Check out these new-for-2023 USB-C chargers, cables, docks and gadgets
You may not be looking for Sony electric cars, pee analyzers, Neutrogena 3D printed nutritious gummies or other weird things that emerged at CES this year. But just about anyone can benefit from the USB-C Accessories of the electronics fair.
We’ve rounded up some of the most promising USB-C chargers, docks, batteries and other accessories at CES. Take a look if you want a single multiport charger to eliminate a clutter of separate device chargers; a USB-C hub for extending power from a single port on the side of a laptop; or if you want to prepare for the coming era of USB-C iPhones.
The new version of the USB-C data transfer and charging port takes over with its reversible oval connector that works on phones and PCs. The physical USB-C connector is a foundation for high-speed data transfer, up to 120 gigabits per second in the next version 2 of USB 4and for high power charging, up to 240 watts.
VisionTek offers a new line of USB-C chargers, including three dual-port models at 35W, 45W, and 65W. They are very compact thanks to the newer and more compact GaN (Gallium Nitride) power electronics that have swept the charger industry. I like the $50 65W model for its ability to charge both laptops and phones, and its slightly bulbous look is kinda cute. Power pins fold back into charger for travel.
EZQuest has provided solid value with their hubs, and I like this $60 model as a way to convert a single laptop port into something more versatile. The headline here for me is that it includes two USB-C ports for peripherals, a rarity in this price range, although they transfer data at just 5 Gbps, useful but somewhat spotty by modern USB standards. It also has two USB-A ports, a 4K HDMI port running at 60fps, and a gigabit Ethernet jack with unusual but useful status lights. It will transmit 100W from your external charger to your laptop. EZQuest also announced higher-end 8-in-1 and 10-in-1 models if you need other features like SD card slots or faster USB-C ports.
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I’ve always loved Plugable’s cables: they’re flexible, durable, and come with a label that clears up any confusion about what data transfer speeds and charging power levels they support. Many cheap USB-C cables intended for charging only have USB 2.x data transfer speeds of 480 Mbps, so you have to read the fine print. Plugable’s new $25.95 USB4-240W-1M not only supports the new USB 4 speeds of up to 40 Gbps, but is also the first cable I’ve seen that can handle massive 240 watts. It is 1 meter long and is as flexible as less powerful models. You can order now for shipments starting January 11. (For an additional $4, you can also upgrade to a similar cable certified for Thunderbolt 4.)
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Satechi 200W PD GaN 6 Port Charger
If you have a lot of devices, perhaps because you share a wall power outlet with multiple family members or co-workers, take a look at Satechi’s $150 200W GaN PD 6-Port Charger. I’ve seen six-port chargers that combine USB-C with old-school USB-A (I’m using one from Ugreen right now to charge my laptop, three phones, a tablet, and a smartwatch), but Satechi’s is all USB-C all the time. However, it will not be delivered before the second quarter of 2023.
Kensington’s $140 SD1700P docking station offers two 4K HDMI ports, two USB-A ports for your older devices, a top-mounted charger, an Ethernet jack, and a USB-C power port to transmit up to 100W from your charger to your laptop. I prefer docks with multiple USB-C ports, but these are expensive and not what everyone needs. Conveniently, you can loop its USB-C cable into an outlet so it’s more compact for transport.
This rounding up $70 charger is a good way to make the most of scarce power outlets while you travel. It has two USB-C charging ports and a single USB-A port that collectively deliver a healthy 65W for laptops and small devices. And it has an AC power outlet for everything you need to plug in (including anything you unplugged to make room for the charger). Even better, its 3-foot power cable retracts into the body of the power strip for transport. I love compact chargers, and a longer cable means I don’t have to sit so close to the power outlet to use and charge my devices.
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BioLite’s $400 SolarPanel 100 is actually four panels that produce up to 100W of power and fold up for storage or transport. The water-resistant design can charge devices directly with USB-C and USB-A ports or charge BioLite’s large BaseCharge batteries. A kickstand adjusts tilt and an integrated sundial helps you face the sun for better performance. Up to four can be linked together if you want to charge faster or have room for error on intermittent sunny days.
Hyper USB-C SSD Enclosure
This $120 portable SSD enclosure is a good way to dramatically increase the storage capacity of your laptop’s pathetic built-in SSD. External drives are one of those devices where you notice how fast your USB connection is, and for this model it’s a pretty fast 3,800 megabytes per second with a USB 4 connection. It will ship in Q2, a said Hyper. It can accommodate SSDs up to 8TB in capacity, but these are sold separately.
This $300 hub, which is slated to ship February 1, offers a useful suite of ports, starting with two 10Gbps USB-C ports for peripherals. It also has four old-school USB-A ports for your old gadgets, one Gigabit Ethernet, one HDMI 2.0, two DisplayPorts. It is a USB 4 device that can handle a 40Gbps connection to your laptop using the included 1 meter cable. It will transmit up to 100 watts of power to your laptop and 30 watts to both USB-C ports.
Scosche StrikeLine HH Lightning/USB-C Hammer Cable
This charging cable is ideal for situations where you may want to charge both USB-C devices and products with Apple Lightning ports such as iPhones, iPads, AirPods, and Apple keyboards and mice. Sure, you can use two cables, but you may not have enough ports or have as much tolerance for cable clutter – in your car, perhaps. This cable will retail for $30 and ship later this spring with a three-year warranty.
This $100 device combines a 10,000mAh battery with a 65W charger – a useful combination if you’re running to classes, business meetings or a conference when power outlets are only intermittently available. The battery capacity isn’t huge, but it’s about enough to usefully extend your laptop’s battery life or fully charge your phone twice.
Scosche BaseLynx 2.0 Modular Charging Station
This charging point is good for people who accept the fact that they have a huge pile of devices to charge. It’s a modular design that lets you assemble what you’ll need, including three USB-C ports, a MagSafe mount for iPhones and AirPods, an MFi mount for Apple Watch, and an AC power outlet. The BaseLynx 2.0 will be available this spring in Apple Stores. Its modules cost between $50 and $100 each, and the model shown here costs $250, including three power cables.
Technically, it’s not a CES device, but it just started shipping during the show and deserves some attention. The $49 OneAdaptr MacMate turns plugs into your laptop’s charger cable so you can also charge an accessory and drop your phone on its wireless charger. It’s convenient for traveling as long as it draws its juice from a sufficiently powerful charger.
This $75 slim design can deliver a total of 100W to two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports. It also has two AC outlets for other devices. Its five-foot power cord can be removed.
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The massive BioLite BaseCharge 1500 costs $1,699, but its 1,521 watt-hour lithium-ion battery can be appealing to campers, drone videographers working in the field, and anyone worried about power outages. (I’m looking at you Northern Californians soaked by the atmospheric river.) The battery is big enough to run a power drill for 57 minutes, according to the company. The battery offers three USB-C ports, one of which can also be used to charge the battery. It also has wireless charging on the top deck and three AC power outlets. (If you’re worried about power, it’s best to charge with a USB cable, since wireless charging is less efficient and converting DC power from a battery to AC and then back to DC with a device charger also wastes power.) There are other large batteries, but BioLite claims its battery is cheaper.
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