Just under a year ago we were writing very positively about the two port Anker 24W car charger. We still like it, but a lot has happened in a year, and it is no longer the best car charging device out there.
Should we be proud or embarrassed to say that sometimes two ports just aren’t enough in the car these days? Indeed, we hinted at that in our earlier review when mentioning we had four different charging cables, and would shuffle them on and off the Anker charger as needed.
Nowadays, and particularly if we are traveling with someone else, it is easy to have both ports in use (that’s a requirement for my two cell phones anyway) and to quickly go to four (three phones and one tablet, or a bluetooth headset, or a GPS unit, or a portable music player, or any other combination of portable electronics one chooses to imagine). We needed to find a charger with not ‘just’ two but three or, ideally, four ports on it.
We found what seems to be an excellent product, the Aukey Multi port charger. It has four ports, and that’s not all. All four of the ports will supply power at 2.4 A, and to any modern device. This means they can charge phones quickly, and charge tablets at their full charging speed. Earlier car chargers had restrictions on if they could fast charge iOS or Android devices, and, if at all, usually never both from the same port, and might have some fast charge ports and some slow charge ports.
The Aukey unit, with twice as many ports as the Anker unit, costs the same ($17 on Amazon), and comes with the same excellent 18 month warranty, and all four ports can fast charge any type of device. Although it has four ports, it isn’t much larger than the two port device, and is similarly lightweight, in case that matters to you at all.
I tried it with a range of different devices. Old and new iPads, iPhones, Nexus 5 and 7 devices plus an assortment of other things. All units would charge, and the Aukey charger stayed reasonably cool even when having an impressive 96 watts of power pouring through it and into four tablets simultaneously.
I also tested it with the car battery directly (12V) and with the car battery on charge (14V) and the unit worked well at either voltage. With probably five or more amps of power flowing in to the charger, a reasonably charged car battery can easily supply an hour or two of charging, but much more than that and we’d want to have the car engine on rather than off, for fear of flattening the battery and not being able to subsequently start the car.
One nice thing about the Aukey charger is that it has a blue power light inside it, providing a visible clue as to if it is correctly pushed into the accessory socket in a vehicle and passing through power or not. I’ve sometimes had other chargers work themselves a bit loose and only after some time of supposedly charging something, discovered that the charger had lost contact with the connector inside the socket and wasn’t charging at all.
Aukey make some other nice products too, in particular a five port charger to be used with mains power. This is great for traveling, saving you the need to travel with multiple charging ‘bricks’.
Perhaps in another year, I’ll be writing rhapsodically about a six or eight port USB charger (and hopefully still at the $17 price point). But for at least the next some months, I’ll be very happy with the Aukey four port charger. Chances are, you’d be happy with it too.