Review: Anker IQ 40W 5-port smart USB adapter is the last power source you’ll ever need

As our families grow, so do our device charging needs. Where we just used to need 2 USB ports to charge our iPhones, we now have iPads, cameras, Bluetooth speakers, portable flashlight/batteries and even a few Android devices laying around that constantly need to be chargers. Our excellent 2-port ZaggSparq just couldn’t handle all of the stuff anymore. Time to step up to something more substantial.

Anker-reviewsWe’d heard great things about the new Anker IQ 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Family-Size USB power supply. In fact, at Amazon where it can be nabbed on sale for $26, it gets almost exclusive 4 and 5 star ratings.

Anker hooked me up with a unit to test out at CES and I’ve relied on it since to keep our house full of devices charged. What’s particularly impressive about this one is that it has 40W of power to distribute through the 5 USB ports (a 25W one is a few bucks less). Anker’s new IQ does one better by recognizing high power requirements in devices like iPads, other tablets and even HPs new Chromebook and giving those devices the full 2-3 Amps of power they need to get charged quickly. Anker explains it thusly:

Not all USB ports are equal. Where past USB ports were hard-wired to exclusively charge iOS OR Android, we’re introducing Smart Port technology to create a truly universal charger. Dynamically adjusting to any device’s unique maximum charging speed, the Smart Port takes the brainwork out of compatibility.Just plug in and it’ll do the rest.

Were the reviews right? Was this the end to my USB charging woes?

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Well, it is hard not to agree with all of the reviews on Amazon. This thing works just as advertized. I was able to quickcharge two different iPads (an Air and a 3) along with an HP Chromebook, while charging an iPhone 4 and iPhone 5s (gold obv.). All 5 devices charged immediately and quickly. The iPads can go for 0-100% in about 4 hours, significantly quicker than if I use a typical 3rd party USB adapter.

poweriq_ipad

Anker’s product is also very solid and made with Apple-like quality in a package about the size of a MacBook AC adapter.

So, I thought I’d throw this product for a little loop.  I got a bunch of these three-headed Micro-USB/Lightning/30-pin cables and took them on a ski weekend and told everyone they could plug their phones and tablets in. All weekend long, as many as 10 devices were plugged in at once. Never a problem.

(Don’t try this at home, I’m sure I broke some warranty/usage guidelines doing this – but it proves there is more than enough power for normal device usages here)

Wrap up:

The Anker IQ 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Family-Size USB power supply does what it says, quickly charging 5 USB devices simultaneously. It looks nice and very Apple-like. There’s really very little downside here and at a few bucks more than Apple’s single USB port adapter, it really is a no brainer if you need to charge a lot of devices at once.

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Comments

  1. If only it charged a MacBook XXX as well.

    • Richard Bronosky - 9 years ago

      That limitation is enforced by Apple. Nothing is allow to charge a magsafe device except an Apple charger.

  2. Kris404 - 9 years ago

    Would be perfect if this was a USB hub that also charged high-power devices.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      It… is.

      • Richard Bronosky - 9 years ago

        Because this product does not connect multiple USB guest devices to a single host device, it is not a hub. This is a wall changer.

  3. Doesn’t seem clear from the review…. will the output do a full 12 watts like the Apple iPad brick when it senses an iPad? Or will it only do 10 like the older style Apple iPad charging brick?

    • Seth Weintraub - 9 years ago

      I didn’t measure with a multimeter or anything but it charges an iPad Air fast. 4 hours from 0-100%

    • Richard Moore - 9 years ago

      It does 2.1a (10w) vs 2.4a (12w) in the specs listed. I get the same slow discharge as apple’s original 10w charger on my ipad 3 during actual use. It’s my only complaint with this charger, I wish it delivered 12w.

      That being said, for my normal use this charger has so many advantages that I use this charger as primary, and also carry a backup apple 12w charger in my luggage. It’s good insurance to have some kind of small backup charger while traveling.

