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Enjoy an affordable, portable, powerful, practical charging setup from Anker. Keep your gear at the ready with the inexpensive MFI USB-C to Lightning Cable, USB-C to USB-C cables, and a Nano 3 USB-C 30W charger. Combine a USB-C to lightning cable for your iPhone, AirPods, or several iPad models, or uses a USB-C to USB-C cable with your iPad Pro or newer generation iPad Mini. Use the 30W Nano 3 charger to provide optimal power for the listed devices.
Since Apple stopped including chargers with the latest iPhones, some may need a USB-C charger for their new USB-C to Lightning cable. If you want a reliable charging system for most modern electronics, look to the Anker Series 5 brand. Thanks to the quality of ANKER gear, you can safely charge an iPhone and AirPods/Pro with a USB-C to Lightning cable (MFI) and depending on the iPad model, perhaps a USB-C to USB-C cable. As the European Union requires a USB-C standard, I expect future Apple devices to move away from lightning ports completely. Until then, why not save a few bucks over Apple-branded chargers/cables.
Anker 541 USB-C to Lightning Cable: The ANKER 541 3-foot USB-C to Lightning Cable arrived in an ~2 1/2 inches square by 11/16 inches thick retail box. The cover provided the blue ANKER name/logo at the top left, a fun “Worlds No. 1 Mobile Charging brand” statement at the top right, a large Series 5 logo at the bottom right, and an Anker Eco logo at the bottom left. The left side panel provided an MFI (Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod) logo, while the right side panel provided three product icons: 80 million happy users, Fast charging, 24-month warranty. The bottom panel provided some support information and recycled packaging details, while the top panel provided a legalese statement. Lastly, the busy surface of the back panel provided the blue ANKER name/logo, a “Live Charged” motto, the product name, A80A1 model number, a long compatibility list, an SKU barcode sticker, and product manufacturing labels.
When I opened the box, I was impressed that the 0.8-ounce, 37 inches long USB-C to Lightning cable had a subtle blue hue and was not sterile white. The USB-C prong measured 1/4 inches long by 3/32 thick by 5/16 inches wide and connected to a rounded 7/16 inches wide by 1/4 inches thick by 1 1/8 inches tall neck collar segment. I gripped the metallic prong and neck segment and pulled outward, bent the prong forward/backward 25 times, and then side to side 25 times. I was pleased with the design, the durability, and the rounded edges. The neck/collar segment tapered toward the cable and assumed a 1/4 inch diameter at the junction with the cable. I gripped the neck segment, pulled it outward, and repeated the flexibility/bending tests as above. Again, I was pleased with the robust design and durability of the cable/neck segment. The lightning prong measured 1/4 inches tall by 1/4 inches wide by 1/16 inches thick and connected to a 3/8 inches wide by 1/4 inches thick by 1 1/8 inches tall neck collar segment. I repeated the prong/collar tests above and found the same quality/durability.
The coiled cable suffered a bit from spring-like memory but improved after a few counter rotations and daily use. Both prongs fit securely into their respective ports and gave a Goldilocks, just-right fit. The fit/connection proved to work with several bumper-style cases and never felt too tight or provided any concern for fit due to the rounded edges. To test the power output, I plugged a Klein Tools multimeter into a UGREEN GaN X200 hub and the USB-C to Lightning cable between the multimeter and my iPhone 14 Pro Max. Starting with 77% power at 10:42 am, the multimeter displayed 5.09V/1.85A (fluctuating). By 10:50 am my iPhone was at 80% power (5.11V/1.54A), at 85% power by 11:00 am (5.10V/1.47A), and reached 91% power by 11:15 am (5.10V/1.18A), when I removed it from the charger.
The cable came with a helpful Anker silicone cable strap for improved storage and portability. The accessory added to the overall design and escalated the cable above basic OEM-style cables. I loved the little button, the flexible design, the etched Anker name, and the ability to add/remove the cable strap. Honestly, I would purchase the belt as an add-on to other cables that I already utilize. I was a fan of the weight, the color, the cable length, portability/packability, the MFI certification, and the ~$17 price point, especially when an Apple 2m cable costs ~$19.
Anker 543 6 foot USB-C to USB-C Cable: Like the USB-C to Lightning cable above, the Anker 543 cover provided the blue name/logo at the top left, Series 5 along the bottom right, “No. 1 charging” statement at the top right, and Eco logo along the bottom left. Both side panels displayed the blue name/logo at one end of the panel and a series 5 icon along the other, while the top and bottom panels were left unadorned. The rear panel provided the company name/logo at the top, “Live Charged” motto at the top right and then the same three icons (80M happy, fast charging, 24-month hassle-free warranty) as the USB-C to lightning cable. Beneath the segment, you will find the product name, A80E2 model number, address/legal/contact information, product manufacturing labels, recycling information, product SKU barcode stickers, and contact information.
