Tiny gallium nitride laptop chargers are upon us

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/02/tiny-laptop-charger.html


Doesn’t help me with my old CF-52 (for which I again need a new battery, for glob’s sake).

Otherwise, well. Neat. Not something I like in my food, or anywhere near my respiratory system, but neat. (ETA: shouldn’t text while testdriving. Was thinking about gallium arsenide. Same-same, but different.)

Your laptop charger has 4 cables? No wonder you hate it!

“Didn’t recommend it” ? Are wirecutter recommendations bad?

The actual review is positive, but they don’t recommend it because it’s expensive. If that’s not an issue for you, you might still buy it but you can’t say they recommended it.


I’m being cheeky. Wirecutter’s great, but its exhaustive approach requires editors try on every possible consumer hat while reviewing things and finally make an arbitrary choice about what one to wear. So you get a lot of counterintuitive “this is the best, but you shouldn’t buy it” talk.

It’s nowhere near as bad as political “fact check” columns, though. Fact Checker columns are often the most informative on any given issue, but there’s a commercial pressure for them to find fault, which results in the conspicious appearance of unearned authority. This has already created an emergent political benefit to being found at fault by undisciplined and opinionated fact-checkers.


Four watts short of the power needed to replace my T480’s brick.



I think it is worth it. Look at what we spend getting thin/light laptops only to carry around huge power bricks. I have to say, I would drop the cash on this as far as $/oz goes for lugging things about it seems justified if you can also justify a MBP.

One of the interesting things about modern processors is the range of power they can draw. My MBP can last aprox. 1 hour or 10 hours, depending on how hard I use the processor. So, for travel, I can get away with a smaller supply if I know I’m not going to do more intensive stuff.

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I recently bought a ravpower charger (not as tiny as this one) for the office, and I’m quite happy with it. Having a charger in the office and one at home means that I don’t have to carry any charger at all most of the time, so size is less important.

One way they get around not having a cable coming out of both ends is to not come with the required cable; you need to buy a separate USB C cable, which can get expensive if you care about the possibility of burning down your laptop.

For my MBP 15" an important consideration is that the 87 Watt power supply is made not only to supply the computer’s internal power needs but also power to external USB devices. If I’m not powering devices off the computer I don’t actually need more than around 60 Watts to maintain parity even under full load. That gives me more options in terms of USB C power supplies since few 3d party ones are over 60 Watts.

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no help with 100w MBPro 15" supplies?

This might help:

(He doesn’t say how hot the aftermarket charger was at the end.)

I’ve charged my 15" with the tiny 40w charger that came with my wife 12"MacBook. It works, but it’s slow.

The 60w charger he uses doesn’t seem much slower than the 87w charger.

I have a houseful of 90 watt old-style (barrel-tip non-PD) ThinkPad chargers, but I don’t think there’s any way to convert these to the new format because of the “intelligence” built into the new design.

probably not allowed on planes with gallium nitride inside, at least i hope not.

Why is that?

I don’t know what any of this means, but if I buy one, will it help me get lucky?


Bulk GaN is non-toxic and biocompatible.[44]Therefore, it may be used in the electrodes and electronics of implants in living organisms.

It’s in pretty much every blue/violet LED, too?