As the world has become more mobile, chargers have also become an important part to keep your notebook PC's, tablets, and mobile phones running. To keep up with the enormous strides in computing power, camera sensors, display brightness and resolution, and connectivity found in these devices, battery capacities and power charging levels have also increased dramatically.
Chargers provide the best user experience when they work with a lot of different devices and charges them quickly using higher power levels. However, higher power also presents heat comfort and safety issues, and protections need to be in place to shut down the charger if there is an unexpected sudden current surge. Chargers also have impact on our environment by wasting energy if they are not efficient while operating, or even consuming a lot of power when just plugged into the wall doing nothing.
Investments in good quality chargers is like buying insurance. The higher the quality of the charger, the more devices that can be charged faster safely with less impact on the environment. You don't want to increase the risk of your devices not charging properly in a safe and environmentally responsible manner just because you saved a small percentage of the overall system cost by using cheap low quality chargers.
But how can you tell the difference between a good quality and bad quality charger? Traditionally charger testing has been very complex, difficult to perform, and hard to understand. It's not surprising then that many companies and users don't actually know the quality of the charger they are using and how to compare the quality between different chargers.
With the GRL C2 Tester from Granite River Labs, testing becomes a lot simpler and more accessible, allowing everyone to easily check and compare charger quality. Because it is so quick and easy to use, the GRL C2 Tester was used to test a large number of chargers, and uses big data techniques to analyze and compare the chargers across 6 key measures: Spec Adherence, Charging Speed, Heat Comfort, Surge Protection, Energy Efficiency, and Green Standby.
The Spec Adherence measure shows how well the charger is meeting specifications requirements, and compares which chargers are better at meeting the spec than others.
The Charging Speed measure is based on how much power can be provided and accepted for charging, with higher power contract levels generally resulting in faster charging.
The Heat Comfort measure reflects how comfortable the charger is to hold while running- lower operating temperatures result in higher comfort scores.
The Surge Protection measure looks at how well the charger meets best practices in over current protection to provide adequate amounts safety margins while avoiding unwanted accidental charger shut downs due to transient current fluctuations.
The Energy Efficiency measure is based on comparing how much power goes into the charger from an wall outlet vs how much power come out of the charger over a range of AC voltages and frequencies.
The Green Standby measure reflects the degree to which charger standby (vampire) power consumed from the wall outlet is minimized.
The tested chargers are then evenly divided into quintiles for each measure, with the top quintile representing the chargers that have the best 20% performance for that measure and the bottom quintile representing the chargers that have the worst 20% performance. The top quintile is assigned 5 stars while the bottom quintile is assigned 1 star.
The Overall score is the average of all the quintiles generated for each measure, and the results are again scaled evenly so that 5 stars goes to the top 20%, 4 stars goes to the next best 20%, etc.
In addition to the stars scoring, you can visually see the relative distribution of other chargers for each measure, and how a specific chargers (shown in red) falls within that distribution.