One of the challenges I have in packing for trips is remembering the chargers for all my devices. There’s the iPhone charger, one for my watch, and I often bring a small Bluetooth speaker. An iPad is frequently in the mix. If I need to keep track of the progress of a work project, then that means the power adapter for a 16-inch MacBook Pro as well. And then, many of the small country inns that we tend to stay at for long-weekend summer trips are short on electrical outlets. At places like these, remembering to pack a handful of chargers is one thing, but having a place to plug them all in is another.
Nomad has a great solution in its new 130W GaN power adapter, with three USB-C ports and flip-out prongs.
Why is GaN Significant?
Before getting into specifics, why is “GaN” in the name of this charger? Gallium Nitride (GaN) is a transistor material that offers superior power efficiency compared to the silicon transistors used in most chargers. That means a GaN charger generates less heat, it can charge at higher speeds, and it can be more compact.
GaN chargers come at a small price premium (the Nomad 130W GaN power adapter retails for $110), but they can be smaller, lighter, run cooler, and they can support high power loads – like this one’s 130W.
The Ports (and Power) to Charge and Run Multiple Devices, Even Laptops
The Nomad 130W GaN power adapter not only outputs up to 130W of power, but it has three USB-C ports.
Each of the three ports can deliver up to 100W of power on their own. My 16-inch MacBook Pro is an older version that has a 96W charger, but you can also use this with the latest model, despite its shipping with a 140W Apple charger. You won’t be able to fast-charge that one, but you’ll certainly be able to keep any MBP running. In fact, this charger can power most laptops that charge via USB-C, including Windows laptops and Chromebooks.
When using two or more ports, things get a little more interesting, depending on your configuration:
- two bottom ports only, 65W each
- top port (with a blue lining) 100W, plus one other port at 30W
- top port 70W, plus two ports at 30W each
Whatever combination of ports you are using, the maximum combined output is 130W.
What About Cables?
With this power adapter, you have one spot to plug in multiple devices. That makes it especially handy for travel. But in that case, you still need to remember the cables for your devices. It’s worth noting that Nomad also offers a universal rugged cable. Sheathed in Kevlar and available in three lengths, this cable supports 100W USB-C charging and can connect to USB-C, USB Type-A and Micro USB ports.
Nomad 130W GaN Power Adapter Recommendation
Nomad’s most powerful adapter to date would be a great choice for home use. However, I like the idea of using it as a travel hub. I already have my laptop connected to the power adapter Apple included in the box – let it stay plugged in underneath my desk. And I have chargers set up in my home office and bedroom for my iPhone and other devices. Why bother unplugging those for a road trip?
Throwing the Nomad charger in a bag makes packing easier, lighter, and still provides the power for all my devices – even my MacBook Pro. All I need is a single electrical outlet and any three can be charged or powered at the same time. The only issue it doesn’t solve is remembering to bring the cables. However, keep one of those Nomad universal cables in the bag, and you are covered for virtually any device (older iPads and iPhones up to the 14 series, you’ll still need to stash a Lightning cable).
Disclosure: Nomad provided a power adapter for evaluation purposes but had no input into this review.
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