Gallium Nitride (GaN) chargers are creeping up the list of best phone charging accessories. The promise of cooler, more efficient charging in a more compact form factor is irresistible. The RavPower Power Delivery (PD) Pioneer is a compact GaN charger promising 65W of charging power and four ports to connect up your gadgets.
The PD Pioneer ($59.99) is a bit more expensive than a simple phone charger, but promises so much more. I’ve been extensively testing out the charger’s capabilities with various gadgets. Let’s explore what it has to offer in this RavPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-port desktop charger review.
What you need to know about the RavPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-port desktop charger
- RavPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-port desktop charger: $49.99/£45.99/€49.99/Rs. 11,999
At 158g, the RavPower PD Pioneer 4-port desktop charger is lightweight and extremely portable. It’s built as a hub rather than a wall adapter, so you’ll also have to carry around a regular AC cable too. While this is included in the box, there are no USB cables bundled in. As for color, Black is the only option.
There are four ports available for charging your gadgets: two USB-C and two USB-A. The USB-C ports support the USB PD protocol, with up to 3A of current at 5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, and 20V. That’s sufficient to charge up some of the more demanding USB-C laptops on the market.
The two “Smart” USB-A ports support a wide range of charging standards and cap out at 18W of power each. These ports boast Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge, Apple 2.4A charging, and Huawei Fast Charge. So you are well covered for quickly powering up a wide range of gadgets using older USB ports and charging methods.
The RavPower PD Pioneer offers more than what you’ll need to charge a single device. In my testing it delivered 60W into an Honor MagicBook Pro laptop and 53W into a Microsoft Surface Pro X. That was enough to charge both devices in under two hours. but is a fraction slower than their boxed charger speeds.
The adapter can charge up a range of USB PD and Quick Charge gadgets, including iPhones and the Nintendo Switch. Two USB-C and two USB-A ports feel like the perfect balance of connections for your older and newer gadgets. The vast range of supported standards on the USB-A ports is exceptional.
The RavPower PD Pioneer handles all these charging options with energy conversion efficiency above 82%. That’s also in the ballpark for other GaN chargers I’ve tested.
|RavPower PD Pioneer 65W GaN Charger Test||Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra||Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max||Microsoft Surface Book X||Honor MagicBook Pro|
RavPower PD Pioneer 65W GaN Charger Test:USB Power Test
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:14.2W / 25W
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max:18.7W / 20W
Microsoft Surface Book X:53.6W / 60W
Honor MagicBook Pro:60.4W / 65W
RavPower PD Pioneer 65W GaN Charger Test:Voltage & Current
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:8.58V, 1.65A
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max:8.68V, 2.15A
Microsoft Surface Book X:19.5V, 2.75A
Honor MagicBook Pro:19.5V, 3.1A
RavPower PD Pioneer 65W GaN Charger Test:Charging Standard
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:USB PD 3.0
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max:USB PD 3.0
Microsoft Surface Book X:USB PD 3.0
Honor MagicBook Pro:USB PD 3.0
RavPower PD Pioneer 65W GaN Charger Test:Power from wall
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:17.4W
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max:22.8W
Microsoft Surface Book X:63.5W
Honor MagicBook Pro:71.5W
RavPower PD Pioneer 65W GaN Charger Test:Energy Efficiency
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:81.4%, good.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max:82.2%, good.
Microsoft Surface Book X:84.4%, good.
Honor MagicBook Pro:84.6%, good.
The power situation becomes a little more complicated when connecting up multiple gadgets. One port caps out at 45W and the second at just 18W. Both speeds charge a laptop and smartphone in a timely manner. I got 41W into an Honor MagicBook Pro and 14W into Galaxy S21 Plus at once, which matches the capabilities you’ll find from other multi-port adapters.
What’s not so good?
Plugging a device into each port sees the USB-C ports drop to just 12V/1.5A with 18W of power over USB PD. The USB-A ports charge at only 5V/2.4A. Their support for Quick Charge and some other standards also drops off. The slower voltage compared to the 65W charging tagline is an inevitable trade-off of so many ports.
On a test charge I got 16W into a laptop, 15W into a tablet, 8.6W into the Galaxy S21, and 9.2W into an iPhone 12 all at once. This setup isn’t all that useful for charging more demanding devices like laptops and tablets. It’s also less efficient with wall-to-device power delivery, falling to around 76%.
RavPower produced the table below to help understand how the setup works. Based on my experience, this is how the charger operates in all its various configurations. It’s quite confusing and is the charger’s biggest drawback.
|RavPort PD Pioneer USB port configuration||USB port power capabilities|
|1 USB-C port:||USB-C - PD 65W|
|2 USB-C ports:||USB-C - PD 45W; USB-C - PD 18W|
|2 USB-A ports:||USB-A - 5V/2.4A; USB-A - 5V/2.4A|
|1 USB-C port + 1 USB-A port:||USB-C - PD 45W; USB-A - QC 18W|
|1 USB-C port + 2 USB-A ports:||USB-C - PD 45W; USB-A - 5V/2.4A; USB-A - 5V/2.4A|
|2 USB-C ports + 1 USB-A port:||USB-C - PD 18W; USB-C - PD 18W; USB-A - QC 18W|
|When connected to all ports:||USB-C - PD 18W; USB-C - PD 18W; USB-A - 5V/2.4A; USB-A - 5V/2.4A|
Overall, the RavPower PD Pioneer is great for charging up to three devices at once. More devices exceed the 65W power supply capacity.
While the charger is groundbreaking for GaN technology, it’s missing support for the latest USB PD PPS specification. A selection of Samsung smartphones require the emerging specification for fast charging. This is definitely worth noting if you’re a Galaxy S21 owner, as 15W takes quite a long time to charge.
RavPower PD Pioneer 65W 4-port desktop charger review: Should I buy it?
Despite the multi-port adapters on the market these days, you’ll struggle to find many 4-port options that range to 65W on a single port. As a result, the RavPower PD Pioneer 4-port is a suitable replacement for a 60W laptop charger, and a desktop hub for your smartphones and other gadgets.
If you don’t require four ports, you could check out other 65W plugs such as the Aukey Omnia 65W PD GaN charger. There’s also the Anker PowerPort Atom III Slim if you don’t need to charge a 60W laptop. Although given the slight price difference after regular discounts, the RavPower option remains competitive.
The RavPower PD 65W 4-port charger is a compact desktop hub for your smartphones and other gadgets.
RavPower’s 4-port desktop charger is available at the discounted rate of $49.99/£45.99/€49.99 ($15 off the RRP), making it a very good value for money. Due to import costs, the price in India is high, so we can’t recommend this charger there.
This also isn’t a suitable adapter for Samsung Galaxy S21 owners. Overall, the RavPower PD Pioneer PD 65W desktop charger has all the bases covered to charge a wide range of gadgets from a single adapter.