Apple’s high-output USB-C wall chargers are the fastest way to charge MacBooks and iOS devices, but they’re also expensive (especially for the 87W model), and don’t even include the Lightning or Thunderbolt cables needed to use them. Nekteck sent us an alternative — their USB-IF Certified USB-C wall charger with up to 90 watts of power delivery, which sells for under $30.
The first thing we noticed about NekTeck’s 90W charger is that, unlike Apple’s chargers, it’s large and heavy. It also has a long six-foot non-removable cable. On some level, this is a good thing — anyone who has lived with Apple wall chargers knows that their white cables quickly get dirty and are prone to fraying at the ends. Not so with the NekTeck charger’s cable — it’s got a reassuringly thick cable with beefy strain reliefs at both ends, making us think that this charger is likely to survive longer than the more expensive Apple versions. NecTeck points out that this charger is also USB-IF Certified, which means that it complies with the standards set forth by the USB Implementers Forum — and that it will automatically adjust its power output to the connected device.
We tested NekTeck’s 90W charger with a few devices to see how it fared, including a 2018 iPad Pro 11”, Nintendo Switch, and a 2016 MacBook Retina. In each case, it charged the device faster than the stock charger: the new 2018 11-inch iPad Pro’s 7812mAh battery charged in 2 hours (compared to over 3 on the stock charge), the Nintendo Switch’s 4310 mAh battery charged in just under 2 hours and 45 minutes (compared to 3.5 hours stock), and the 2016 MacBook Retina’s 5260mAh battery charged in just 2 hours and 30 minutes. Overall, we’re happy with the NecTeck 90W charger’s performance and build quality. The addition of one or more USB ports would have been appreciated, but extra features add cost, and it’s hard to argue with this price.