ZMI PowerPlug Turbo Review

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo
ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I purchased the product in this review.

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo – My most often recommended USB-C PD wall charger

Model: AD03Z

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo specs

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo specs

Tech Specs:

  • Ports: USB-C
  • Output:
    • 45W USB-C Power Delivery 2.0 (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A)
    • Quick Charge 3.0
  • Input: 100-240V, 1.2A, 50/60Hz
  • Size: 2.4 × 2.2 × 1.1 inches | 60 × 57 × 28 mm
  • Weight: 3.6 oz | 101 grams

Learn more about USB Fast Charging Standards.

Included In Box:

  • ZMI PowerPlug Turbo
  • USB-C to USB-C 2.0 cable, 5 feet/1.5 meters
ZMI PowerPlug Turbo box and contents

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo box and contents

Good For:

  • Additional charger for home or work
  • Travel charger
  • Fast charging:
    • iPhone 8/X
    • USB-C PD Android phones
    • Quick Charge Android phones
    • iPad Pro
  • Power banks
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld & docked)
  • 12-inch laptop
  • 13-inch/14-inch laptop
Top: ZMI PowerPlug Turbo. Bottom: Monoprice Obsidian USB-C.

Top: ZMI PowerPlug Turbo. Bottom: Monoprice Obsidian USB-C.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Travel friendly design
  • Includes a USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Works worldwide with 100-240V power input (may need a plug adapter)

Cons:

  • Offers Quick Charge 3.0 over USB-C, which is against USB standards

First Impression

The ZMI PowerPlug Turbo has a great size and weight for a second charger. Or as a toss in your bag and go travel charger. It was so appealing that when I showed it to my wife she took it right out of my hand. The first ZMI charger I bought now lives at her work, I had to buy a second one for my own use. The included USB-C cable is no frills, but no fuss either. At 5 feet the length is good for most locations. I put a velcro cable wrap on it to keep it neat when packed.

Power Meter Readings

iPhone 8
iPhone 8 power meter

iPhone 8 power meter

iPhone 8 power negotiation

iPhone 8 power negotiation

The iPhone 8 fast charges when using a USB-C to Lightning cable. We see the usual power negotiations. Connection starts at 5V, then moves up to 9V. Learn more about fast charging iPhones.

Moto G6
Moto G6 power meter

Moto G6 power meter

Moto G6 power negotiation

Moto G6 power negotiation

The Moto G6 does regular charging via USB-C, even though Quick Charge 3.0 is offers over USB-C. Motorola doesn’t use Quick Charge, its TurboPower tech mimics it. So 100% compatibility isn’t guaranteed. Not to mention Quick Charge over USB-C isn’t sanctioned. Samsung and proper Quick Charge enabled Android phones should see better results.

The Google Pixel and Android phones that support USB Power Delivery will fast charge on the USB-C port. Learn more about fast charging various Android phones.

Nintendo Switch
Switch gaming power meter

Switch gaming power meter

Switch sleeping power meter

Switch sleeping power meter

Switch power negotiation

Switch power negotiation

The Nintendo Switch charges at its max rate, charging while you play. Its charge rate while sleeping is also normal. This charger can also power the Switch’s dock. Learn more about charging the Switch.

The PD protocol negotiation with the Switch is typical. It connects at 5V and moved up to 15V after negotiations. Current steps up once the 15V connection is made.

You can read my review of this charger specifically for the Nintendo Switch at Switch Chargers.

MacBook Pro, 13-inch
MacBook Pro 13-inch power meter

MacBook Pro 13-inch power meter

MacBook Pro 13-inch power negotiation

MacBook Pro 13-inch power negotiation

As a 45W charger it can support 12-inch laptops. As well as 13-inch models running office, Internet, and entertainment apps. If playing video games or using CPU intense apps it may only extend battery life. But either way you get a lot more uptime. Learn more about charging USB-C laptops.

