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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Razer announces a powerful 130W GaN charger for a small fortune

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Alongside announcing its new Blade 14 laptop, the Raptor 27 165Hz screen, the BlackShark V2 Pro Six Siege, and its colorful Opus X headsets, Razer is also introducing a new charger. 

Yeah, a power brick. 

With a sticker price of $180 (£180) this isn’t the cheapest way of getting power to your peripherals either, but you know, you do get that swirly snake motif on it, so that’s something.

To be fair to Razer, this power brick highlights a recent shift in the industry and that’s the use of Gallium Nitride in chargers—which is more efficient than traditional materials and thus doesn’t get so hot in use. 

GaN chargers can offer high outputs because of this too, with this snakey unit capable of outputting 130W, although that’s combined across the two USB Type-C ports and the pair of USB Type-A.

That should be enough to charge your smartphone, tablet, and laptop, although that does depend on how much each of those units actually draws. The USB Type-C connectors will undoubtedly top out at 100W, which means you should be able to charge some laptops, such as the Razer Blade 14 while leaving room for your smartphone and headphones as well.

Cut the cord…

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All well and good, apart from the price. $180 is a serious pile of cash for a charger, especially when a quick look around Amazon will find the likes of the Wotobeus 130W GaN charger for $76 (not a recommendation, just an observation.) It doesn’t have the snake motif and has three USB Type-C ports and one Type-A instead of two of each, but it promises the same output. 

It’s worth noting that the USB Implementors Forum is looking at looking to update the specification of USB to support high wattages, up to 240W in fact. While it’ll be a while before that makes it into devices, it’s enough to put me off dropping serious money on a charging break right now.

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