  4. I like this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GH1QJ7E?tag=thepartim-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B00GH1QJ7E&adid=0ZH78ECM8XZJCP0206Y9&

    Six ports at 2.1A each. If you have three family members with both iPads and iPhones, everyone’s covered with this one.

    • Richard Moore - 9 years ago

      There are 5 USB ports, not six.

      • Richard Moore - 9 years ago

        Sorry, I didn’t realize you had linked to another product. I thought you were referring to the one above. My mistake.

    • Matthew Ballard - 9 years ago

      Check the description a little closer – that device is still only 8A total, but has 6 ports. You can still only plug in 4 tablets before the power per device decreases.

  5. Philip Philapino - 9 years ago

    My iPad Air came with a 12 watt charger. 40/5 = 8.
    Not “full speed”.

  6. Bryant NorCal - 9 years ago

    Good until the next version of USB version is out which is soon’ish and it should be similar to the Apple’s own reversible connector.

    • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

      Poor… every company in the technology industry. They whine that their version is better and then copy Apple a year later anyway.

  7. nigelboor - 9 years ago

    Read the UK Amazon reviews – not so complimentary.
    Maybe it’s the power supply difference but exploding/failing devices & an unbearable whining noise are worrying.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Upgraded-Release-Family-Sized-Virtually-USB-Charged/dp/B00EJA28ES/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1392539557&sr=1-6

    • Seth Weintraub - 9 years ago

      Could be. Still 4+ stars so the people with issues seem to be outliers. Obviously, I didn’t check it on a 240 so I can’t say one way or another.

      • John Lewis - 9 years ago

        I’ve got one and I’ve heard it whine ONCE. it is negligible at best. Can’t fault it. Some people want the moon on a stick!

    • If you look closer at some of those reviews, it does often mention a small detail that those problems were with the original 20w version and there has since been a revived 40w upgraded release. Also some mention of a dodgy batch and the seller giving working replacements for the noise issues.

      the exploding claims is still a bit scary though.

      • kudos - 8 years ago

        Googled to see whether other people were having this problem. I am with a 40W on 240V, so it’s not just the 20W.

  8. Richard Moore - 9 years ago

    I purchased one of these, it works great for the most part. One small issue however. With the original apple 10w charger on my ipad 3, with full brightness the ipad will slowly discharge. Apple “fixed” this with their 12w charger, it never discharges even with full screen brightness. Using the anker charger above, I get the same slow discharge as apple’s original charger.

    I believe the rest of the iPad series doesn’t have this discharge problem using the original 10w charger, or by extension this Anker charger, so it is really only a consideration if you have an ipad 3.

    One other thing, I have a work issued blackberry that is very sensitive to what charger it will allow, I never found a non oem charger that worked with this phone until now.

    I even used it on an Boeing 757 ac power port yesterday to charge multiple devices while in flight, it worked great, all my devices were at full power the entire flight.

    Overall, I would recommend this charger to almost anyone, although I would love a tweek to allow 12w to ios devices vs the 10w max output the charger currently allows.

  9. I hate you.

    Everytime you do one of these product reviews, 10 minutes later my wallet is a little bit lighter. Not literately of course, cause I pay by card ..

    Along side the intended product review items, I also end up with several other related items with my purchase!

    #willpower #lackof

  10. ishaqs - 8 years ago

    Hello

    Will this charge my Note Edge
    like it does 50% in 30mins with the ac adapter it comes in the box of Note ?
    or recomend another one like this that will do that
    Please

  11. Dave Kelly - 8 years ago

    I have an iPhone 6. Will this charge up this phone and does Apple approve it? If the charge runs down in the unit can it be recharged by a USB in my car?

  12. Babis Moraitis - 8 years ago

    I bought one and after 2 weeks port 1 is not working. I will never buy again an Anker product. The cost to send it back was more expensive than the charger.

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Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites.


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