Tech News

Razer USB-C GaN charger can charge four devices at once, but it’ll cost you

To go along with its freshly-announced Razer Blade 14 – the first AMD-based gaming laptop the company has made – Razer also announced that it’s getting into the business of making Gallium Nitride (GaN) chargers. Dubbed simply the Razer USB-C GaN Charger, this new charger comes with a surprising amount of functionality and portability. The only downside, it seems, is that it’s going to cost a lot of money to own one.

The Razer USB-C GaN Charger offers up to 130W of total charging power between its four charging ports. Two of those are USB-C ports and the other two are USB-A ports, so you can charge a variety of items with this brick. In addition, you can use all four of those ports at the same time to charge four different devices at once as well.

According to Razer’s own specs, the wattage breakdown sees both USB-C ports sharing 100W, while the two USB-A ports share 18W. The charger clocks in at 0.35g and comes with modular plugs that cover the UK, EU, and the US, so Razer is definitely positioning this as something of a travel charger as well.

The fact that it uses Gallium Nitride helps keep the charger’s footprint small while also offering better power delivery than standard charging bricks. It also should run significantly cooler than standard fast chargers, which in turn reduces the risk of overheating when you’re charging multiple devices at once.

All of that sounds great, but these features come at a cost, as we said at the outset. Razer has priced its USB-C GaN charger at $179.99 – significantly more than the fast chargers most of us are probably used to buying. If that price tag isn’t enough to dissuade you, then the Razer USB-C GaN Charger is available beginning today from Razer’s website.

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Tech News

Nokia X20 will also ditch the charger in the box

Apple definitely set a trend when it decided to ditch the wall charger in the iPhone 12 box. Samsung and Xiaomi have already followed in their footsteps and Huawei is expected to do so soon as well. It isn’t just the big companies, though, as HMD Global seems to be following the trend. The Nokia X20, one of its new affordable phones, won’t be coming with one and it could affect how consumers will see the overall cost of the phone.

HMD Global definitely didn’t mention that detail when it announced the six new phones in its X, G, C series earlier this month. The Nokia X20 was presented as the higher-end model of the bunch, delivering 5G capability via a Snapdragon 480 5G chipset while carrying a roughly $420 price tag. For a 5G phone, that sounds like a bargain but there was a fine print that wasn’t noticed until now.

TechDroider on Twitter called attention to the Nokia X20 product page‘s boast about the phone’s sustainability. The three-year warranty means you won’t feel compelled to switch to a better-supported phone in less than two years but new to our ears is that there is no plastic wall charger in the box. That, in addition to the box being 100% compostable, is HMD’s way of reducing the company’s ecological impact.

That echoes Apple’s own reasons for ditching the iPhone 12 charger, a justification that some have actually called into question. Apple and Samsung both argue that many people already have compatible chargers lying around so they don’t need to pay for one more. It might not be the same story for HMD Global’s customers who might be in the market for their first smartphone.

In other words, that $420 price tag for an entry-level 5G phone might end up being a bit higher because of the need for a charger. Then again, the latter are a dime a dozen, especially in markets that these Nokia phones cater to.

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Tech News

Apple fined in Brazil for missing iPhone 12 charger and more

Apple’s decision to remove the charger inside the box starting with the iPhone 12 was initially met with criticism and ridicule. As with anything Apple, however, others eventually followed suit anyway. Those, however, might also follow Apple’s fate as the Cupertino-based company now faces a nearly $1.9 million fine in Brazil. That amount, which might be just a slap on the wrist for the tech giant, covers not only its removal of the charger from the iPhone’s packaging but also for other unfair practices that the consumer protection agency Procon-SP is accusing the company of putting in place.

Procon-SP’s high-profile beef with Apple goes back to October last year when Apple confirmed what some consumers already heard from rumors. The agency demanded that Apple explain the reason why it removed chargers from the boxes, after already removing headphones as well. The company’s appeal to the environment, however, didn’t satisfy Procon-SP which has now decided to follow through with a 10,500,000 BRL fine, roughly $1.9 million.

By now, Apple isn’t the only smartphone maker that has ditched the charger but others have found ways to get around sanctions. The report says that Xiaomi offered buyers of its Mi 11 the option to get a charger at no extra cost. Samsung, meanwhile, offered the charger for free only during the pre-order promo period which surprisingly satisfied the consumer watchdog.

Procon-SP’s fine, however, doesn’t cover just the charger issue. It is pretty much an all-in-one sanction for anti-consumer practices it is accusing Apple of, including misleading water resistance advertising, iOS update problems, and not following Brazilian warranty laws for products purchased abroad. The agency says that Apple didn’t respond to the questions raised, prompting them to push through with the fine.

It isn’t the end of the story for Apple, though, and it can still appeal the fine or challenge it completely in court. Given the fine covers a wide range of distinct issues, there’s a good chance that Apple can knock down that amount to peanuts.

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Tech News

This tiny 20W USB-C charger will fast-charge your iPhone 12 for $7

If you bought an iPhone 12, you’ll need a charger and if you want fast charging, you’ll need a 20W USB-C wall charger. We’ve got the solution at a great price: Amazon is selling the Aukey Minima 20-watt charger for $6.92 today when you click the coupon in the listing, more than 60 percent off its $17 MSRP and the lowest price we’ve ever seen.

