For all of the gadgets we like, and all those we carry and use daily, charging them is a key concern. With the advent of quick-charge and USB-C PD ports, we look for speed. We also want the charger to be efficient with the electricity it’s drawing down. Hitting all of those fronts is a charger that recently hit my desk, the Kovol Sprint 120W GaN Charger.
First, though, we need to talk about that ‘GaN’ in the name of the charger. That stands for gallium nitride, and this semiconductor is quickly overtaking silicon in a lot of places. In terms of a charging brick, there’s a few benefits you gain. First, it results in a smaller charger, as there are fewer components. It can also handle higher voltages over time (as compared to silicon) and is a lot more efficient with energy transfer, so you’re not wasting it by having the brick heat up. In other words, there’s a whole lot to say that a GaN charger should be your next purchase (you can read more about GaN in this article).
The higher power output of the Kovol Sprint 120W GaN Charger is certainly going to capture a lot of attention. If you’ve got just a single device plugged in on a USB-C PD port, you can push out 100W (max) of power to get your laptop charged up (for comparison, the Apple charger I’m using on this Macbook only puts out 61W). If you want to use both USB-C ports at the same time, then you drop to 60W per port. Or even if you mix in a USB-A port being used – it’ll drop that output max to protect things, and ensure it’s not outputting any more than 120W total across the ports in use.
I’ve had it here for awhile now, and have charged a number of things. Most often it’s my ANC headphones and my iPad Pro, but occasionally things like my phone and workout watch get in the mix as well. Charging those up is, well, just as much of a non-event as you could hope for. Batteries top off, and for those that can handle a quicker charge, they top off just as fast as I’ve experienced on any other charger. All the while, the body of the charger stayed relatively cool.
The ability to charge up to 4 things at once, with the option to keep your laptop going, certainly helps set the Kovol Sprint 120W GaN Charger apart. I’d also call out the almost 5 foot power cord it comes with as well. That means this isn’t a charger meant to hang from the wall, you’ll have it on your desktop or a side table, waiting to power up your devices. Perhaps not your travel charger, sure, but for an at-home power station, it hits all the right boxes.
When GaN chargers first hit the scene, they were a good bit more expensive than the chargers we were used to. While I won’t say that the $99 price tag for the Kovol Sprint 120W GaN Charger is cheap, I believe it represents a good value for what you’re getting, in terms of the total number of ports and power output. If you want to pick one up, you can find it on Amazon, or directly from kovolinc.com
Details from Kovol
- Mighty 120W Output: Rapidly charges a MacBook Pro 16″ in 1.7 hours via a USB-C port(100W Max.), or simultaneously provides up to 60W of power to 2 MacBooks via both USB-C PD ports
- Smart Power Distribution: A PD 3.0 certified usb c charging station, this GaN USB-C charger station allocates optimal power for maximized charging efficiency
- Pioneering GaN II Tech: Allows for a charger up to 37% smaller than typical 100W chargers, providing better heat transfer and higher charging performance. With a small footprint of only 1.81×1.81×3.35 inches, this portable multi-port desktop charger takes up less space
- Low-Heat & Safe Charging: Kovol’s Q-Pulse technology ensures safe charging features such as surge, over-current, over-voltage, short-circuit, over-charge, and high-temperature protection
- Model: KV-PC001
- Input: 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz 2.5A Max.
- PD Output: 5V-3A, 9V-3A, 15V-3A, 20V-5A, 100W Max. each port
- Q-Pulse Output: 5V-3A, 9V-3A, 12V-1.5A, 18W Max. each port
- Total Output: 120W Max.
- Dimensions: 46 x 46 x 85mm/1.81 x 1.81 x 3.35 inches
- ℹ NOTE: In some cases, the overload or over-current protection mechanism of the charger will be activated, causing the charger to reconnect. This will not affect the service life and normal operation of the battery of your laptop.
- Power Distribution:
- 1 USB-C PD port in use: 100W
- 2 USB-C PD ports in use: 60W + 60W
- 1 USB-C PD port and 1 USB-A port in use: 65W + QC 18W
- 2 USB-C PD ports and 1 USB-A port in use: 65W + 20W + QC 18W
- 1 USB-C PD port and 2 USB-A ports in use: 65W + QC 18W + QC 18W
- All 4 ports in use: PD 65W + PD 20W + QC 18W + QC 18W