One of the most interesting new technologies we experienced at CES this year was in the form of GaN chargers. That is because, not only is the technology fascinating, it makes for some incredibly practical products. Using this technology, for example, manufacturers can produce laptop chargers that are less than a quarter of the size of a traditional power brick. The new chargers are so small, in fact, that we can't even call them a brick anymore. Some of them are as small as a 2-outlet phone charger. For those who travel a lot, or really for anyone who brings a laptop with them, these chargers will make the experience better.
However, it is not just portable chargers where the technology could shine in the future. We've all seen power products, whether it be wall outlets, surge protectors, or even power towers, that include USB charging ports. These are only powerful enough to be able to charge small devices like phones and tablets if you're lucky. They simply cannot produce enough power to charge something bigger, like a laptop. However, with this now miniaturized charging technology, we could potentially see the chargers built into these types of power products. Imagine checking into a hotel room and, on the desk, there is a USB-C outlet ready to power your laptop. Beautiful.
As these new chargers are released, Avram has been putting them to the test with his handy new load tester, Using this device, he can see exactly how much power the chargers are able to produce. If the company says it's a 65-watt charger, are you actually getting that amount of power, or does it fall short? Or, more interestingly, does it over-deliver? It's always exciting to get more than you thought you were paying for. The round-up for GaN chargers will be available soon on Tom's Hardware.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.