As our families grow, so do our device charging needs. Where we just used to need 2 USB ports to charge our iPhones, we now have iPads, cameras, Bluetooth speakers, portable flashlight/batteries and even a few Android devices laying around that constantly need to be chargers. Our excellent 2-port ZaggSparq just couldn’t handle all of the stuff anymore. Time to step up to something more substantial.

Anker-reviewsWe’d heard great things about the new Anker IQ 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Family-Size USB power supply. In fact, at Amazon where it can be nabbed on sale for $26, it gets almost exclusive 4 and 5 star ratings.

Anker hooked me up with a unit to test out at CES and I’ve relied on it since to keep our house full of devices charged. What’s particularly impressive about this one is that it has 40W of power to distribute through the 5 USB ports (a 25W one is a few bucks less). Anker’s new IQ does one better by recognizing high power requirements in devices like iPads, other tablets and even HPs new Chromebook and giving those devices the full 2-3 Amps of power they need to get charged quickly. Anker explains it thusly:

Not all USB ports are equal. Where past USB ports were hard-wired to exclusively charge iOS OR Android, we’re introducing Smart Port technology to create a truly universal charger. Dynamically adjusting to any device’s unique maximum charging speed, the Smart Port takes the brainwork out of compatibility.Just plug in and it’ll do the rest.

Were the reviews right? Was this the end to my USB charging woes?

Well, it is hard not to agree with all of the reviews on Amazon. This thing works just as advertized. I was able to quickcharge two different iPads (an Air and a 3) along with an HP Chromebook, while charging an iPhone 4 and iPhone 5s (gold obv.). All 5 devices charged immediately and quickly. The iPads can go for 0-100% in about 4 hours, significantly quicker than if I use a typical 3rd party USB adapter.


Anker’s product is also very solid and made with Apple-like quality in a package about the size of a MacBook AC adapter.

So, I thought I’d throw this product for a little loop.  I got a bunch of these three-headed Micro-USB/Lightning/30-pin cables and took them on a ski weekend and told everyone they could plug their phones and tablets in. All weekend long, as many as 10 devices were plugged in at once. Never a problem.

(Don’t try this at home, I’m sure I broke some warranty/usage guidelines doing this – but it proves there is more than enough power for normal device usages here)

Wrap up:

The Anker IQ 40W 5V / 8A 5-Port Family-Size USB power supply does what it says, quickly charging 5 USB devices simultaneously. It looks nice and very Apple-like. There’s really very little downside here and at a few bucks more than Apple’s single USB port adapter, it really is a no brainer if you need to charge a lot of devices at once.