ADG 100W GaN Charger & Hub
I backed the ADG 100W GaN hub and charger some time ago, to be honest I had become so disillusioned with the supplier that I had started to contact them to as them to cancel my order and issue a refund (as it was wildly overdue).
My support experience had not been great as I never received a response from them when I tried to contact them multiple times, and shortly after the item arrived. If they had of given more accurate updates this might not have been an issue (e.g. It's on it's way).
Nonetheless, I have been using the device for around 3 weeks to a month now, so I thought it would be worthwhile doing a little bit of a writeup on the unit, how I have found the unit, and if I would recommend it to others.
What is the device?
The ADG 100W is a combination of a USB (USB-C & USB-A) charger as well as a USB Hub with HDMI, Ethernet, Audio and memory card inputs/outputs. It supports a range of power inputs (100 – 240V AC) which makes it useful as a travel adapter as well (for USB powered devices).
Physical characteristics of the ADG 100 W
The ADG 100W is a rectangular device which is around 94 x 76 x30mm. It weighs around 210g and supports power inputs from 100 – 240V AC. The power adapter has been designed to be modular with two US power pins pivoting from part of the ADG body. In addition to the ADG there are also travel adapters (EU, UK & AU) which essentially slide onto the body of the ADG around the US pins to make the unit modular.
There is also a 2m extension cable adapter which is available. In my mind this is an essential part of the kit, and it has been designed in such a way to allow the travel adapters to be used with the extension cable (which slides onto the US power pins on the ADG, and provides a way for the travel adapters to connect on the other end).
The ADG consists of three USB-C ports, a USB-A Port, a HDMI port, a gigabit Ethernet Port, and a card reader which includes: SD, MicroSD.
With the USB ports, a total of 100W is shared between all of these ports. Some of the ports are only for power delivery whilst other ports also work for both power delivery and within the hub. The limit for power delivery for these ports is provided below:
- USB-C1 = 100W Max (power delivery only)
- USB-C2 = 100W Max (is both power delivery and data transfer)
- USB-C3 = 30W max (is both power delivery and data transfer)
- USB-A = 7.5W Max (is both power and data transfer)
- The ADG outputs a total of 100W, this is Shared between the respective ports so if you have two USB-C devices plugged into the 100 W outputs, then the power will be divided between them.
- The device requires a specific USB-C cable, a normal USB-C to HSBC cable will no work (some minor aspects may work, but most features will not). It needs a HSBC 3.1 E-Mark cable.
I have been using this device for about 3 or so weeks now on a regular basis, both as a travel kit (mainly between work and home) but also at times set up permanently at home. During this time I have been mostly happy with the device with the below exceptions:
- I believe build quality whilst good, could be improved. The USB port housing just seems to stick out a tiny bit too much for me (although it is not that noticeable).
- The extension cord in my mind is essential, but I wish there were shorter lengths. 2m is way to long and I think there should be a middle ground (say 0.5 – 1m). Given the location of the pins, during travel many power points are close to desks or floors which may be an issue so having an extension cord is great, but it is just a bit too clunky.
- The input cable is very finicky, that is it needs to be the right type and model of cable. I would suggest going forward that it would make sense for them to provide a supported cable as part of the kit. If not then make sure you get a supported cable.
- The maximum output of the device is 100W, so this is something to be aware of as this is shared between all the ports.
- Some devices have a minimum amount of power required to run (e.g. a laptop) so you need to make sure you are not trying to pull too much power through all of the ports that the individual USB-C port output is below the minimum required for a laptop.
Whilst I have been happy with the device overall, I am not 100% sure I would buy it again. I don't have a heap of confidence in ADG more generally given my bad experience with the delays and their customer support.
More importantly there is a new type of USB Hub / charger coming out in the near future which combines a USB Hub, USB Charger, but also an SSD (e.g. NVME) enclosure into the device allowing you to put an internal NVME drive in it. This seems like a better idea in my mind especially for a travel device to make better use of space and embed a SSD drive within.
Images Sourced from the ADG kickstarter campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/adg-100w-gan-charger-hub#/
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