Enjoy safe, durable, and reliable power from the worlds smallest PD Car Charger
As I became an adult and moved into a full-time work schedule, fall breaks, spring breaks, and Christmas breaks took on new meaning when compared to my childhood. With four children, extracurricular activities added sleepovers, and family get-togethers, we tend to always be on-the-go to somewhere. With the new iPad Pro and Nintendo Switch utilizing USB-C charging technology, I needed a better way to charge devices through the car 12V socket. Unfortunately, standard USB-A chargers, when combined with USB-A to USB-C cables, repeatedly led to inadequately charged devices. Thanks to the 18W PD USB-C car charger from AUKEY, I think I found the tiniest victory.
The AUKEY “Expedition” 18W PD Car Charger arrived in a 2 3/4 inches wide by 2 inches tall by 1 3/8 inches thick retail brown cardboard package. I wish that the company would have added some flourish to their packaging, as it was rather bland. The cover displayed the company name along the top left, the generic product name just beneath the company name and provided a short 1 1/8 inches long black-ink outline image of the device along the middle. The top/bottom panels were devoid of writing and each of the side panels listed “GO GREEN WITH AUKEY.” The bottom panel listed the CC-Y12 model number, several of the typical manufacturing labels, the company email, and physical address. Within the packaging, you will find a small 24-month warranty/thank you card (with reverse AUKEY Key sticker), a hexa-lingual instruction manual (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Chinese), and the 1 3/4 inches long by 7/8 inches diameter car charger. Perusing the manual, the second panel proved to be the most useful by listing the product specifications. The 16 gram/0.56 ounce, 12-24V input USB-C car charger promised 5V/3A, 9V/2A, or 12V/1.5A output for a maximum of 18 Watts of power.
To utilize the device, find the 12/24V vehicle socket of your car, make sure that you remove any occupying device, and then press the car charger into the socket. To align the adaptor, locate the side and end prongs and slide them into the 12/24V socket. Once installed, the device name, specifications, and manufacturing labels were hidden by the walls of the socket. I loved that the minimalistic design allowed the AUKEY device to rest flush against my dash. The silver/grey coloration contrasted nicely with the black plastic interior color of my Chevy Silverado, which allowed me to quickly identify the single USB-C charging port. Since there was no included charging cable, I had to supply my own. Luckily, I have a USB-A to USB-Micro, USB-A to lightning, USB-C to Lightning, and USB-A to USB-C, and USB-C to USB-C cables within a small travel organizer, inside of my truck. To test the power output, I plugged a DROK USB-C Multimeter into the USB-C port and then an AUKEY USB-C to USB Cable into the DROK Multimeter. I then plugged the free end of the USB-C cables into my iPad Pro 11.” I was pleased to discover that that multimeter read 9.26V/2.18A. Starting at 12:53, with 1% charge, I let my iPad Pro 11” charge until 1:09 pm and found my iPad to be at 14%. I let it charge for another 31 minutes and found my iPad to be at 39%. The PD charger allowed my iPad to charge at about 1% every 2 minutes. Considering the iPad Pro is capable of 30W fast charging, I did not feel let down by the rate of charge of the AUKEY 18W setup. Combining the car charger with my USB-C to Lightning cable, I was happy to charge my iPhone 11 Pro Max to ~50% in just under 30 minutes.
The attractive device stood up to repeated insertion/removal cycles within the socket, and with the USB-C port. I was pleased with the overall shape, feel, and capabilities of the device. Honestly, I was surprised that such a tiny device packed that powerful of a punch. Although the 18W adaptor is suboptimal for some of the larger tablets/laptops/MacBooks, it is likely the perfect option to achieve a reasonable USB-C charge on-the-go. Similar to other tests, 18W power should give your iPhone Pro/Pro Max roughly 80-90% charge in a sixty-minute time period and a full charge in under two hours. After charging, the device did feel rather warm to the touch, but not so warm that I could not hold onto the surface. Luckily, the device had built-in safeguards to protect from over-current, over-heating, and over-charging. The only complaint that I had with the AUKEY 18W PD car charger was with the single output port. Since most modern vehicle circuits allow for 12 V / 10-15 Amp output, the port can output a maximum of 120-180 watts of power. However, many cars use several sockets on the same circuit and thus reduce the total output from a single socket. Regardless, it would have been nice to have a second output port.
If you are looking for a compact, durable, attractive USB-C car charger, look no further than the AUKEY PD 18W USB-C Expedition Flush-Fit device. At the time of this review, the device was available through the AUKEY website for the sale price of $17.79 (normal $21.99).