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article imageReview: Tronsmart Titan – The most powerful USB charger available

By James Walker     Feb 21, 2016 in Technology
The Tronsmart Titan is an attractive and powerful USB charger. As most new devices can charge over USB instead of via mains outlets, the Titan provides several Quick Charge ports to simultaneously charge a fleet of phones and tablets.
Design
The Titan is a five-port USB hub built to sit on your desk and provide power to your USB devices. Unlike traditional USB hubs, the Titan doesn't deliver data to your computer and can't be used to transfer files from a memory stick. Instead, it is connected to the mains and used to charge devices that come with USB power cables. Think of it as an extension cord with USB ports instead of conventional socket outlets.
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
Tronsmart
The Titan is attractively designed as USB power bricks go. Available in black or white, it is small and quite light-weight. Although easy to position, sturdy rubber feet prevent it from moving around a desk, a welcome inclusion.
Its five vertically-oriented USB charging ports take up the front panel, featuring green inserts to indicate their quick charge capabilities. A single switch on the rear of the device, next to the power cord's connector, lets you turn the ports off without having to disconnect the Titan from the wall.
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
Tronsmart
Giving each port an individual switch would have made the Titan a more fully-featured wall socket replacement but sacrificed some of its clean design. Tronsmart's solution does keep the fascia of the charger looking smart and tidy but I'd still have preferred each outlet to have its own switch. I'd like to be able to leave charging cables and always-on USB devices connected to the Titan permanently but this isn't really possible without per-socket switches to control which devices have power.
Power output
The Titan has a total power output of 90W, delivered as 18W per port. According to Tronsmart, this makes the Titan the most powerful desktop-sized USB charger on the market, a claim that appears to be accurate. Popular alternatives tend to lower the output to each port as more devices are connected, something the Titan has been designed to always avoid.
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
Tronsmart
All five ports support Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology to boost the charging speed of compatible devices. The Titan does its best to charge other phones and tablets as quickly as possible too, using Tronsmart's own patented VoltIQ technology.
An integrated charging chip in the Titan can sense the kind of device it is connected to and automatically adjust the power output accordingly. The result is speedy but safe charging for every phone, tablet, laptop or smart accessory, irrespective of processor or rated power supply input.
Testing the Titan
I've been using my Titan, supplied by Tronsmart, for a few weeks. In that time, I've used it extensively and have been impressed by it. That is, as impressed as I expected to be by something that is essentially a power brick with USB ports. It's hard to get excited about something with as mundane a job as charging other devices, although in some ways that's a good thing.
The Titan is unobtrusive, simply doing what it's designed to with minimal intervention. It looks good on a desk and takes up little space, thanks to its small footprint. Once connected to the wall, you rarely need to touch it again, save for connecting different devices to its sockets.
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
Tronsmart
A small green LED on the top lets you know when it's turned on and matching green accents in the USB ports add a little distinction to the design, differentiating it from other black boxes, USB hubs and charging docks. The overall look is clean without being too distracting when kept on a desk.
I've been using the Titan to directly charge smartphones, a tablet and my Bluetooth earphones. Additionally, it now powers my Nokia wireless charger, permanently plugged into one of the ports, and has proven to be an ideal hub for connecting Raspberry Pi microcomputers.
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
Tronsmart
Although it's difficult for me to get an exact idea of charging speed, the various devices all seem to charge at the same rate from the Titan as they would from their usual power source. I didn't notice VoltIQ increasing speed but as part of its job is to increase charging efficiency it may well have been reducing the power bill behind the scenes.
As expected, all of the devices continued to charge without any noticeable slowdown even with all five ports occupied by a wireless charger, Raspberry Pi, two phones and a tablet. For a techy who tends to concentrate all their devices onto one desk, the Titan is an attractive and convenient way to fast charge them all together.
Conclusion
The Tronsmart Titan is a useful desk accessory for people who own several USB devices, especially ones which don't need connecting to a computer but still require power. It's a more elegant solution than buying several USB mains adapters and one of the easiest ways to keep a fleet of smartphones, tablets and wireless accessories charged.
The Titan's high power output of 18W per port makes it a versatile all-in-one solution for USB charging, capable of quickly boosting a smartphone's battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge, powering always-on USB appliances such as desk lamps and wireless chargers or supporting microcomputers like the Raspberry Pi. Its matte black finish looks smart and its small size makes it easy to incorporate into an existing workstation.
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
The Tronsmart Titan desktop USB charging station
Tronsmart
My only sticking point is the lack of individually-switched sockets, a problem that won't be an issue to every purchaser. The absence of any USB-C ports is another omission that will become more notable over time as more USB-C products become available. However, as a Type B charging station the Titan generally excels.
Its high power output isn't matched by anything else on the market, letting the Titan charge more devices simultaneously without slowing down. Similarly, having Qualcomm Quick Charge incorporated into every port is a very welcome addition, letting you plug a device into any of the available sockets without stopping to think which one would be the fastest.
Overall, the Titan is highly recommended to people who are running out of wall sockets and mostly own USB products. It retails at $79.99 in the U.S. or £39.99 in the U.K. via Amazon. A promotional discount at the time of writing reduces the price by over 50 percent in the U.S. to only $37.99.
Good
- Very high power output, capable of handling multiple devices at a time
- Support for Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology on every port
Not so good
- Ports aren't individually switched
- Lack of a USB-C output means this may not be the best option for people considering an upgrade to a USB-C phone in the near future
Verdict
- A robust and functional desktop USB charger that looks good on a desk and is a useful accessory for anyone with a large number of devices that charge over USB. Its class-leading power output of 90W means all its ports can be utilised at once without any slowdown in charging speed.
- Support for Qualcomm Quick Charge means compatible smartphones will be recharged very quickly and Tronsmart's own VoltIQ technology helps to optimise power delivery and efficiency for all other devices.
- A well designed USB outlet, let down as a full wall replacement only by a lack of individually-switched sockets and no USB-C support, an omission that could affect the Titan's futureproofing.
More about Usb, Battery, Desktop, Charging, Charger
 
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