You’d never realise it, but one of the more intriguing developments at CES was a charger for your phone and computer. And it’s finally here.
There’s a new charging technology in town, and it’s faster than your regular charger. Built for phones, tablets, cameras, and computers — pretty much anything that charges from a USB cable, Type C or Type A — it’s a technology we saw earlier in the year at CES which is now just beginning to grace our shores.
It’s called “Gallium Nitride”, but you’ll likely just see it referred to as “GaN”, and it’s a different type of material used for building the power packs your devices rely on, different not just because of the material, but also how the material deals with heat. Simply put, GaN devices don’t get as hot as silicon, and so when used in gadgets known to get hot like a power adapter, Gallium Nitride gadgets have a bit of an upper hand, as they don’t overheat.
Not overheating is good news, because it means the hardware inside the charger can run at a higher wattage amount in what will be a smaller size, as the components can be pushed together more easily. The result is a smaller charger, and means that if you’re looking to charge a few gadgets such as a laptop or phone, you can do so in a package that runs smaller overall.
At least one of those two is ready with something for locals, as Belkin announces local availability of the new wave of chargers, bringing Gallium Nitride to the fore down under.
The first two launching in Australia are a 30W and a 68W, both of which should be able to handle a laptop, though of varying sizes. Both will handle the iPad generation, including the new iPad Air, though smaller laptops will likely deal with the 30W, while larger laptops the 68W, with the large amount of power also capable of charging a phone relatively quickly if it supports a fast charge technology.
Belkin’s GaN chargers include overcurrent and overvoltage protection, so connected gadgets and the charger are protected from electrical issues, while the technology is much smaller than previous power adaptors.
For instance, the small Belkin GaN Boost charge 30W offers a USB Type C charger not far from a small phone block that can charge a MacBook Air to halfway in a little over an hour, while the larger dual Type C 68W GaN Boost Charge can give 60W of power to a laptop and handle a phone with the other.
Locally, the Belkin GaN Boost Charge units start at $64.95 for the 30W model and $89.95 for the 68W, and they may just be the first, with more GaN charge packs expected from other brands in the coming months.