Today we continue our Black Friday deals coverage with a promotion from Aukey. The brand is discounting a wide variety of its products on Amazon, saving you up to 40% on USB-C chargers and cables, mechanical keyboards, headphones and more. As always we've rounded up our favorite deals below.
There was many a tear shed for the removal of MagSafe on the latest MacBooks and MacBook Pros. For good reason too! It was a great way to protect your Mac. The replacement, USB-C, has its own benefits too though.
The biggest being that it opens up the possibility for any other manufacturer to produce chargers for your MacBook. You can also pick up a battery pack to charge your laptop on the go. For anyone who travels, being able to use a large, hulking battery pack to power up your laptop is huge.
I love the new MacBook Pro, and while I've converted most of my gear to USB-C, there are still times when a hub is necessary. No more than when I am on the go and someone throws me a hard drive or camera to connect, and I'm left with no appropriate ports. Even worse, when I need to connect an HDMI cable. The Aukey USB-C hub is an affordable, simple tool to keep in your gear bag for these situations.
Alongside wireless charging, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X support a new feature Apple has dubbed fast charge. Apple states that you can achieve 50% battery with just 30 minutes of charge time.
Wireless charging is a convenient way to charge, but the speed is exceptionally slow. Wirelessly, you can charge with 5W (soon to be upgraded to 7.5W later this year). That is the same as Apple's slowest USB power adapter. If you are looking for a quicker way to fuel up, fast charge is your best option. Of course, it isn't nearly that simple and you must use a compatible cable and power adapter to make it happen.
We went hands-on with several of the best power adapters to fast charge iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
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To use fast charging on your iPhone 8 or iPhone X, you need two components. A Lightning to USB-C cable, and a USB-C wall charger.Lightning cable
When it comes to the Lightning cable, you really only have one option: Apple. Currently, Apple does not certify any third-party manufacturers to produce USB-C Lightning cables.
The reason you need a USB-C Lightning cable is because the standard USB-A Lightning cables that come with your phone, only support USB 2.0, which is limited in charging speed. The USB-C variant supports USB 3, which can charge at faster rates.Wall chargers
We took a look at a myriad of options for wall chargers that will support fast charge, including Apple's power adapters. We will break them down one-by-one, then provide a summary at the end on how they performed, as well as our recommendations.
Apple 5W charger
Apple includes a 5W charger in the box with every iPhone. Annoyingly, this is one of the slowest for your device. We still included it in our test, but it obviously was the worst performer.
Apple 12W charger
This is the charger that is included with several iPads. It is quite a bit faster when charging your phone, and something many have taken advantage of for years. While it is great for older phones, it still isn't the fastest option available for Apple's latest devices.
Apple 29W charger
If you have a 12" MacBook, you will have one of these lying around. This is Apple's smallest USB-C power adapter, and a great option for charging up your phone with fast charge. The biggest downside, is the price of Apple's adapters are quite hefty, and we've found several third-party options that charge nearly as quick for almost half the cost.
If you don't have a MacBook, and want to pick one of these up, they are on Amazon for $47.93.
Other Apple chargers
Apple has larger USB-C charging adapters as well. For instance, the 61W and 87W chargers included with the MacBook Pros. It is entirely safe to use these high powered chargers with your iPhone, as they will limit themselves to only what the iPhone can handle. The iPhone 8 and X can't handle nearly that amount, so using any of these adapters will yield pretty much the same charge times as the 29W power adapter.
Anker 30W charger
This Anker charger is a great solution for fast charging, and comes in at nearly half the price of Apple's.
There are two minor downsides to the Anker charger, which is the lack of extension cord support like Apple's, and the status LED that is unnecessarily added to the front.
Size wise, it is pretty much the exact same size as Apple's 29W adapter, if not a tad larger.
You can find this 30W Anker charger for just above $21 on Amazon.
Aukey Amp Duo
The Aukey Amp Duo is another really handy one because it not only is a USB-C charger, but has an adapter with two USB-A ports as well. You can't utilize them all at once, but you can use either the USB-C port for fast charging, or the two USB-A ports for other devices.
This is a great option because not only does it have the added convenience, but it comes in with a very low price of $22.99 over on Amazon.
Lumsing is another attractive offering. It can provide up to 48W of power between its USB-A and USB-C ports. Both ports can be used simultaneously, and even comes in cheaper than the Aukey solution.
Because of the additional power, this is also a great option for a MacBook charger as well.
It's currently listed on Amazon for $21.99.
The last option we looked at is the 36W dual charger from RAVPower. It is also the cheapest on the list by just a hair. We were very impressed with the Qi charging pad and USB-C battery pack from RAVPower, and we were just as happy with their power adapter as well.
Like Lumsing, it has both USB-A and USB-C ports to accommodate different types of chargers at the same time. The downside is that it is a bit less power than the very similar Lumsing model.
You can currently find the RAVPower adapter on Amazon for $20.99.Performance
We performed a test with several of the included power adapters, to see how they stood up to one another, and Apple's options.
For this test, I would drain the iPhone 8 Plus, then start a timer for 30 minutes. At the end of the 30 minutes, I would take note of the battery percentage that was gained. I tested 3 of Apple's power adapters, as well as a few additional chargers.
The first thing to note, the 5W charger is useless. After a full 30 minutes, barely 25% of the battery was regained. This is pretty terrible considering your other options.
Apple's 29W charger performed best, though not by much. In fact, there was only slight deviation in all of the chargers when they were tested. This helps verify Apple's claimed of 50% capacity in 30 minutes, and that you don't need to splurge on Apple's first-party adapters. The third-party ones performed almost nearly as well, with more features, and often half the cost.Wrapping up
When it comes to picking a favorite, it's hard to say. If you are going purely for the lowest cost that can act as a fast charger, RAVPower is probably your best bet. But if you are looking for some additional functionality out of it, the Aukey Duo is a solid choice.
Regardless, all performed well and you can't go wrong choosing any of them.
Let us know which is your favorite, or any others you've found down below in the comments.
MacBook battery packs are a thing now. Since the adoption of USB-C, it has allowed third-party manufacturers to create portable batteries for MacBook and MacBook Pro. There are a few big players on the market, most recently Mophie. Aukey has also released an upgraded version of their massive 30,000mAh battery, so we went hands on to test it out.
I know a lot of people who take their iPhone photography seriously, and a number of them use the stock iPhone camera in all of its glory, while a select few use hardware lens attachments that can enhance the capabilities of their iPhone cameras beyond what software can.
In this review, we’ll show you a very affordable, yet high-quality 2-in-1 lens attachment option from Aukey called the Ora, which lets you experience both detailed macro shots and incredible wide angle shots.
There are a ton of battery packs out there, and we just showed you a couple of very stout options from Anker last month, but for those who need even more juice, Aukey has a versatile 30,000 mAh battery pack with handy unique features.
Because I was personally impressed with the build quality and features this battery pack had to offer, I’m excited to show you everything it can do.