Ugreen Nexode 140W charger review: Good for 16-inch MacBook Pro owners

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Lately, I’ve had the idea of ​​building separate ready-made tech backpacks that make me feel prepared for any gadget situation. One of those bags would be my lightweight pack containing a laptop and a small Nintendo Switch kit, minimal cables, a battery bank, a mini toolkit and, crucially, a charging brick that can power any gadget I throw at it.

Ugreen’s 140-watt Nexode charger is a strong candidate to be that one charging brick. It’s a three-port GaN charger with flip-out prongs and up to 140W charging for a single USB-C device. The ability to charge a single device at that speed is thanks to support for the relatively new Power Delivery 3.1 protocol (or PD 3.1).

The Nexode has two USB-C ports that can deliver up to 140W and 100W max separately or 65W each simultaneously. It also has a USB-A port for up to 22.5W. All told, the ports deliver 65W / 45W / 22.5W.

The Nexode doesn’t support the super advanced PD 3.2, but Ugreen is kind enough to include a 5-foot braided USB-C cable that will support future 240W devices. But the Nexode supports almost every other USB-C protocol you can use, including Samsung’s largely fast-charging friendly PPS, Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 Plus (and 3.0/2.0), and even Huawei’s SuperCharge (SCP and FCP).

That makes it a good match for my lightweight backpack, as it should support almost any device I come across in the office or elsewhere and be able to charge multiple devices at once. I also need it to support Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro, one of the few devices on the market that supports 140W charging – although you’d need to use Apple’s MagSafe 3 to USB-C cable to get that speed.

The good

  • 140W PD 3.1 charging is fast
  • Easier to carry and more versatile than Apple’s
  • Comes with a braided USB-C cable
  • The official Nintendo Switch dock works

The bad

  • Runs hot at full power
  • Pricey at MSRP
  • More versatile 140W-compatible options are coming to the market

How we rate and review products

In terms of portability, Ugreen says the Nexode is “20 percent smaller” than Apple’s 140W charger, and it certainly seems that way, as the Nexode is closer to the dimensions of Apple’s 60/61/67W bricks. The Nexode is about 3 by 3 by 1.4 inches and weighs about 14 ounces, while the 140W Apple Charger is larger but lighter, about 3.8 by 3 by 1.1 inches and about 9.8 ounces.

I tested the Nexode at full speed with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Starting with a 33 percent charge, it estimated a full charge in 1 hour and 20 minutes. After 31 minutes, the MacBook Pro jumped to 91 percent and the estimate was updated to 29 minutes to a full charge. The Nexode is fast.

With the MacBook Pro charging at 140W, the Nexode reached 118 degrees Fahrenheit with 73 percent battery. My highest reading came to 124 degrees.

But the speed of the Nexode unlocked another form of energy: heat. This stone became almost uncomfortably hot. Even our resident laptop reviewer Monica Chin was amazed at how warm it felt – and she’s covered quite a few charging bricks. I could smell the Nexode – it got that hot.

On a second 140W charge test, I noticed the Nexode getting as hot as 124 degrees Fahrenheit using an infrared thermometer – and it didn’t smoke much that time. I also took the temperature of Apple’s 140W charger, which is also GaN based, and it only got 99 degrees warm.

During general multi-port use, however, the Nexode didn’t feel nearly as warm. The full 140W charging of one device is only possible when only the MacBook Pro (or other PD 3.1 device) is connected. Roger Wan, Ugreen’s PR manager, told me that the Nexode is designed to reduce power to prevent overheating when the temperature reaches 95 degrees Celsius (203 degrees Fahrenheit) – and will resume charging once it returns to below the 75 degrees Celsius (167 degrees Fahrenheit).

With a MacBook Pro connected to port C1 (the only one that supports 140W), I connected a pair of AirPods Max to the USB-A port. The MacBook Pro then reported that it was charging at 100W, instead of 140W. I then connected a USB-C Apple Watch charger (the newer generation) and placed a Series 7 Apple Watch on it – and then the MacBook Pro reported charging as low as 65W. I’ve also noticed when connecting/disconnecting devices to the charger there is a delay of about five to seven seconds before the Nexode redistributes power.

Nexode is shorter but thicker than Apple’s 140W charger.

Apple’s 60W MacBook Pro brick and the Nexode side by side.

The ultra-powerful user/video editor would probably need a dedicated power brick that isn’t interrupted by extra devices like their smartphone. For my needs, the Nexode serves me well. It can even power a Nintendo Switch dock for TV mode and charge two pro controllers at the same time – though the TV screen would go black for up to 10 seconds when plugged in/unplugged.

With Ugreen’s MSRP of $149, the Nexode is on the pricey side. That amount could get you Satechi’s 200W charger which has twice as many ports compared to the Nexode and can support 140W charging without any power outages, along with a second 20W device plugged in. (Although we haven’t tested this yet.) Or you can buy an additional 140W charger from Apple for $99, leaving you with some money left over to buy a few more bricks for your other devices.

But as is often the case with these types of products, the list price is rarely what you have to pay to get one. At the time of writing, Amazon sells the Nexode for around $90, a much more attractive price that’s also cheaper than Anker’s 140W single-port charger. And if the goal is to go light with the large 16-inch MacBook Pro, Ugreen has a pretty good option here with the Nexode.

Photography by Umar Shakir / Acutely

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