Advertisement

This robot GaN charger is my new favorite travel gadget

 Ugreen Nexode RG 65W.
Ugreen Nexode RG 65W.

I own a lot of electronics that constantly need recharging. This is especially true when I’m on the road covering events like CES 2024. Keeping everything charged means contending with a bunch of cables. I used to carry or use various power plugs for each device, but GaN chargers with multiple ports have eliminated that issue. As I previously wrote, GaN chargers have been a game-changer. Now, I’ve found my absolute favorite GaN charger that’s both functional and fun.

Ugreen offers a range of USB-C GaN chargers and USB-C hubs … some of which I use daily. However, none are as delightful (and I dare say, cute) as the Ugreen Nexode RG 65W USB-C charger.

This charger’s most distinctive feature is an LED display that shows a Tamagotchi-like face. Is this feature necessary? Not at all, but it gives this otherwise standard wall charger a distinctive appearance. On top of that, it's excellent for powering devices like the best phones, best tablets, and sometimes even the best laptops.

GaN chargers explained

Ugreen GaN charger
Ugreen GaN charger

I want to quickly go over what GaN chargers are and how they differ from traditional chargers you’ve used in the past.

GaN chargers use gallium nitride, which is a semiconductor that runs cooler than standard charger components like silicon. Since they’re efficient at conducting electricity, you can squeeze more power from a smaller charger. GaN chargers can pack many ports near one another, and distribute power to each port more efficiently.

Ugreen Nexode RG 65W USB-C GaN charger: $49 @ Amazon
The Ugreen Nexode RG 65W USB-C GaN charger proves chargers don't have to be boring bricks. This little charger is both cute and practical, capable of delivering up to 65W of power to a device you want to charge. You can use one of the power ports or all three simultaneously. Whether at home or on the road, the Ugreen Nexode RG 65W charger is a great companion.View Deal

They also generate less heat because their energy loss is lower. This also contributes to GaN chargers’ relatively smaller size — they don’t need big heatsinks like those typically found in silicon chargers. In short, GaN chargers are smaller than standard silicon chargers but are capable of distributing more power to more devices while generating less heat.

Ugreen Nexode RG 65W: Charging

Ugreen Nexode RG 65W
Ugreen Nexode RG 65W

The Ugreen RG 65W has a pair of USB-C ports and a lone USB-A port. The top USB-C port tops out at 65W while the second USB-C port can deliver 30W. As for the USB-A port, it can pump out 22.5W. Those values are when those ports are used separately. The image above shows what you can expect when using specific ports. Obviously, the more ports you’re using, the slower that individual devices will charge. But even if charging takes longer, being able to charge three devices at once is super handy.

Ugreen Nexode RG USB-C charger bundle: was $101 now $81 @ Amazon
If one charger isn't enough, Amazon offers the Ugreen Nexode RG USB-C charger bundle. You not only get the Nexode RG 65W but also its smaller 30W variant. This only has a lone USB-C port, but its ideal for powering phones and e-readers. There's also a "female" version of the RG 30W which comes in purple and has a bow on the back.View Deal

This GaN charger is as efficient as it is adorable. I tested the charger on three products: an iPhone 13 Pro, an iPad Pro M2 and a MacBook Pro 16-inch (M1 Max). It’s best to use at least a 100W charger for the latter (140W is best), but I wanted to see if you could get away with using Ugreen’s 65W to charge a MacBook Pro in a pinch.

Ugreen says the RG 65W can charge an iPhone to 60% in 30 minutes. Using the 30W USB-C port, I charged my iPhone 13 Pro from 32% to 80% in 30 minutes. That’s not the 60% Ugreen advertised, but a 48% charge in 30 minutes isn’t bad at all. The more power-hungry iPad Pro M2 went from 55% to 77% when I used the 65W port. A 22% jump on the iPad compared to 48% on the iPhone isn’t as impressive, but still great regardless.

Ugreen Nexode RG 65W
Ugreen Nexode RG 65W

Ugreen claims you can charge a MacBook Air M2 70% in an hour. Since I didn’t have a MacBook Air available — and because I wanted to perform an extreme test — I used a MacBook Pro 16-inch. To my surprise (and delight), the laptop went from 77% to 95% charge in 30 minutes. The laptop was closed during this time, so it’s possible it wouldn’t receive this much charge if I was using it. Still, this is pretty impressive. It’s possible to completely charge a laptop with the RG 65W if you (for example) have it charging overnight.

RG 65W: Other features

Ugreen Nexode RG 65W
Ugreen Nexode RG 65W

You might think the face on the LED screen is just there to earn cuteness points. While that’s not entirely wrong, the robot’s expressions display real-time charging status. When the RG 65W is plugged into a power outlet but isn’t charging anything, its eyes remain flat. Upward-facing eyes and curled lips mean a device is charging. Eyes facing upward and no lips mean your electronic is fully charged. And when the charger isn’t plugged into a wall socket, the LED display shuts off after a few seconds.

Ugreen Nexode RG 65W
Ugreen Nexode RG 65W

Another feature I like is the plastic feet used to cover the charger’s plugs. Not only do they protect the plugs (and make adorable feet), but they also magnetically attach to metal surfaces. This is a great feature considering how easy it would be to misplace or lose the feet.

Ugreen Nexode RG 65W
Ugreen Nexode RG 65W

Ugreen’s advertising shows the feet attached to the top side of a laptop’s lid. I tried this on the aforementioned MacBook Pro and found that it works well enough, though the magnetic connection is weaker or non-existent around the lid’s top center. So long as you snap the feet to the far right or left of a laptop’s lid, they’ll remain firmly attached.

My new favorite travel gadget

Ugreen Nexode RG 65W
Ugreen Nexode RG 65W

The Ugreen Nexode 65W GaN charger is small and light, can quickly charge a variety of devices and is just plain cool. This 65W charger is perfect for me, but the company also offers the RG 30W which has a single USB-C port. There's also a "girl" version of the latter that has a bow on its back and comes in purple. Whichever you decide to get, you'll have one of the most charming chargers available.

More from Tom's Guide