RAVPower 45W USB-C PD GaN Charger
Photo: Shep McAllister

Gallium nitride, or GaN for short, has been a cutting edge replacement for silicon in experimental semiconductors for years now, but 2019 looks like it’ll be the year when we finally start seeing it used in everyday devices, and RAVPower is first out of the gate with its new 45W USB-C wall charger.

From left to right: Apple 30W USB-C charger, RAVPower 45W USB-C charger, Apple 61W USB-C charger
Photo: Shep McAllister

By using GaN components, which are more efficient and generate less waste heat than silicon, companies can make powerful chargers that take advantage of high USB-C Power Delivery wattages, but in much smaller packages than we’ve seen before. I wouldn’t call RAVPower’s new 45W charger oh my god tiny, but it is extremely thin and light. Lighter, even, than the less-powerful 30W charger that Apple ships with its 12" MacBook. Its footprint may be a little larger, but at only about half an inch thick, it can easily slip into your pocket when the prongs are folded up.

From left to right: Apple 30W USB-C charger, RAVPower 45W USB-C charger, Apple 61W USB-C charger
Photo: Shep McAllister

RAVPower’s decision to put the USB-C port on the bottom, rather than the front, was also ingenious, and should be copied by everyone. Requiring basically no wall clearance, this is the perfect charger to keep behind your couch. Side note: If you own USB-C laptops or a Nintendo Switch, your 2019 resolution should be to set up a permanent couch charging cord. It’s a life changer.

Anker’s upcoming 27W PowerPort Atom
Graphic: Anker

Back in early November, Anker also announced its own line of GaN chargers, highlighted by a 27W brick with roughly the same dimensions of Apple’s 5W iPhone charger. We’ll definitely be sharing our impressions of that when it launches early next year, along with what’s sure to big a slew of other space-saving new GaN gadgets.