The Best Charging Accessories 2021: Power Banks, Chargers, Cables - Rolling Stone
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The Best Charging Accessories for Your Phone, Tablet and Laptop

All the gear you need to solve your battery anxiety once and for all

Satechi MagSafe ChargerSatechi MagSafe Charger

Satechi

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It doesn’t matter how powerful your phone, tablet, or laptop is if it runs out of power. External battery packs, wireless chargers, and fast chargers are everywhere, but it’s important to pick the right ones for your particular needs. The battery pack you use for your laptop may be too big to carry around with you everywhere, while the charger that comes with your phone isn’t actually the best pick for the job. Wireless charging pads are great, but some of them charge at way slower speeds than others.

We’ve collected the best charging accessories for all of your gear below, so you know exactly what to reach for before your device sends you a notification suggesting low power mode, or conks out in the middle of an important call or presentation.

1. Anker Nano II

Anker Nano II

Amazon

Anker’s new Nano II charger is about the same size as the power adapter Apple used to include with the iPhone, but it’s a lot faster. It can charge your devices at up to 65W (watts), which means this pocket-sized charger is powerful enough to charge a MacBook Pro.

We’ve tested the new Nano II out, and it’s successfully charged an iPhone, iPad Pro, Nintendo Switch, and MacBook Pro as well (or better) than their original power adapters. The thing we can’t get over is how good its performance is given its size. We recommend slowly replacing all of your existing chargers with Anker’s Nano II; it’s that good.

Buy: Anker Nano II at $59.99

2. Monoprice Lightning to USB Type-C Cable

Monoprice Lightning to USB Type-C Cable

Amazon

If you want to connect any iPhone (or non-Pro iPad) to a fast charging adapter like AUKEY’s Omnia, you’ll need a Lightning to USB-C cable. This one from Monoprice is 6-feet long, braided for improved durability, and MFI (Made for iPhone or iPad) certified. Accessories from the MFI program are made specifically for Apple gear, and are guaranteed to work with its devices. I’ve used two of Mophie’s Lightning to USB-C cables over the years, and they’ve both worked very well even after continuous use.

Buy: Monoprice Lightning to USB-C Cable (6ft) at $27.95

Note: You can also get braided-nylon USB-C to USB-A, Lightning to USB-A, and USB-C to USB-C cables for roughly $20 a piece on Amazon.

3. Nomad Base Station Pro

Nomad Base Station Pro

Nomad

If you prefer wireless charging to cables, Nomad’s Base Station Pro is the ultimate tech accessory.

The charging pad is 8.7 inch, and can charge up to three devices at once thanks to a grid of 18 charging coils — a standard wireless charging pad only has one or two. We’ve tried it for ourselves, and this charger totally delivers. Not only did our devices charge quickly, we didn’t have worry about placing them in the wrong spot, which can be a problem with single-device charging pads. The Base Station Pro can charge iPhone and Android phones, wireless earbuds, and even some tablets.

This charger worked flawlessly in our testing, but Nomad is committed to making it even better through firmware updates that can improve its performance and efficacy. These updates are typically released around the same time as popular new devices (think iPhone) are released to ensure 100% compatibility. If you want to charge a lot of devices at once, and don’t have a lot of space, Nomad’s Base Station Pro is the right solution.

Buy: Nomad Base Station Pro at $199.99

4. Satechi Aluminum 2-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand

Aluminum 2-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand

Satechi

Apple recently introduced a new charging technology called MagSafe, which allows you to use a magnetic charger instead of a Qi charging pad.

Satechi’s 2-in-1 Magnetic Charging Stand is one of the first accessories to make use of this new technology, and it worked very well in our tests. The magnet was strong enough to hold an iPhone 12 Pro Max with ease, and we appreciated that we could tilt the magnetic charging puck to see its screen more easily.

The base of the stand has a Qi wireless charger in it, and it’s designed to charge a pair of true wireless earbuds. We charged two devices at once, and didn’t notice a reduction of charging speed. The only downside to Satechi’s MagSafe charger is it can only charge your iPhone at a rate of 7.5w (watts). Other MagSafe chargers work at double the speed, but cost a lot more.

If you prefer charging stands to charging pads, and don’t want to worry about having to perfectly align your iPhone on a Qi charger, Satechi’s Magnetic Charging Stand is the right choice.

Buy: Satechi 2-in-1 Magnetic Charging Stand at $59.99

5. Nimble CHAMP Portable Charger

Nimble Champ Portable Charger

Nimble

If you want a grab-and-go power bank, Nimble’s Champ Portable Charger is a solid (and environmentally friendly) choice.

The battery pack is shorter than a playing card and weighs just under half a pound. but holds enough juice to fully recharge an iPhone 12 a couple of times. It has a USB-C and USB-A port, so you can charge two devices at once. Use the USB-C port if you want the fastest charging speeds.

Portable power banks aren’t new, but Nimble’s Champ stands out because it offers such good performance for its size. We also like that it’s made out of 72.5% post-consumer plastic and comes in plastic-free packaging. We’ve had a chance to test this charger out for ourselves and it performed without a hitch.

Nimble’s Champ Portable Charger is one of the few tech accessories that’s environmentally friendly, and it doesn’t sacrifice any performance to achieve that.

Buy: Nimble Champ Portable Charger at

6. Belkin MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charger

Belkin MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charger

Amazon

Belkin’s MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charger continues the company’s trend of making best-in-class charging accessories for iPhone owners.

The stand can charge an Apple Watch, true wireless earbuds, and an iPhone 12 at full speed. It can take advantage of MagSafe’s 15W maximum charging speed, and the difference is instantly apparent. Plugging your phone into a power adapter with a cable is still a faster way to charge your device, but MagSafe closes that gap considerably. We’ve used this dock to charge three devices at once, and didn’t notice any performance dip.

There aren’t a lot of MagSafe charging accessories available yet, but this Belkin is the best one we’ve tested so far. It’s fast, space efficient, and even matches the aesthetic of Apple’s gear. If you’re all-in on having the latest and greatest technology, this is the charger to get.

Buy: Belkin MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charger at $149.99

7. Anker PowerDrive Car Adapter

Anker PowerDrive Car Adapter

Amazon

Most of us use our smartphone as a GPS, so it’s important to keep it fully charged when we’re on the road.

Anker’s PowerDrive Car Adapter is a two-port charger that fits into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Its USB-C port is powerful enough to charge a laptop in a pinch, but we recommend plugging your phone into it instead. The charger’s USB-A port can power a dash cam.

This is a simple charging accessory, but one you’ll likely rely on every day during a part of your commute. If you plan on taking a road trip this summer, you’ll definitely want one in your car.

Buy: Anker PowerDrive Car Adapter at $41.99

8. iOttie Wireless Car Phone Mount

iOttie Wireless Car Phone Mount

Amazon

A car phone mount can keep your device at eye level, so you can keep your main focus on the road while using your map app of choice.

This model from iOttie can be attached to any place on your dashboard thanks to a suction cup built into its base. The mount has several points of articulation that can be adjusted to keep your phone in just the right spot.

It also has a wireless charging pad built into the phone holder, which can charge a smartphone at up to 10w (iPhones top out at 7.5w). This is one of the only two-in-one car accessories we feel comfortable recommending because neither of its functions will distract you while you drive.

Buy: iOttie Wireless Car Phone Mount at $44.95

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