Apple’s MacBook MagSafe Charger is big, clunky, and gets in the way. From the large white cube, down to the all-white cable being just an eyesore from across the room, I wanted a bit more, so when Zolt sent me over their Zolt Laptop Charger Plus, I knew I’d never use the charger that came with my MacBook Air again.
At any given time, I have three things that need charging: My iPhone 6 Plus, My Apple Watch, and my MacBook. The dilemma here is how can I charge them all three simultaneously, but without compromising the output, The slow charge I would get by charging both the Watch and the Smartphone from the MacBook while it’s plugged in, right? Or there’s the Zolt Laptop Charger Plus.
Being at my first ever CES in January, sitting in Press rooms for hours, one thing you’ll notice, everyone needs outlets. We’ve all been there where you’re in an airport and you need to charge two things but only have one available outlet, and chances are you’re competing with someone’s bulky laptop charger (Apple…) so you can’t plug your own in. Well, now you don’t have to travel anymore with a bag full of cables and cords.
About the size of a typical pill bottle, the Zolt charger will charge three of your devices all at the same time. Now, the Zolt will set you back about $100, which you might think to be a lot of money, but in essence, you’re getting a total of eight different laptop chargers in one. The Zolt itself ships with eight charging tips that fit major Windows PCs such as Dells, Acer, and other various brands for free. If you have a MacBook however, there’s an added fee, not because Zolt wants to nickel and dime you, but to their defense, Apple’s licensing policy is very strict when it comes to third-party chargers, and that’s across the board from iPhone to their MacBook’s. So if you have an Asus, Lenovo or other brands, your $100 bucks will go a long way. MacBook users will just have to open their wallets a bit more ($20 Optional MacBook Accessory cable).
There are two USB ports right below the port you would use for your Laptop charger that will easily charge up your phone, tablet, or smartwatch as long as you bring the cables with you. From experience, the Zolt actually charged my Apple iPhone faster than the traditional Apple cube and cable that come with the phone when you buy it. The Zolt itself puts out 70 watts of power, with 40-65 of those going towards your Laptop. One bonus though, is that after your device is fully charged, the Zolt will alert you through a little LED light that flashes letting you know that it’s done. So in the event you have the Laptop and your phone charging at the same time, once the MacBook reaches 100%, the Zolt knows to reduce power going to the Laptop in order to charge up your phone as the priority device.
One caveat of the Zolt is that the actual cable for the MacBook at 3.6 feet long is shorter than the standard cable that Apple gives you for the Laptop. I don’t believe this is done in error but done to minimize having an extremely large cable just taking up space. Now, if you do decide that you want a longer cable, it’ll cost you extra, but the length is completely fine for the average user.
But on the upside, the Zolt actually rotates so regardless if you feel as though the cable is a bit short to reach you, the Zolt plug itself rotates to an angle that will actually work out a bit better for you. This is perfect for those of you who might have L-shaped cables, or even when you’re just in a position where you have a large item sitting in one outlet and need the ability to maneuver around it a little bit.
A friend of mine has used the PlugBug and after seeing my Zolt, they’ve convinced themselves that even though Twelve South was on the right path with that, the Zolt actually executed a bit more with their version of charging your MacBook or Laptop. The fact is that you no longer have to carry about the clunky brick, and you can save yourself some space in your gear bag with their product.
Is the Zolt for you? Quite possibly. If you’re a frequent traveler or a student who is sick of trying to find an outlet in a room full of people with brick chargers, the Zolt battery pack will handle the wall hugging a bit better by allowing you to charge everything all at once and freeing your actual computer’s USB ports for more important things like hard drives, USB flash drives, and the like. Sure, you can pay $79.00 to Apple, and if you don’t have Apple, you can carry about your 9-10 foot cable. But what does that charger do for you other than charge that ONE device? Get yourself a little more by making the investment in Zolt.
Source: Manufacturer Supplied review unit.
What I Like: The fast charge of the Zolt is quicker than my stock chargers; having three ports is ideal.
What Needs Improvement: Nothing as of yet