pro 13. Using a single port I could power the Zhiyun Molus X100 which requires a 100W USB-C input to go to full brightness. I also managed to charge an Anker 20,000mah power bank in around an hour at 100W. For charging multiple devices, it has no problem providing fast charging to my Google Pixel 7 Pro, Google Pixel Watch, and iPad Air all at the same time.
The Anker Prime charger does get quite hot when running at max capacity, however, while it managed to reach a high temperature reasonably quickly, it maintained that temperature rather than just continually getting hotter, so this might be the expected behavior of the charger, but the heat did cause me a little concern the first time I pulled it out of the socket after use.
Simply put, just get this charger. The Anker Prime 100W is a compact and powerful charger that will free you from carrying around large bulky chargers, or even worse, chargers with separate power bricks. The size of this charge is revelatory, it is so light and can easily slip into a pocket if needed. The charger also offers enough power out of one port to easily keep the best (non-gaming) laptops running at max juice all day, and with three ports to charge all your devices quickly when needed.