Your technology can be the most cutting edge in the world, but that won’t matter if it runs out of power. As USB-C becomes the standard for charging both phones and laptops, it’s important to grab yourself a futureproof charger that can charge either one quickly.

AUKEY 27W USB-C Charger

Laptop league charger

$ 22 at Amazon

Pros

  • Wider range of Power Deliver outputs to quickly charge a variety of different devices
  • Compact and travel-ready

Cons

  • No USB-C cable included
  • Cable sticking straight out makes charger harder to use in tight spaces

This nifty little brick is sturdy enough to just throw in your purse or backpack and quick enough to still give your laptop or phone a quick charge-up throughout the day. This charger may not be quite as powerful as Google’s Pixelbook charger, but it’s a third of the price and can recharge a laptop in length of a movie.

AUKEY 18W USB-C Charger

Perfect for phones

$ 20 at Amazon

Pros

  • Quickly charge up your phone or peripherals
  • Folding AC plug makes to easier packing

Cons

  • Not as many output levels, especially not as many 3A charging outputs
  • Slower charge for laptops and larger tablets

This charger is the same size as the 27W charger, which makes it nice and pocketable. It’s not as powerful, but it’s more than adequate to quickly charge a phone during a lunch date or an afternoon class.

Putting a price on your charging time

I’m going to be as blunt here as I can: these chargers are the same dimensions, same sturdy plastic construction, same rotating AC plug on the back corner, and a single USB-C port smack dab in the middle of the front. If you’re not looking at the tiny little grey text on the bottom, the only way you could tell them apart by looking at them is to look at the color of the USB-C port: the 27W charger’s USB-C port is green while the 18W charger’s USB-C port is black.

AUKEY 27W PD 3.0 USB-C Charger AUKEY 18W PD 3.0 USB-C Charger
Total Power Output 27W 18W
Power Delivery Output 5V — 3A, 9V — 3A, 12V — 2.25A, 15V — 1.8A, 20V — 1.35A 5V — 3A, 9V — 2A
Compatibility notes Apple USB-C to Lightning cable needed for fast charging iPhones; iPad Pro must be powered on for fast charge Apple USB-C to Lightning cable needed for fast charging iPhones; Does not charge Nintendo Switch at full speed

Total output isn’t the end-all, be-all of chargers, but the biggest things to take away from the differences between these two chargers are that the highest voltage the 18W charger can charge at is 9 volts — enough to fast charge a phone or maybe a power bank — while the 27W charger can reach voltages of 15 and 20 volts to more quickly charge laptops and tablets. The 18W charger specifically states that it cannot charge a Nintendo Switch at “full speed”, but it would still be faster than your standard USB 2.0/3.0 charger (Power Delivery 3.0 is USB 3.1 — yeah, they really live to make this as confusing as possible, don’t they?).

If you just need a charger to quickly top off your phone between a long day at work and a longer night on the town, the 18W charger would get you by, but the 27W charger can charge a wider array of devices and is only $ 2 more, so skip that pumpkin spice latte and get the more powerful, more futureproof one.

AUKEY 27W USB-C Charger

Laptop league charger

$ 22 at Amazon

Whatever needs power, this compact charger is ready

Whether you need to charge a Pixelbook, Nintendo Switch, high-capacity power banks, or just your trusty Android phone, AUKEY’s single-port USB-C charger should keep them all topped off without breaking the bank or chaining you to an electrical outlet. Spend an extra $ 2 and get a faster, more adaptable charger without any extra bulk.

AUKEY 18W USB-C Charger

Perfect for phones

If you just need to charge a phone or power bank

$ 20 at Amazon

It’s not as powerful as its 27W doppelganger, but this charger is more than enough to get your phone charged up and get you on your way. If you don’t need quite as quick of a quick charge, such as an overnight charger at your nightstand, this charger could fit your needs.

« »