Satechi makes the best Apple Watch travel charger we’ve seen [Review]
The Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock for the Apple Watch is more portable than Apple’s own. And because it uses USB-C, it’s easier to use with a MacBook or iPad Pro — just plug it straight in.
I put the Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock for Apple Watch through a battery of tests. Here’s how it stood up.
Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock for Apple Watch review
Satechi’s Charging Dock is quite compact. The circular charging pad is surrounded by a squarish casing, but it’s still only 1.7 inches square and 0.3 inches thick. It’s not that much bigger than a matchbox… if anyone still remembers those.
And, because the Dock doesn’t have a built-in cable, it’s much easier to carry around than the charger that comes with the Apple Watch. Just drop it in your bag and it’s ready to go with you wherever — from the coffee shop to Cancun.
Use it and you don’t need a wall socket. Your computer and this charger are all you need to keep your Watch going.
The Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock and Apple Watch go well with an iPad Pro.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
Charging your Apple Watch
The Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock plugs straight into the side of your MacBook or iPad Pro. It’s meant to be used overnight, but even if I’m using my iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard, I didn’t find this accessory and Watch in the way.
Alternatively, you can plug this Dock into any wall charger or power bank that has a USB-C port. And my testing showed that your Apple Watch will still get power if you connect this wireless charger through a USB-C to USB-A adapter, so it can be used almost anywhere.
It would have been nice if Satechi bundled a USB-C coupler with this product so it could be plugged into the cable that charges your MacBook or iPad. Still, you can always pick up one yourself for about $10 or less.
Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock for Apple Watch performance
I fully tested the this Apple Watch charger to be sure there’s no drawbacks to using it. I didn’t find any.
With the Satechi Charging Dock plugged into a USB-C wall charger, it took an Apple Watch Series 2 test device from 10% to 100% in about 90 minutes.
Don’t be concerned that powering up your wearable will kill your Mac or iPad battery. During a test run, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro took an Apple Watch from 0% to 100% while the tablet’s battery dropped a mere 6%.
The Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock uses USB-C, not the older USB-A standard like the default Apple Watch charger.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock for Apple Watch final thoughts
Satechi’s Charging Dock isn’t a replacement for the charger that came with your Apple Watch — it’s an addition. Leave Apple’s standard one at home and carry this travel charger with you on the road. Or keep it at your work for when you forget to charge your Watch. As long as you have it and your Mac or iPad Pro, you can always top off your wearable.
The list price for the Satechi USB-C Magnetic Charging Dock for Apple Watch is $39.99.
Buy from: Amazon
No Apple Watch charger I’ve seen is as portable as Satechi’s. But there are some that come close.
The Wiplabs Apple Watch Wall Charging Stand plugs straight into a wall socket. Place your Watch on top, and it’s good to go. This accessory is available in the Cult of Mac Watch Store for $29.99.
The qCharge Portable Apple Watch Battery is a mobile charger for when you don’t have access to a Mac or wall socket. It’s $79 on the Cult of Mac Watch Store.
Satechi provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.