July 7, 2022

Ugreen 200W Nexode review: Almost the ultimate game for USB-C chargers

Ugreen 200W Nexode review: Almost the ultimate game for USB-C chargers

Power transformers have gotten smaller over the years thanks to gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology, but Ugreen Nexode 200W Charger $179.99 Technology is used to get great power. This gigantic 4″ x 4″ square brick can be placed on your desk and can power three or maybe four laptops simultaneously – or power a group of up to six laptops.

If you’re like me, you’re part of the remote workforce and provided with a work laptop, but also want to use your personal laptop at the same time. My desk has two MacBook Airs, a docking station, headphones, a Bluetooth speaker, a game controller, and an iPhone MagSafe stand, each requiring their own power unit and leaving a cluttered workspace. Nexode replaced all of those devices with a 2-meter power cable and one brick.

The Nexode 200W is best for stationary office use, but I set up this power station in my hotel room for a trip.

Ugreen high power charger doesn’t come cheap. At $180, you can have it 100W USB-C Multiple Chargers. But it might be worth it if you’re thinking of buying additional power adapters to keep at your desk so you can keep the originals in your carry-on bag. The Ugreen doesn’t look cheap either: its plastic body is very durable and the charger comes with a 1-meter braided USB-C cable that supports 100W charging. It does not come with a file cute vertical desktop stand Like the Satechi’s 165W charger, but it has four rubber feet installed to keep it in place—not to mention that it has two more ports than the Satechi.

But for that price, it’s better to be able to charge 200 watts worth of electronics. After some testing, I’ve found that this is largely true, but charging can slow down or stop straight if you don’t pay attention to the connections and capabilities of the USB-C Power Delivery ports and the two USB-A ports. Ports are not named for their abilities Like an Anker 120W charger, so you might want to keep a cheat sheet on hand or you might end up playing roulette.

There is a very complex diagram provided by Ugreen that explains all possible energy scenarios, which you can see below. Although the Nexode has a maximum power of 200 watts, the maximum that any single port can output is 100 watts – this does not support Latest USB-C 2.1 Version Specification.

During testing, I was interested to know two things: How does this handle six devices simultaneously and how do I max out this thing at 200W? For a six-device configuration, the first through four USB-C ports can handle 65W/45W/45W/20W, respectively, and the USB-A ports share 20W of power for a total of 195W.

The power distribution of the Ugreen Nexode 200W is quite complex, so you may want to keep this cheat sheet on hand.
Photo: Ugreen

I plugged three MacBooks (two M1 Airs and a 12-inch MacBook from 2016), an iPad Air 4 into USB-C ports, and two iPhones into USB-A ports and noticed that all three MacBooks reported 65W, 45W, and 45W With Power Reports built into macOS. For iOS devices, I used the free ChargerMaster app, and reported that the iPad Air 4 in the fourth port was charging at 15.37W while the battery was at 20 percent SoC — close enough to the 20W headspace that the port can do. The first USB-A port was charging the iPhone 13 Mini at a slow 4.61W, but it was already charging at 79 percent at the time, so I wasn’t expecting it to run any faster. Finally, the last USB-A port with the first-generation iPhone SE plugged in at 20 percent charge and charged at 5.98W. This brings our total to 181 watts (approximately), which isn’t far from the maximum 195 watts as the chart claims.

So how do we get to 200W? The graph claims that the Ugreen charger can deliver 100W from the first and second USB-C ports, and I was able to confirm that. I plugged in a 14-inch MacBook Pro and an MSI GS77 Stealth gaming laptop (which supports PD charging despite the 240W charging that comes with it) and got a 100W reading from the MacBook. And if you want to charge two MacBooks at 100W, I also confirmed the 100W charger readings from both MacBooks connected.

The charger can handle 100W for a laptop and can be serviced with one additional portable device.

Adding any third device to any port dropped the laptop from 100W to 65W.

Although you can draw up to 100 watts from each of the first two ports, if you want to connect anything else, like your smartphone, it will cause the charging rate of both portable devices to drop. Even if you only need one 100W laptop, you can just plug in one more device and keep that speed—a third device, regardless of the draw, will cut both 100W devices down to 65W.

Restrictions on how outlets distribute power make the Ugreen Nexode not the ideal travel charger. If you’re carrying a high-end laptop, say the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, the 18.4-ounce Nexode is 74 percent heavier than Apple’s 10.6-ounce 96-watt Power Adapter. Apple’s new 140W GaN-based charger he is Even lighter at 8.01 ounces. Ugreen’s power cable is the three-prong grounded type, which eliminates some of the possibilities of charging while traveling in case you need to plug in an ungrounded location.

Nintendo Switch TV Mode can be achieved – but not easily.

However, I went on a trip with this charger and was able to connect all my things at the same time when I got to my hotel: my MacBook Air, my Nintendo Switch, my Apple Watch (USB-C), a 10,000 mAh power card, and two from iPhones. With full load, the notch flip-flop switch started flashing on and off until I put it back together. When I swapped the switch with an official MagSafe charger, another device stopped charging. This tricky behavior happened enough times for me to notice, but as soon as I got back to the muddled ports, Ugreen started behaving normally.

I found a way to use the Switch in dock mode as well, but only with an aftermarket HDMI hub and not in the official dock. The Nintendo Switch is notorious for its weird power draw (it wants a 15V 2.6A dock for TV mode), but Ugreen’s USB-C ports have rails for 15V 3.0A. If you like to stream your Switch from your computer desk and have been hoping that Ugreen will provide you with an AC outlet, you will be disappointed.

Ugreen announces that Nexode’s GaN and SiC chips improve heat dissipation, I believe. I charged two 100W laptops and also fully charged six devices, and it was nothing more than warm to touch. By comparison, Apple’s 96W non-GaN charger is extremely hot to the touch while charging just one laptop.

The Nexode is about half a pound heavier than the official Apple 96W USB-C power brick.

Despite the multiple ports on the Nexode, it doesn’t get as hot as the Apple 96W Adapter.

The appeal of the Ugreen Nexode 200W charger is not to replace a high-end laptop power supply; It’s sharing a lot of power with more devices at the same time without additional modules. Works best as a central desktop charger (as advertised). It can also be useful for small businesses that use floating iPads or other portable devices and can use a charging station.

The size and height make it less than ideal for travel, and the confusing power output chart isn’t very fun to troubleshoot when you’re on the road. Perhaps Ugreen can add stickers to the ports to help simplify this in the next release.

Despite its price and size, the Ugreen Nexode is one of the first USB-C chargers to hit 200W, and we hope to see more on the market in the near future.

Photography by Omar Shaker / Haffa