Compared To Similar Chargers

ChargerZMI PowerPlug TurboMonoprice Obsidian Speed USBNekteck 45W USB-C PDRAVPower PD Pioneer 45W GaN
Price$19.95$16.99$19.99$27.99
Output45W USB-C PD
Quick Charge 3.0
45W USB-C PD45W USB-C PD45W USB-C PD
Quick Charge 3.0
PortsUSB-CUSB-CBuilt-in USB-C cableUSB-C
FeaturesUSB-IF certifiedUSB-IF certifiedGaN tech
CableUSB-C to USB-C cableNo cableBuilt-inNo cable
Dimensions2.4 × 2.2 × 1.1 in
3.6 oz
2.8 x 2.2 x 1.2 in
5.4 oz
2.1 x 2.1 x 1.2 in
6.7 oz
2.8 x 2.1 x 0.6 in
2.8 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-08-24.

You can see more USB-C chargers here.

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo with Moto G6

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo with Moto G6

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo with Nintendo Switch

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo with Nintendo Switch

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo with MacBook Pro 13-inch

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo with MacBook Pro 13-inch

Fast Charging Standards Over USB-C & USB-IF Specifications

The ZMI PowerPlug Turbo’s USB-C port supports more than USB Power Delivery. It also supports Quick Charge 3.0. QC 3.0’s presence on the USB-C connection is against USB-IF specifications.

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo

USB-C includes communication lines, along with power and data lines. The comm lines allow power negotiation without disrupting data transfers. USB Power Delivery uses these comm lines. As does Quick Charge 4+. But fast charging standards which pre-date USB-C do not. Instead they manipulate the data lines to negotiate power. That go against USB-C specifications, as it disrupts data transfers. But one doesn’t use data transfers with a dedicated charger.

In 2016, some USB-C chargers started offering Quick Charge 3.0. A few USB-C focused engineers warned against this practice and cited USB-IF specifications. But the predicted consequences were vague. As it turned out, nothing bad happened. Since then many chargers have operated this way, against specs. But there have been no reports of real world issues.

I have also not run into any issues with these fast charging standards on this or any other charger. But you should be aware of all the information before buying.

If you’re a stickler for meeting USB-C specifications this isn’t a good charger for you. If you’re more pragmatic it works well and has no known issues.

Summary

The ZMI PowerPlug Turbo is great value 45W USB-C PD wall charger. Inexpensive, proper power profiles, included USB-C cable. And back with U.S. based support and warranty. There is a reason I recommend this charger more than any other to the Nintendo Switch community. And use it myself for both my Switch and MacBook Pro.

Top: ZMI PowerPlug Turbo. Bottom: RAVPower PD Pioneer 45W GaN.

Top: ZMI PowerPlug Turbo. Bottom: RAVPower PD Pioneer 45W GaN.

As a 45W USB-C PD charger it can fast charge most small to mid-sized USB-C devices. Newer iPhones and Android phones that support USB Power Delivery. The iPad Pro (all versions). The Nintendo Switch, both handheld and docked. And up to 13-inch laptops under most conditions.

It also supports Quick Charge 3.0 over USB-C. That should work with Samsung and Quick Charge enabled Android phones. But I don’t have the devices available to prove it. And you should read the above section on how Quick Charge 3.0 over USB-C goes against USB specs.

I like this charger for commuting or traveling with a USB-C laptop. It doesn’t cover every workload scenario like a 60W charger would. But as I rarely get the fans running on my MacBook Pro I’ve found a 45W charger works fine for my less demanding needs. I’ve also used it to setup a docked Switch at friends’ homes. And with a USB-C to Lightning cable it’ll charge my iPhone when available.

Even if you only have a USB-C phone or tablet this charger is worth looking at. Its price point and included cable make it a great value. You may not need more than 18W. But most name brand 18W USB-C PD chargers cost the same, and don’t include the cable. If the larger size doesn’t matter to you it is the better deal.

About ZMI

ZMI has U.S. based support (web, email, phone) and a 18 month warranty. Zimi Corporation was funded by Xiaomi, a large and well respected tech company in China. And growing in the USA. Zimi provides all mobile power accessories for Xiaomi.

Bottom Line

The ZMI PowerPlug Turbo is one of my most often recommended chargers. At 45W it works well with a lot of various devices. And its price is hard to beat, especially with a USB-C cable included. It may be overkill for smaller devices, but its value is superb. A solid addition to your tech bag.

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