Lately I’ve had the idea of building separate ready-to-go tech backpacks that make me feel ready for any tech situation. One of those bags would be my lightweight pack, which includes a laptop and a small Nintendo Switch kit, minimal cables, a battery bank, a mini tool kit, and most importantly, a charging brick that can power any device I throw at it.
Ugreen’s 140-watt Nexode charger is a strong candidate to be that one charging brick. It’s a three-port GaN charger with fold-out pins and up to 140W charging power for a single USB-C device. Its ability to charge a device at this speed is thanks to support for the relatively new Power Delivery 3.1 (or PD 3.1) protocol.
The Nexode has two USB-C ports with a power output of up to 140W and 100W max individually or 65W each simultaneously. It also has a USB-A port for up to 22.5W. In total, the ports output 65W / 45W / 22.5W.
The Nexode doesn’t support the cutting-edge PD 3.2, but Ugreen is kind enough to include a 1.5 meter braided USB-C cable that will support future 240W devices. But the Nexode supports just about every other USB-C protocol you can use, including Samsung’s largely fast-charge-friendly PPS, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 Plus (and 3.0/2.0), and even Huawei’s SuperCharge (SCP and FCP). .
That makes it a good addition to my light backpack as it should support almost every device I might come across in the office or elsewhere and should be able to charge multiple devices at the same time. I also need it to support Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is one of the few devices on the market that supports 140W charging – despite using Apple’s MagSafe 3 to USB-C cable would have to use to achieve this speed.
Charging the Good140W PD 3.1 is fastEasier to carry and more versatile than Apple’sComes with a braided USB-C cableNintendo Switch official dock worksBathruns hot at full powerPrice at MSRPMore versatile 140W capable options are coming as we rate and review products
In terms of portability, Ugreen says the Nexode is “20 percent smaller” than Apple’s 140W charger, and it certainly appears so, given that the Nexode is closer to the dimensions of Apple’s 60/61/67W bricks . The Nexode is about 3 x 3 x 1.4 inches and weighs about 14 ounces, while the 140W Apple Charger is larger but lighter at about 3.8 x 3 x 1.1 inches and about 9.8 ounces is.
I tested the Nexode at full speed with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Assuming a 33 percent charge, a full charge was estimated to take 1 hour and 20 minutes. After 31 minutes, the MacBook Pro jumped to 91 percent and updated its estimate to 29 minutes to fully charge. The nexode is fast.
When the MacBook Pro is charging at 140W, the Nexode hits 118 degrees Fahrenheit at 73 percent battery. My highest value was 124 degrees.
But the speed of the Nexode released another form of energy: heat. This brick got almost uncomfortably hot. Even our local laptop reviewer, Monica Chin, was surprised at how warm it felt — and she’s handled quite a few loading bricks. I could smell the Nexode – it was getting so warm.
On a second 140W charge test, I found the Nexode got up to 124 degrees Fahrenheit using an infrared thermometer – and didn’t smell much at the time. I also measured the temperature of Apple’s 140W charger, which is also based on GaN, and it only got as warm as 99 degrees.
However, the Nexode didn’t feel nearly as warm during general multiport use. Full charging of a single device at 140W is only possible when only the MacBook Pro (or any PD 3.1 device) is connected. Roger Wan, Ugreen’s PR manager, told me that the Nexode is designed to reduce power to avoid overheating when the temperature hits 95 degrees Celsius (203 degrees Fahrenheit) – and resume charging when once it returns below 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit). .
I connected a MacBook Pro to port C1 (the only one that supports 140W) and connected a pair of AirPods Max to the USB-A port. The MacBook Pro then reported that it was charging at 100W instead of 140W. I then plugged in a USB-C Apple Watch charger (the newer generation) and placed an Apple Watch Series 7 on it – as the MacBook Pro reported that it was charging to 65W. I’ve also noticed that when plugging devices into and out of the charger, there’s a delay of around five to seven seconds before the Nexode redistributes power.
Nexode is shorter but thicker than Apple’s 140W charger.
Apple’s 60W MacBook Pro Brick and Nexode side by side.
The ultra power user/video editor would probably need to have a dedicated power brick that isn’t interrupted by additional devices like their smartphone. The Nexode serves me well for my needs. It can even power a Nintendo Switch dock for TV mode and charge two Pro Controllers at the same time – although the TV screen would go black for up to 10 seconds when plugging in and out.
At Ugreen’s list price of $149, the Nexode is on the expensive side. That total could get you Satechi’s 200W charger, which has twice as many ports compared to the Nexode and can support 140W charging with no drop in performance, along with a second connected 20W device. (Though we haven’t tested this yet.) Or you could buy an additional 140W charger from Apple for $99, which would leave you some cash to throw in a few more bricks for your other devices buy.
But as is often the case with this type of product, list price is rarely what you have to pay to get one. At the time of writing, Amazon is selling the Nexode for around $90, a much more attractive price that’s also cheaper than Anker’s single-port 140W charger. And if the goal is to carry light with the big 16-inch MacBook Pro, Ugreen has a pretty good option here with the Nexode.
Photography by Umar Shakir / The Verge