Apple’s latest MacBook Air M2 comes with a nice surprise in the box: a dual-port 35W USB-C charger that, if you think about it, should come with every laptop.
Now that USB-C is a de facto charging standard, it makes sense for Apple to charge a spare brick on the new MacBook Air. Apple has also been experimenting with adding other ports to its chargers in recent years, such as the Ethernet port on the iMac charger. With the EU mandating that all phones and phone-like gadgets must use USB-C for power in the near future, USB-C will only grow in utilities. That’s why all chargers should have at least two ports.
“Yes, all chargers should have an extra port. Of course, in this case, the idea is that you can also charge your iPhone or iPad. That’s great, considering no one else has done this yet, as far as I know.” ,” Ross Kearneys, marketer and USB charger fan, told Lifewire via email.
Why isn’t USB-C the only port
You could say that a dual port charger is less useful today than it was in the past. After all, a MacBook can run for at least a day without going anywhere near a power outlet, so an old world single-port charger is free to charge phones, Nintendo Switches, cameras, drum machines, or any other device that now uses the universal USB-C standard Approximately. It’s not like you need that extra port like you used to.
On the other hand, with the imminent spread of USB-C as the charging standard, more ports are better. You’ll likely always have your laptop charger close at hand, so it can now double as a dual-port charger for all your other devices. And since they are both PD (Power Delivery) ports, they can provide enough power for just about anything, although when both are in use, the second port delivers less power.
Add to that the fact that Apple and other manufacturers have removed USB chargers from their phones — all you get with the new iPhone is a USB-C to Lightning cable — and it makes more sense. Why charge two when you can only charge one. It’s not something people will be tempted to switch to a Mac, but Apple users are getting used to all these little conveniences, which makes them want to keep going. Plus, with only two USB-C ports on the MacBook Air side, it only makes sense to have an extra port for charging tasks.
Once again, Apple is way ahead of its time on this point. Having a spare port will be more convenient and less annoying for users. If you need to charge your laptop and phone at the same time, you can do so without having to find another charger,” tech writer Joy Terez Gomez told Lifewire via email.
Why are chargers suddenly so small? Previously, small Charge Bricks were relatively weak. Apple’s iPhone charger, for example, only delivered 5W through its USB-A port and wasn’t much smaller than USB-C laptop chargers from other manufacturers.
The answer is GaN, which is what kept chargers cool again. GaN chargers use gallium nitride instead of silicon to make important components, which allows them to run much cooler, and therefore much smaller, and potentially live longer due to the lack of heat fatigue. GaN chargers are indeed a small and affordable alternative to large silicon-based bricks.
Another advantage of reduced GaN forces is that manufacturers can now mount two chargers in one space. Apple doesn’t mention GaN on the charger page itself, nor on the product page for the MacBook Air, but that’s a safe guess based on the fact that it includes the above qualities.
Anker Dual Charger rests on a piece of wood, above a book, on a table with laptop, iPad, iPhone, and AirPods.
The new compact 35W dual-port USB-C USB-C Power Adapter, as Apple calls it, comes standard with the best-performing 10-core GPU and a 512GB SSD MacBook Air ($1499). If you want it with the entry-level model $1,199, you’ll have to pay an extra $20.
You can also forget about the Apple charger and buy a third-party GaN model. Anker, for example, offers a line of GaN chargers with more power, more ports, and even combo ports to power old and new gadgets together.
This is one of the great advantages of USB-C for laptops. You no longer need a special and expensive charger for your computer. Thanks to USB-C, any PD compatible charger will do the trick, and both are cheaper and more versatile than the OE options.
So while it’s possible that all computer chargers have two ports, it’s also possible that you don’t even need a charger for your MacBook, because you may already have a compatible device. Welcome to the future of USB-C.