Aukey PD and PD/Gan Wall Chargers review

REVIEW – Can you have too many wall chargers? If your household is at all like mine, the answer is probably no. Between leaving one behind, or switching bags it’s a good idea to have one or two spares on hand. The newer crop of PD wall chargers is an excellent excuse to go ahead and pick those up. Today we’re going to take a look at five varieties from Aukey.

What are they?

PD stands for Power Delivery which in short is a universal multi-voltage charging standard which can negotiate faster charging speeds for compatible devices. We have five different PD wall chargers from Aukey to look at.

  • PA-D2: 36W Dual-USB-C PD Wall Charger with Dynamic Detect
  • PA-D1: 30W Dual-Port PD Wall Charger with Dynamic Detect
  • PA-Y18: 18W PD Wall Charger
  • PA-B3: 65W Dual-Port PD Wall Charger with GaN and Dynamic Detect
  • PA-B4: 65W Dual-USB-C PD Wall Charger with GaN and Dynamic Detect

What’s in the box?

  • Each box has the specific PD Wall Charger, Manual and Warranty Sticker

Hardware specs

  • PA-D2: 36W PD Wall Charger
    • Input: AC 100V-240V 50/60Hz
    • USB-C Outputs: (PD 3.0) DC 5V 3A, 9V 3A, 12V 2.5A, 15V 2A, 20V 1.5A
    • Output Max: 36W (single USB-C port). 18W (for each USB-C port when both in use)
    • Dimensions: 63 x 56 x 28mm and 115g
  • PA-D1: 30W PD Wall Charger
    • Input: AC 100V-240V 50/60Hz
    • USB-C Output: (PD 3.0) DC 5V 3A, 9V 3A, 12V 2.5A, 15V 2A, 20V 1.5A
    • USB-A Output: DC 5V 2.4A
    • Output Max: 30W (single USB-C port). 18W/12W (for USB-C/USB-A ports when both in use)
    • Dimensions: 58 x 53 x 28mm and 103g
  • PA-Y18: 18W PD Wall Charger
    • Input: AC 100V-240V 50/60Hz
    • USB-C Output: (PD 3.0) DC 5V 3A, 9V 2A, 12V 1.5A
    • Output Max: 18W
    • Dimensions: 30 x 34 x 36mm and 43g
  • PA-B3: 65W PD Wall Charger
    • Input: AC 100V-240V 50/60Hz 1.5A
    • USB-C Outputs: (PD 3.0) DC 5V 3A, 9V 3A, 12V 3A, 15V 3A, 20V 3.25A
    • USB-A Output: DC 5V 2.4A
    • Output Max: 65W (single USB-C port). 45W/12W (for USB-C/USB-A ports when both in use)
    • Dimensions: 51 x 51 x 29mm and 102g
  • PA-B4: 65W PD Wall Charger
    • Input: AC 100V-240V 50/60Hz
    • USB-C Outputs: (PD 3.0) DC 5V 3A, 9V 3A, 12V 3A, 15V 3A, 20V 3.25A
    • Output Max: 65W (single USB-C port). 45W/20W (for USB-C(1)/USB-C(2) ports when both in use)
    • Dimensions: 51 x 51 x 29mm and 103g

Design and features

Aukey has employed two distinct industrial designs for these chargers. The 36, 30, and 65W chargers use more of a rounded rectangle shape with smooth radiuses on all corners making them very hand friendly. The 18W charger is more of a tiny little cube with one narrower dimension. Both designs employ flip-out wall plugs making them more compact when not in use.

The PD (USB-C) ports are highlighted orange (more so on 36/30W units) while more stealth on the small 18W charger.

Setup

You’re all pretty savvy when it comes to gadgets so I’m going skip the whole how to use a wall adapter description and focus on something you might not be aware of.

All cables are not created equal. To take advantage of the PD ports you’re going to need USB-C cables to whatever connector type your device requires. Additionally you’ll need to make sure that they’re rated for the speed you want to achieve.

Performance

This part is pretty straight forward. The wall chargers just work. They work as well as the cables you bring to the party.

The 18W charger is the simplest to understand as it only supplies a single USB-C out making it an ideal fast charger for your primary iPhone or iPad if that’s all you need.

It’s smaller than the iPad charger and while slightly bigger than the stock iPhone charger it’s a heck of a lot more powerful. Plug it in and charge away.

The 30W charger is cool in that it provides one USB-C and one USB-A. If you have an iPad Pro this is a great charger that can handle your phone and iPad at the same time. The 36W charger offers two USB-C ports. Again great for iPad Pro and iPhone if you’ve got a USB-C to Lightning cable.

The two 65W chargers actually showed up about 2 weeks after the first 3 chargers and I actually assumed they were duplicates at first. On closer look I realized they were 65W and used GaN technology. Gallium Nitride chargers don’t require as many components as silicon versions which lets them be designed quite a bit smaller, and smaller they are.

If you’re trying to lighten your EDC load, these 65W GaN versions can function as both a MacBook and iPad charger in a single unit. It works best with MacBooks that came with a 60W charger (97W shown below), but you may be willing to give up some speed to have one less, much smaller thing to carry around.

Even if you were to connect a 16″ MacBook and an iPad Pro at the same time you’re going to slow the drain if you’re actively using your MacBook.

I really only have one nitpick and that’s the difference in naming conventions. I get optimizing for search, but this is a little all over the place. The 36W charger for example…

  • On Aukey’s site – PA-D2 Focus Duo 36W Dual-Port PD Charger with Dynamic Detect
  • On Aukey’s packaging – 36W Wall Charger
  • On Amazon listingUSB C Charger AUKEY 36W Fast Charger USB C Wall Charger with Power Delivery 3.0 & Dynamic Detect, PD Charger for iPhone 11 Pro Max, Google Pixel 3 XL, MacBook, iPad Pro, Airpods Pro, and More

What I like

  • Small form factors (especially the GaN chargers)
  • Faster charging
  • Pretty affordable

What I’d change

  • Simplify and unify product names from Aukey’s site to dealer listings to packaging

Final thoughts

Dual port chargers are a great investment as you can carry less around with you and accomplish the same thing. With all the different versions that Aukey offers, it’s pretty easy to figure out the size you’ll need for the devices in your daily life. Pair that with discounts that Amazon frequently adds in there and it’s a hard deal to pass up.

Prices:

  • $27 – PA-D2: 36W Dual-USB-C PD
  • $23 – PA-D1: 30W Dual-Port PD
  • $15 – PA-Y18: 18W PD
  • $48 – PA-B3: 65W Dual-Port PD GaN
  • $60 – PA-B4: 65W Dual-USB-C PD GaN

Where to buy: Amazon PA-D2 PA-D1 PA-Y18 PA-B3 PA-B4
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Aukey

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