Review

Nomad 65W GaN charger review: More power in your socket

4.0
article thumbnail

AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.

Nomad continues to roll out new GaN chargers, with the most recent addition a dual-USB-C output 65W power adapter.

An emphasis on GaN

GaN chargers are finally becoming more mainstream with multiple accessory makers debuting chargers with this technology. Anker, Belkin, and even Apple have introduced GaN chargers in the past couple of years.

At the moment, Nomad has two chargers on the market. A 20W USB-C plug — based on silicon — and a 30W plug — based on GaN. The 30W GaN is the same size as the 20W silicon charger.

Nomad 65W versus Apple's 20W
Nomad 65W versus Apple's 20W

As a size comparison, you can see in the image above how Apple's 20W charger is just a bit smaller than Nomad's 65W model. Apple doesn't use GaN in the 20W charger, leading to its sizeable footprint.

The prongs fold flat on Nomad's new charger
The prongs fold flat on Nomad's new charger

Apple's charger also lacks the collapsing prongs. Nomad's charger has prongs that fold into itself, making it perfect for travel, rather than sticking out perpetually.

Upping the output

Available now, Nomad is adding a new GaN charger to its lineup. They're releasing a 65W charger with two USB-C outputs.

If you use either port on its own, it will output 65W of power. That's enough juice to quickly charge an M1 MacBook Pro. Apple ships a 61W charger with that Mac and it's larger than Nomad's new 65W GaN model.

Nomad's new charger has dual USB-C outputs
Nomad's new charger has dual USB-C outputs

When you use both ports at the same time, the top port will max out at 45W and the lower port will be limited to 20W.

That 45W charger is enough for a MacBook Pro and is more than what's necessary for a 13-inch MacBook Air. Apple only ships a 30W charger with the MacBook Air.

Nomad wants to replace your chargers

USB-C PD chargers with multiple outputs are absurdly useful in today's world of accessories. USB-C is becoming more ubiquitous and is fast. This single charger can power anything from a larger MacBook Pro to the wrist-worn Apple Watch.

Nomad needed to introduce its own chargers as companions for its latest line of chargers. The new Base One and Base One Max both utilize USB-C inputs and don't include a power adapter in the box. For those that need one, now they have a first-party option to choose from.

Nomad's new charger with the Base One and Base One Max
Nomad's new charger with the Base One and Base One Max

We're a bit hesitant on Nomad's charging breakdown when using both ports though. Ultimately if their 45W and 20W maxes are adequate will depend on what you plan to charge.

As an example, this is probably not the charger you want to use with Nomad's Base One or Base One Max. Those chargers both require only 30W, meaning the 20W port will be too slow and the 45W port will have 15W of wasted headroom.

If you plan on charging a Mac alongside your iPhone or iPad, then this charger is a great choice. You get more than enough wattage to fastly charge your small device and the bulk for your Mac.

Should you buy the Nomad 65W GaN charger?

With the popularity of GaN chargers on the rise, we're sure to see many more coming down the pike. If you hold out, you'll likely see higher-wattage options or if 65W seems a good median output, then feel free to pick this up.

Nomad 65W charger
Nomad 65W charger

We're a little surprised Nomad didn't include any indicator on the variation in the port's charging speed though. If someone were to buy this without looking at the details close enough, they may not realize the second port is limited to 20W when both are in use.

That could easily lead to people using this and not getting the most juice. Some companies will label the max output for each port or even put an icon — think one lightning bold versus two lightning bolts — but this does clutter the otherwise clean exterior.

Regardless, this charger does what it intends to do in a compact form factor that's perfect for home or travel. Many cheap chargers aren't well designed, don't reach their maximum outputs, or have safety issues. Nomad's 65W GaN charger is one that you can trust.

Pros

  • Compact form factor with collapsable prongs
  • Uses new GaN technology
  • Powerful 65W max output
  • Enough output to power up a MacBook Pro
  • Safe and reliable
  • All USB-C

Cons

  • Without labels, some may not know port limitations
  • 20W/45W split isn't ideal for Nomad's products but better for others

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where to buy

Nomad's new 65W dual-USB-C output GaN charger is available from the company's website for $69.95 and is shipping to users now.