I opened the top panel and removed the coiled, muted sea-foam green, 1.9-ounce, 74-inch long USB-C to USB-C cable from the box. Like the cable review above, the USB-C prongs measured 1/4 inches tall by 5/16 inches wide by 3/32 inches thick and attached to a rounded 7/16 inches wide by 1/4 inches thick by 1 1/8 inches tall neck/collar segment. I gripped the metallic prongs, tugged against the neck segments, and bent the cables forward/backward, and side to side. I then repeated the test with each neck segment and found the same durability/design perks as above. I plugged a second Klein Tools Multimeter into another USB-C port on the UGREEN X200 GaN hub and then the Anker USB-C to USB-C between the multimeter and my iPad 12.9” Pro. Starting at 29% power at 11:01 am (15.04V/2.34A), my iPad Pro increased to 44% by 11:16 am (15.06V/2.45A), 50% power by 11:22 am (15.06V/2.38A), 66% power by 11:39 am (15.06V/2.09A), 80% power by 11:56 am (15.04V/2.21A), and 90% power by 12:15 pm. I removed the iPad from charge to keep the battery between ~20-90% for longevity.
Like the USB-C to lightning cable above, the USB-C to USB-C cable suffered a bit from coil memory. I appreciated the included cable strap, the cable length, the snug USB-C to USB-C connections, and the device’s color scheme. After a few daily uses, the cable assumed a more rigid/straight status. I have since added the cables to my EDC BUBM organizer for everyday use/need.
Anker 511 Nano 3 30 W USB-C charger: To round out my Anker Series 5 review, I had the pleasure of testing both the green and black versions of the 30 W USB-C Nano charger. Each charger arrived in a 3 inches wide by 3 15/16 inches tall by 1 3/8 inches thick retail package, and followed a similar design to the aforementioned USB-C to USB-C cable. As an aside, I found it quite interesting that the green version was “Made in China,” while the black version was “Made in Vietnam.” To access the chargers, I lifted the top lid, removed the internal cardboard tray, and removed the eight-panel instruction manual, multilingual safety/FCC/IC guide, and the 1.3-ounce, 1 3/8 inches long by 1 1/8 inches wide by 1 1/8 inches tall chargers. The instruction manual provided a classy ink-outline of the charger, method of use, links to FAQs, a specification table (100-240-1A 50-60Hz input, 5V/3A 9V/3A 15V/2A 20V/1.5A PPS 3.3-11V/3A Max (30W), 3.3-16V/2A Max (30W)), and contact links for the company and customer service.
I removed the chargers from their opaque plastic cocoons and evaluated the features of the devices. The muted sea-foam-green charger had the same color as the USB-C to USB-C cable, but had an iridescent frontal facade. The cover panel displayed the ANKER logo, an +IQ3 logo, and the USB-C port with a blue accent. I preferred the green Nano 3 to the black Nano 3 due to the more subdued ANKER logo on the black device. Both chargers had smooth top, bottom, and side panels, and a well-designed, rigid, retractable type A prong on the back. Additionally, I appreciated that each device displayed the product speciations and product labels on the back surface of the device. The smooth color-rich surface of the Nano 3 paired nicely with the front panel.
I plugged each of the Nano 3 chargers into a standard Type B wall outlet and found that they stacked nicely upon each other, without blocking the outlet above. Additionally the type A design would allow you to flip the charger over if you needed extra room above/below one of the outlets. I plugged a Klein Tools multimeter into each charger, the USB-C to Lightning cable between the multimeter and my iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the USB-C to USB-C cable between the multimeter and my iPad Pro 12.9”. Starting at 7:14 PM with 59% power (14.88V/1.92A), my iPad Pro increased to 85% by 7:50 PM (14.88V/1.67A) and 95% by 8:10 PM. I try to keep my devices between 20-90% most of the time, and thus I removed the iPad from charge at that point. During the same period, my iPhone 14 Pro Max increased from 22% charge at 7:14 PM (8.90V/2.93A), to 76% power by 7:51 (8.95V/0.95A), and 90% by 8:15 PM (8.88V/1.01A).
I appreciated the nano nature of the chargers and the portability/packability of the Nano 3 retractable prong design. I loved that the 30W output could fully power modern iPads, iPhones, AirPods, and could likely provide adequate power to chrome books (not tested). I would not use these devices for my MacBook Pro 15” but I know they would allow slow power in a pinch. If I were to make a single criticism, it would be about the single output port. I try to utilize at least a dual-port charger with so many devices needing power. However, the diminutive-sized Nano 3 chargers ensure you can pack 2-3 chargers into the same space as a single Apple charger. At the ~$22.99 price point, you cannot go wrong.
Finally, I commend Anker for their use of bio-plant-based materials, and their attempts at improving the environment. By using fewer petroleum-based products/plastics, our future may be a bit cleaner.
Learn More about Anker Series 5 gear and follow Anker on Facebook and Twitter.
I am a father of 4, a full-time physician, movie-fan, Cub Scout Leader, part-time gamer and I have a touch of the prepper. I absolutely love science and tech. My goal is to ensure I get the best product and price. My kids and I love games on our Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Oculus Quest, Pokemon GO and anything superhero.
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