RAVPower’s 45W Ultrathin PD Charger powers almost anything quickly via USB-C in a super thin form factor.
RAVPower is a well-known brand in the market segment for wall adapters and charging devices and recently released the RAVPower 45W Ultrathin PD Charger -- model number RP-PC104. The new universal accessory features advanced intelligent Power Delivery (PD) function, sending up to 45-watts over a single cable, to get nearly any device charged up as quickly as safely possible. We had the opportunity to test out the single USB Type-C GaN wall charging accessory, available in either white or black colorations and sells for just under $55 on Amazon. That price is steeper than most might expect a wall adapter to sell for but there may actually be some reason behind the madness.
In terms of hardware and build, the RAVPower 45W Ultrathin PD Charger is not entirely unexpected. Our test unit is the white variation and is, in short, a rectangle measuring slightly over a half-inch in thickness -- around 14mm. That means it sits about as close to flush with the wall as possible, making it an ideal solution for narrow spaces. A single USB-C port is embedded into one edge and the wall prongs fold in flat into designated grooves for storage and easy placement in a pocket or bag. Aesthetically, there is only a single seam running around the entire edge and the grey-hued branding stands out nicely on either white or black variations without being overbearing. No LED indicators are included in the build but that really doesn’t take away from the design too much since at 2.83 x 2.12 the wall charger is not really intended to stand out.
As mentioned above, only a single port is included on this charger and that’s USB-C female, putting out up to 45W of energy over a single cable. Only one device can be charged at a time but, thanks to PD and no fewer than three safety measures, that charging will match the fastest available charging rate. Standard charging outputs should, in fact, support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge features up to Quick Charge 4+ while laptops can also be charged. The latter of those device categories will charge up a bit slower in many cases but smartphones, tablets, a Nintendo Switch or other gadgets that charge via USB-C will charge quickly. That charge will also be accurate to the optimum transfer rate thanks to communication between the charger and the device being charged, allowing users to charge all of their devices on a single plug and cable. We used this adapter to charge up a couple of Samsung Chromebook Plus devices, an HTC U11, and a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 as well as an Essential PH-1.
Each of our test devices, with the exception of the Chromebook, charged up at its maximum rate with no noticeable drop in speed. The Chromebook threw us a message about slow-charging error once and then charged normally but not at its peak rate. The initial charging message may have been the result of the cable not being plugged in properly. In terms of drawbacks, the only real issue with this charger is that it only ships with the RAVPower 45W Ultrathin PD Charger and a few pages of user manual. There’s no cable and not many users are going to have a USB-C to USB-C male cable lying around. We resorted to an adapter on the phone-side for our test prior to rediscovering the cable that shipped with our Essential PH-1 -- which is USB-C to USB-C male. But for many users, buying this adapter does mean that a new cable needs to be purchased. Thankfully that won’t be costly and will serve to charge almost any device plugged into RAVPower’s new charger.
At around $55, the RAVPower 45W Ultrathin PD Charger is quite a bit more expensive than most would be comfortable paying for a normal wall adapter plug. The materials used, design, folding prongs, and charging rate may not ordinarily be enough to justify that since none of that is completely out of the ordinary aside from its thin and relatively small build. But its Power Delivery system and ability to charge up just about anything functions on a completely different standard than other wall chargers. It's also extremely well built, as might be expected from RavPower, making this a worthwhile purchase for anybody who needs to charge multiple electronics at home or on the go without the extra wires and boxes.