This is a tiny 20W charger that won’t obstruct other outlets, and it has a foldable plug to make it easy to pack. It’s even smaller than Apple’s old 5W adapter and way more portable than the 20W one Apple sells for $19. In fact, it’s the same size as Aukey’s previous 18W charger but with a little more juice.

This charger features Aukey’s fast charging technology to charge devices as quickly as possible. It also works with a wide range of gear, including newer Raspberry Pi boards that require higher amounts of power than the older versions, but Aukey notes that this wall outlet cannot charge the Nintendo Switch at full speed. 

Bottom line, this is an excellent little charger and for just $7 it’s well worth it. But if you’re looking for even more power, check out our roundup of our favorite USB-C power adapters for the iPhone.

[Today’s deal: Aukey Minima 20W USB-C charger for $6.92 at Amazon]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 review: A beefy business laptop best left on the charger

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is a slick business laptop with the power of a lightweight gaming rig. Behind its buttoned-down facade, you’ll find Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics and up to a 4K display, all in a laptop weighing well under 4 pounds.

Why buy a laptop like this? Maybe you’re into VR app development, or you’d like to take advantage of certain applications that make use of GPU acceleration, from Adobe’s After Effects and Premiere Pro to 3D modeling and big data software. Or perhaps you just want to spend some time with the Yakuza series or The Outer Worlds on your ThinkPad once the workday is done.

No judgment here either way, but if your priority is portability, you’ll likely want to look elsewhere, or at least avoid the 4K model we tested. Considering the weak battery life, the graphical demands of 4K resolution, and an unusual default screen brightness setting that we’ll explain later, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is a laptop that works best on outlet power despite its light weight. That way, it can still make full-time use of its discrete graphics card.

Tech specs

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 comes in many potential configurations, with some high-end features (such as the vPro-equipped CPU, and Windows 10 Pro OS) you see only on corporate laptops. Our particular review unit, which costs $2,844 at CDW, includes the following:

  • CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7-9850H processor with vPro (2.6GHz, up to 4.6GHz with Turbo Boost, 6 Cores, 12MB Cache)
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz (2 x 16GB)
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 3840×2160 resolution IPS display with Dolby Vision HDR
  • Video: 720p webcam with infrared for Windows Hello
  • Authentication: Fingerprint reader
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
  • Left side: Two USB-C 3.1 Thunderbolt ports, HDMI port, DisplayPort, headphone jack, proprietary charger
  • Right side: Two USB-A 3.0 ports, SD card reader, lock slot
  • Weight: 3.75 pounds (4.6 pounds with charger)
  • Dimensions: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.7 inches
lenovothinkpadx1extremegen2 left Jared Newman / IDG

Port selection includes two USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, and 3.5mm audio on the left side, plus two USB-A 3.0 and an SD card slot on the right.

Granted, Lenovo’s minimum configuration costs a lot less. Sticking to an Intel Core i5-9300H processor, 1080p display with 300 nits’ brightness, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid state drive, and Windows 10 Home brings the price to $1,721 on Lenovo’s website. You can also max out with 64GB of RAM and a 4K OLED display for $3,502. But in all cases, that GTX 1650 graphics card remains constant.

Design and display

Like the original ThinkPad X1 Extreme, which had Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q graphics, the second-gen version touts lightness as a key selling point, though it now has a more powerful graphics card inside. At 3.75 pounds, it’s more than a half-pound lighter than Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro and 0.35 pounds lighter than Dell’x XPS 15 7590. The combination of light weight and decent graphics might help explain the “Extreme” moniker.

That said, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 looks about as businesslike as other ThinkPads, with an all-black finish and red accents via the ThinkPad logo and TrackPoint nub. To make it a little fancier, you can opt for a carbon fiber weave on the laptop’s lid.

This is not a touchscreen laptop, but the display tilts back 180 degrees in case you want to prop it up at eye level and use an external keyboard and mouse. And while it’s not a thin-and-light laptop, its narrow display bezels keep things reasonably trim, measuring 0.34 inches on the left and right edges and 0.5 inches on top.

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Tech News

This Qi-compatible 10W wireless charger is just $5.50

Charging a phone with cords is the worst. It’s not so much the tangled mess they can get into as that they’re unreliable. Cords slip, they look like they’re making contact to start charging, and then they don’t. Today, you can bypass all that for under $6 if you have a Qi-friendly phone. Amazon is selling the Aukey 10W Qi-compatible wireless fast charger for $5.50 with the checkout code 9D3A7ILS.

This charger can use a Quick Charge or Samsung Fast Charge wall charger to boost the charging speed of Android phones using the full 10W. Any iPhone that supports the Qi standard will also work with this wireless charger.

The charging base features a soft thermoplastic polyurethane surface, with a metallic edge. It’s a nice overall look that won’t look out of place on a nightstand or a desk. There’s also a built-in LED to show when the phone is charging.

The charger comes with a micro-USB cable, the charger, user manual, a 45-day money back guarantee, and a two-year warranty. You’ll have to supply your own wall charger, but that should have come with your phone.

Aukey says this charger will work with most cases that are less than 3mm (0.12 inch) thick.

[Today’s deal: Aukey 10W Qi wireless charger for $5.50 with checkout code 9D3A7ILS on Amazon.]

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn’t like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he’s not covering the news he’s working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.

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