Review: Ugreen’s 100W 4-port charger is small and practical, courtesy of GaN tech

We’ve tested Ugreen’s 100W charger. Versatille and compact, it can charge four devices at once via its three USB-C ports and a single USB-A one for legacy devices.

A male hand holding Ugreen's 100-watt Nexus power adapter, showing a Ugreen logo with the tagline "GaN X100-Faster and Safer" printed on the back of the casing
The US version is more compact and has folding plugs | Image: Christian Zibreg / iDB

Today we’re showcasing Ugreen’s tiny charger rated with a total power output of one hundred watts, which is part of the Ugreen Nexode series of GaN power adapters. GaN stands for Gallium Nitride, a transparent crystalline material used as an alternative to silicon. GaN semiconductors allow for higher voltages with less energy wasted, making them perfectly suitable for power adapters.

Whoa, this thing is compact!

Much smaller than old power adapters, GaN chargers easily fit in the palm of your hand. Due to a single GaN component instead of multiple silicon parts, they also dissipate much less heat in everyday usage. This makes GaN charges more reliable and power efficient. Some of the bands that offer GaN-based power adapters include Anker, Zendure and RAVPower. Apple also offers GaN chargers, such as its recently-launched dual-port 35W power adapter.

Ugreen sent me a 100W review sample from its Nexode family of USB-C chargers. They come in four flavors: 65W, 100W, 140W and 200W (the 65W edition is half the size of the 100W charger that I’ve tested). Ugreen says it’s the most compatible 65W charger on the market compared to Anker, Baseus, Satechi and Belkin. It’s also just a little smaller than Apple’s 67W GaN charger that ships with the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Three USB-C ports, one legacy USB-A

A male hand holding Ugreen's 100-watt Nexus power adapter, showcasing the charger's three USB-C ports and one USB-A port on the rear
USB-C3 and USB-A are 22.5W each | Image: Christian Zibreg / iDB

I use multiple devices daily and my power needs are greater than 65 watts, so Ugreen sent me a 100-watt version for testing. A Reddot Winner 2022, it looks slick and feels great in my hand. I liked its glass-like surfaces and appreciated four ports out the back: Three times USB-C and a single USB-A port to charge older devices.

The USB-C ports support the USB Power Delivery 3.1 protocol, making them perfect for fast charging. The first two USB-C ports are capable of providing up to 100 watts each (but not simultaneously, more on that later). The third one is up to 22.5 watts (perfect for fast-charging your smartphone). The lone USB-A port also offers up to 22.5 watts of power and is rated at five volts and 2.1 amperes.

I was able to take my iPhone 12 Pro Max from dead to fifty percent in less than thirty minutes with it. Ugreen says you can fully charge a 16-inch MacBook Pro in 1.5 hours with this thing. I don’t own a 16-inch MacBook Pro so I couldn’t test those claims but I can confess it charges my 15-inch Intel MacBook Pro (2018) just as fast as Apple’s included 87W power adapter.

I’ve been using this cool accessory to juice up my notebook (USB-C1), tablet (USB-C2), phone (USB-C3) and watch (USB-A). Connecting another power-hungry device like an iPad may cause charging speed to drop on one of the other ports due to power distribution. Now, power sharing between ports is a fact of life in the GaN world. The Nexode, like all chargers, distributes power depending on what’s connected into each port. Total power output across all four ports cannot exceed 100 watts. Again, this isn’t some Ugreen-exclusive oddity: All power adapters work this way, including Apple’s own.

Power sharing is the name of the game

A chart illustrating power distribution across the four ports on Ugreen's 100-watt Nexus charger
Total power output is divvied up across ports | Chart: Ugreen

A multi-port charger rated at 100 watts doesn’t mean you’re getting 100 watts per each port. Instead, total power output is distributed across all ports. In my case, power is shared in accordance with Ugreen’s power distribution chart (seen above).

Therefore, if you’re charging your MacBook Pro and iPad and the tablet charges slower than expected, or changes intermittently, consult Ugreen’s illustration to check if something might be plugged into the wrong port. As a general rule, you want to start with your highest-powered device plugged into the first USB-C port. Good to know: Connecting each new device prompts the charger to redistribute power across the ports.

Your next charger should be of a GaN variety

A male hand holding Ugreen's Nexus power adapter, with the charger's front showing "100W" printed on the casing
Ugreen offers 65W, 100W, 140W and 200W GaN chargers | Image: Christian Zibreg / iDB

We all roam between multiple devices several times per day. And we all charge them at least once per day. In that regard, a single-port charger will only get you so far. The answer is a multi-port charger that is compact enough to slip into your jeans pocket or purse easily, plus strong enough for charging multiple devices at once.

Thanks to the USB-C Power Delivery protocol, the charger and the devices connected to it negotiate their power requirements to optimized charging and protect those batteries. And with over-temperature protection, the Nexode takes five temperature readings every second for extra security. I was very happy with how the 100W version performed. In my two-month testing, it proved more reliable than Chargeasap’s own 100W charger which was among the first GaN devices on the market.

GaN technology has since evolved so I’d be happy to recommend this Nexode charger to anyone looking for a practical power adapter to keep their gear juiced up. It’s quite possibly one of the best USB-C Power Delivery chargers for 2022. I was particularly impressed with its build quality, design, efficiency and reliable performance.

Ugreen is producing these chargers in partnership with Navitas, which is a leading GaN chip producer. The manufacture of GaN chips produces a 10x smaller CO2 footprint than silicon-based solutions so there’s that, too.

Pricing and availability

The 65W, 100W and 200W Nexode chargers are available to purchase on Amazon:

As for a 140W version, Ugreen says it will be released in September. I’ve reviewed the UK version, but its US counterpart sports even more portable design due to foldable plugs and a more rounded appearance. Founded in 2012, Ugreen quickly built a name for itself as a producer of fine consumer electronics and accessories. The Chinese company is ranked second in the Mobile Phone Chargers category on Amazon.