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Inateck 45 Watt Portable USB-C Power Adapter Review

The Inateck 45-Watt power adapter is a small, compact USB-C wall charger for laptops, tablets, or smartphones. We are testing it with various end devices and are comparing it with the 90-Watt USB-C power adapter that is included with the current MacBook Pro 15.
Klaus Hinum, Tanja Hinum (translated by Mark Riege),

Delivery Contents - no USB-C cable included

The Inateck power adapter comes in a plain carton packaging and offers no accessories aside from the instruction leaflet. Here the buyer may need to calculate for an additional (expensive) USB-C cable. As in the Apple Pendant, the plug itself is exchangeable, but there is no second plug included in the delivery contents. Unfortunately, the European plug lacks grounding, similar to the Apple power adapter. However in contrast to that, there is no option here to retrofit it, since only the two power contacts are visible.

Design and Workmanship

With its white high-gloss surface and the gray contrast, we like the plain design of the power adapter. In terms of quality, the edges and gap sizes are not quite up to the level of Apple, but there is no reason for complaint. According to Inateck, the small power adapter uses the MPS HFC0500 chip as a controller to identify the fastest charging method (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A). The USB-C port supports Power Delivery 3.0 (PD 3.0) and as the supported devices, the home page lists for example the 2016 MacBook Pro, Google Chromebook Pixel, Nexus 5x/6P, LG G5, HTC 10, Nokia N1, OnePlus 2, Lumia 950, Google Pixel C, and Nubia Z9.

Power Consumption and Efficiency

MacBook Pro 15 loses battery charge during too high load - but only slowly
MacBook Pro 15 loses battery charge during too high load - but only slowly

As you can see in the table below, on average there is no difference in the power consumption and with that the efficiency with the Teclast Tbook 16 Power (Atom x7-Z8750 based tablet). With the MacBook Pro 15, however, we see a clear difference when charging, since the Inateck is specified at 45 Watt and thus draws a maximum of 48 Watt from the outlet. Of that, about 43-44 Watt arrived at the MacBook, according to the Satechi USB-C meter. The Apple charger, which is specified as 87 Watt, delivers 77 Watt (Satechi: about 74 Watt at the USB-C port) in that state and therefore charges MacBook Pro 15 from 2016 significantly faster. Without load, our Metrahit Energy meter shows a measurable but rather insignificant difference. Here, the Apple power supply is considerably more energy efficient, remaining below 0.03 Watt, while the Inateck uses 0.06 Watt.

Apple 87W Power Adapter Inateck 45W Power Adapter
MacBook Pro 15 2016 charging 77 W 48 W (capped)
Power adapter alone 0.026 W 0.063 W
Teclast Tbook 16 Power off 2.6 W 2.6 W
Teclast Tbook 16 Power idle 8.4 W 8.4 W
Teclast Tbook 16 Power Unigine Valley 16.6 W 16.6 W

Heat Development

We did not notice anything critical in the temperature development. Even after charging the MacBook Pro with a constant 48 Watt load, the surfaces did not reach any critical temperatures (51 °C, 124 °F in the test).

Verdict

Inateck Switching Power Adapter - a travel alternative also for the MBP15
Inateck Switching Power Adapter - a travel alternative also for the MBP15

At currently $28 (at Amazon.com), the Inateck power adapter is considerably below the price of the current USB-C power adapters by Apple, which start at 50 Euros (~$55) for the weaker 29-Watt adapter.

In our test, we compared it against the expensive 87-Watt power adapter of the 15-inch MacBook-Pro from 2016 and had no problems during normal usage. During a normal work day, the battery remained at 100% and also the charging while using the laptop was no problem, even if it was slower than the original power adapter, off course. However under strong load, in addition the MacBook Pro naturally helped itself from the integrated battery, since the 48 Watt are not enough. With the Teklast Tbook 16 Power there was always enough power. We could not hear any noises like transistor humming and the heat development remained within limits as well. The efficiency is only minimally worse than with the expensive MacBook power adapters. Our only points of criticism are the USB-C cable not being included (as it is with Apple) and possibly the lack of a second USB connection. 

In summary, the Inateck switching power adapter is an affordable USB-C power adapter that worked without problems in our test and performed well even when using it with power-hungry laptops.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Inateck 45 Watt Portable USB-C Power Adapter Review
Klaus Hinum, 2017-05- 7 (Update: 2017-05- 8)
Klaus Hinum
Editor of the original article: Klaus Hinum - Founder, CTO - @klaushinum
I am one of the founders of Notebookcheck and primarily focus on articles on new technology like GPUs and CPUs. With a scientific background (Ph.D. in computer science) I try to put facts before emotions in my articles. Since 2005 I am now writing and working for Notebookcheck.