Desktop chargers are a lifesaver. In a time where electronic devices are widespread but outlets are not, charging a few devices with their original chargers means taking up a bunch of outlets, which are often in short supply. Desktop chargers with a multitude of USB ports are a great way to solve that problem.
Ports: 4 standard USB, 1 Type-C with Quick Charge 3.0
What’s in the box: Desktop charger, 3.3′ USB Type-C cable
Where to buy: AUKEY, Amazon
The AUKEY 5-port desktop charger allows you to charge four regular devices and one USB Type-C device at the same time. Four of the ports are rated at 2.4 amps, so they can charge regular devices and tablets at the proper speed. The USB Type-C port, however, supports Quick Charge 3.0 for topping your device up much faster.
The charge rate for the four standard USB ports are about what you’d expect from a regular charger. They’re great for charging devices when you aren’t using them, but they’re no good in a pinch. This is where Qualcomm’s Quick Charge comes in, allowing you to fill up a significant amount of battery at once. The single USB Type-C port can do this for any new device featuring this port, like the Nexus phones, the HTC 10, and the LG G5.
However, not everyone wants Quick Charging all the time. I don’t use my Turbo Charger to charge my Moto X overnight, nor do I use the Tronsmart 5-port Quick Charge desktop charger. Whether quick charging your phone’s battery affects it significantly in the span of two years is unknown, but in theory, charging a lithium ion battery should degrade it faster. If you have all night to charge it, a slower charge might be preferable to the paranoid (like me). I look forward to the arguments down in the comments. Either way, having non-Quick Charge ports is a positive.
There’s a lot to like about this AUKEY charger’s design. It’s built well and it’s very compact. It can fit on even a cluttered desk, while some larger chargers I’ve seen take up too much space for my liking. The charger also doesn’t have any annoyingly bright LEDs, nor does it have a power switch to shut it off. It’s as simple as it gets, just plug it in and start charging.
There is an important thing to note though. The charger does not follow USB spec. USB Type-C ports aren’t supposed to have Quick Charge according to spec, and Aukey’s addition of this violates USB spec. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing realistically, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
The charger comes with a USB Type-C cable, which is a nice touch. The technology is young, so Type-C cables are not abundant just yet. Chances are, if you’re buying this for the Type C port, you could use an extra cable.
At the somewhat steep price of $43 as of writing this review, AUKEY’s charger on the expensive side, especially considering it only has one USB Type-C port. But it’s a great desktop charger and a great travel companion, able to turn a single outlet into five USB ports on the go. It’s also easy to bring with you thanks to its compact size. I really like this charger a lot and use it quite often, but the higher price might turn some off.