A few weeks ago, I was stuck.
I was sitting in a Coffee shop 35 miles from home, my MacBook Pro was running on fumes with only 4% left on the battery, and I had an article to publish. Frantically, I rummaged inside my laptop bag for the Offical MacBook adapter I usually carry everywhere.
But not this time.
I’d left the adapter plugged in near my home office desk. I couldn’t believe it. I had no way to charge my laptop, and I had 1 hour to publish the article. I didn’t have the time to rush home to charge the laptop. So I improvised: I wrote the article on my phone. By the time I’d finished, my thumbs were cursing me.
But this experience taught me a lesson: I needed a second power adapter for my Macbook Pro that I could carry with me at all times.
I decided to start my hunt for a new adapter on Amazon.co.uk. I wadded waste deep through the cheap electronic detritus that clogs Amazon’s product pages. Then, after an hour of research, I stumbled on the perfect Adapter for my beloved Mac, the KOVOL PD 3.1 USB-C140W Power Adapter.
Well-priced and with multiple 5-star amazon reviews, I decided to drop the cash on this mighty adapter. It was money well spent.
I was so impressed with the KOVOL, I decided to document my experience in this review.
Read on to discover what I think of the KOVOL PD 3.1.
Score 4.5 / 5
- Rapid fast charging.
- Charges Macbook Pro 13 2020 to full in 2 hours.
- USB-C + USB-A charger.
- USB-C can take advantage of all 140W of power.
- USB-A can draw up to 40W of the total 140W power.
- Well priced compared to the competition.
- Heavy, but still portable.
- It would be best to have a high-quality, high-priced USB-C cable to handle the adapter’s high-watt output.
- Plastic bag in the packaging (why?)
On receiving the KOVOL, I was pleasantly surprised by how small the packaging for the adapter was. The box, smaller in length than iPhone 12 mini, was attractive enough with blue and black ink. I know what you are thinking, “It’s an adapter box, Nick. Why should we care?”. In my experience, companies that go the extra mile to produce good packaging produce good products.
Take a look at Apple.
However, do not expect Apple-level aesthetics with KOVOL’s packaging. It’s serviceable, simple, and plain. Yet, the packaging does all that is required of it. After all, this is a power adapter we are talking about, not a $1000 phone.
Despite the packaging’s simplicity and plainness, the experience of unboxing the KOVOL was still pleasant.
On opening the box, the adapter was snuggly fitted into the inner cardboard support. And several extras and paper paraphernalia were snuggly slipped between the inner and outer boxes.
However, I encountered one issue: the adapter was enveloped in a semi-transparent plastic bag. I do not understand why companies still insist on putting components in plastic bags in this age of environmental awareness. Yes, this particular plastic is recyclable. But, seriously, is there any need for the bag?
However, it’s only fair to point out that the inclusion of a plastic bag in the packaging was a minor ink blot on an otherwise relatively perfect unboxing experience.
I can use two words to describe the adapter: heavy and large.
The first word, heavy, is summed up by the adapter’s weight: 300g. For comparison, my Macbook Pro 13 weighs 1370g. So the adapter is 22% or nearly one-quarter of my Macbook’s weight.
You’ll feel the weight of this thing in your laptop back. But no more so than any other adapter.
Though it’s worth noting that the weight, and size of the adapter, are primarily determined by the laws of physics. There are a lot of coils of wire hidden inside the outer plastic sheath of the adapter that are needed to step up the current pumping in from the main’s socket. So there’s no way of getting around this weight.
The general build quality of the adapter is high. The build quality of the KOVOL is a match for the official Macbook power adapter. That’s the highest praise I can give it.
The plastic is sturdy. The electric pins of the plug are firm and don’t bend, and the USB ports are an excellent tight fit. Sometimes, on cheaper adapters, the tolerances of the dimensions of the ports are low. So USB leads have a tendency to wobble while plugged in.
Not so with the KOVOL.
The USB-C socket on the KOVOL has a pleasing snugness to it. It offers the same tactile bump on fully inserting a USB-C cable as a premium device, such as Macbook Pro, offers. Very nice.
Overall, the build quality of the KOVOL is very high, and I could be more satisfied with it.
The makers of the KOVOL claim that the charger can charge a USB-C MacBook Pro M1 from 0- 56% in just 30 mins. The speed is actually a little faster, based on my testing.
The KOVOL, a 140W charger, charged my Macbook Pro M1 2021 to 56% in 28 minutes and 57. That’s damn fast.
The charger supplied with my Macbook Pro 2021 can output 61W of power. On testing, that charged my Macbook Pro from 0-56% in 34 minutes and 7 seconds.
So the KOVOL is charging my Macbook Pro 5 minutes and 10 seconds faster than the adapter supplied with my Macbook Pro. That’s a 15% reduction in the time to charge.
Now, the first thing that sprang into my mind after these admittedly simple tests was why isn’t the KOVOL charging the Macbook Pro faster? After all, the KOVOL supplies a maximum of 140W of power. That’s more than double the 61W supplied by the Macbook Pro’s default adapter.
Simply put, my Macbook Pro is internally limited to how fast it can charge to keep battery degradation to a minimum.
My Macbook Pro 13 uses less than the full potential of the KOVOL. However, I am certain that more powerful Macbooks, especially those sporting the M1 Pro and Pro Max, will drink down all the power the KOVOL can serve.
Another advantage of the Koval is the USB-A port housed next to the USB-C port. This USB-A port can deliver 18W of power for fast-charging mobile phones and tablets.
Just keep in mind this 18W is pulled from the total pool of 140W. So if you are fast charging a mobile phone capable of pulling the full 18W from the USB-A charging port, the USB-C port will only charge at 120W. I never had a problem with this minor, negligible issue while testing the product.
Overall, the charging capability of the KOVOL is nearly unrivaled.
The KOVOL power adapter is a high-quality, well-made, fast-charging power adapter that is value for money. It’s perfect for fast charging all USB-C devices, including power-hungry laptops such as my Macbook Pro 13.
In testing, it could charge my Macbook 15% faster than the supplied Macbook charger.
The build quality of the charger is very high and easily rivals the build quality of Apple’s own chargers.
Finally, the unboxing experience that came with the KOVOL PD 3.1 was simple yet, enjoyable. However, it was sad to see the inclusion of a plastic bag.
Overall, if you are a heavy user of USB-C devices, such as Macbooks, and want the best possible charging speed without paying high prices, I’d highly recommend the KOVOL PD 3.1 USB-C power adapter.
To buy the KOVOL PD 3.1 USB-C power adapter, head to Amazon here to get the KOVOL at a discount.