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Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Finally, a tiny car charger that can power your laptop, tablet, and phone

Hand holding the 160W Baseus car charger

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

If you spend time in a car, then having a charger that can keep your devices’ batteries topped up is essential.

The problem is, there are a lot of car chargers out there that promise a lot more than they can deliver.

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There are three things I look for in a good car charger:

  • I want enough power — 100W — to charge my MacBook Pro.
  • I want three ports (two USB-C and one USB-A ports) for maximum compatibility.
  • I want a car charger that doesn’t overheat when pushed to its limits.

The 160W Baseus car charger delivers on all this. It is currently 17% off on Amazon right now, so you can purchase it for $50. 

This car charger has three outputs:

  • USB-C1 Output: 5V/3A,9V/3A,12V/3A,15V/3A,20V/5A (100W Max).
  • USB-C2 Output: 5V/3A,9V/2.22A,12V/2.5A,15V/2A,20V/1.5A (30W Max).
  • USB-A Output: 5V/3A, 9V/2A,10V/2A,12V/2.5A (30W Max).
  • Along with the charger comes a quality 1-meter 100W USB-C-to-USB-C cable.
160W Baseus car charger next to 100W USB C to USB C cable on brown background.

The car charger comes with a 1-meter 100W USB-C-to-USB-C cable.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

On the front of the unit is a subtle blue LED. It’s bright enough to let me know it’s working, but subtle enough to not be annoying in the dark.

Closeup of blue indicator LED on the front of the car charger

Blue indicator LED on the front of the car charger.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Each port can output the maximum power independent of the load on the other ports, giving the car charger a maximum output of 160W. 

Also: The best MagSafe battery packs

The 100W output is enough to charge my 16-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro (not at the full 140W, but 100W is ample when on the move).

Power output readings of the Baseus 160W car charger

Testing the power output of the Baseus 160W car charger.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

As for temperature management, the unit stays below 50°C, even when under full load.

The Baseus 160W car charger's temperature measured.

The Baseus 160W car charger under full load.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

I’m very happy with the 160W Baseus car charger. It’s a quality car charger that delivers on everything it promises, and does so in a safe and reliable way. 

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