Review: Fast Charging with the PowerVolt 3.0 Home Charger

When I think of Scosche, the first product category that comes to mind is its audio headsets. However, the company has expanded into more diverse mix of Apple-friendly accessories. A new item type added to Scosche's catalog is its PowerVolt line of chargers. I tested the PowerVolt 3.0: USB-C / USB-A Fast Charger ($34.99). With a retail price half the price of separate 18-watt USB-C and 12-watt USB-A chargers, the PowerVolt might come in handy when traveling and reducing the number of chargers plugged into your wall sockets.

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The PowerVolt's USB-C output makes it ideal for fast charging USB-C devices like phones and tablets, but not for MacBooks or Chromebooks with USB-C charging. It's too bad since it could really be a useful single power companion for iPhone users traveling with their new MacBooks. It would have also been a more compelling product if it had either an extra USB-A port for another charging cable for an Apple Watch or AirPod recharge.  At least the PowerVolt has built-in circuitry that guards against overheating your USB-C and USB-A devices by not over charging, especially since the PowerVolt can recharge Power Delivery 3.0 capable devices up to three times faster than a regular USB charger.

Final Verdict

Scosche's PowerVolt delivers what it promises. The best use-case I can think of is if you and your partner need to share an outlet, with one of you owning an iPhone and the other a USB-C Android phone. It may come in handy during hotel stays where there never seems to be enough power outlets in the room. 

Pros

  • Convenient combination of old and new plug types
  • Charges latest Android and iPhone phones equally well
  • Compact and portable, great for travel use

Cons

  • USB-C Wattage not powerful enough to charge Apple's USB-C latest MacBook laptops.
  • An extra USB-A charging port would have been useful

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Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.