Home » The first USB C charger with 180W via one port, Framework 180W charger

The first USB C charger with 180W via one port, Framework 180W charger

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The first USB C charger with 180W via one port, Framework 180W charger

USB chargers and power banks that can provide up to 140W via a USB-C port are nothing new anymore.

These are still very exotic, but thanks to MacBooks, some of which can charge with up to 140W, they are now somewhat more widespread.

However, the USB PD standard can theoretically provide not only up to 140W, but up to 240W.

However, chargers or power banks that can deliver 240W or the 180W intermediate level are practically non-existent. Until now!

With the Framework 16, Framework has brought the first notebook onto the market that can charge with up to 240W according to the USB Power Delivery standard. The included USB C power supply offers up to 180W according to USB Power Delivery.

This makes this the first 180W USB C PD charger! Reason enough to take a look at this in a small test.

The USB PD 3.1 standard

USB ports used to be very simple when it came to power. A USB port offered 5V voltage and in the best case up to 2.4A (5V * 2.4A = 12W).

However, this is a bit thin for modern smartphones. Accordingly, the USB Power Delivery Standard was introduced or expanded with USB C. USB C Power Delivery ports could deliver up to 100W.

The power has been expanded to up to 5A and the voltage can be controlled in certain levels, 5V, 9V, 12V, 15V and 20V. 20V*5A = 100W. Although 100W is more than enough for smartphones, it can be more than scarce for larger notebooks!

Accordingly, the USB PD standard has been expanded again with version 3.1. The 5A limit still applies to USB PD 3.1, but we still have three voltages above 20V.

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28V * 5A = 140W 36V * 5A = 180W 48V * 5A = 240W

In order to be able to use the full 240W via USB C, a device must be able to handle the 48V input voltage, which, to my knowledge, no other device apart from Framework 16 can currently do.

However, full backwards compatibility also applies here. You could also continue to charge your Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPhone on a “up to 240W” USB C charger. These would then use the familiar lower voltage levels.

Der Framework 180W Power Adapter

The Framework 180W Power Adapter is of course a USB charger in the “notebook charger” style.

However, the charger is comparatively compact at 58 x 26.5 x 122 mm (310g) and the cables are not firmly connected!

On the one hand we have a 3-pin power plug connection and on the other hand a normal USB C output. A suitable 2 meter cable, which can handle up to 180W, is of course included.

Otherwise, the charger is made of normal matte plastic with the simple Framework logo on the top.

180W via USB C

The most important thing for us is of course the USB C port with its powerful 180W.

USB C – 180W USB PD – 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/5A, 28V/5A, 36V/5A

This charger supports all common power levels plus the 28V and 36V levels.

This makes it easy to use not only for notebooks but also for smartphones etc.

No PPS, but AVS

Excitingly, the Charger framework does not support PPS! But it supports AVS.

AVS is essentially PPS for the higher voltage levels.

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15 – 36V at up to 180W

I find it interesting that the framework has the AVS standard integrated, but not PPS. This is exciting because I don’t know of any device that currently uses AVS.

Framework 16 also does not use AVS. But well, it’s better to have than to need, or as the saying goes.

20V and only 4.5A?

Framework specifies the power on the 20V level as 5A. However, my USB tester could only read 4.5A.

So it’s just a reading error? Apparently not, because when I go above 20V 4.5A with an electronic load the power supply switches off.

Is this a problem in practice? Nope, unless you want to use the power supply for a 100W notebook, it would “only” charge with 90W.

Important! There is a possibility that this is simply a bug in the interaction with two of my electronic loads.

No problems with the load test

The Framework 180W Power Adapter is primarily intended as a notebook power supply and notebooks can certainly draw high power over long periods of time.

It can therefore be expected that the power supply is also designed for a constantly high load. This was also confirmed in my test, where it had no problems with a continuous load test.

Tension stability

From a charging speed perspective, voltage stability is no longer as important with USB Power Delivery chargers as it was with classic USB-A chargers.

Here this is particularly important as a sign of how good and stable the electronics are. Of course, it is also important that the voltage remains within certain limits.

The voltage stability at all power levels is excellent! What is interesting, however, is the 28V and 36V level, where the idle voltage is very low, but is increased as soon as there is a load.

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Not problematic behavior, just interesting.

Efficiency

Finally, let’s talk about efficiency.

WOW! This is the best efficiency I’ve seen from a USB charger so far!

For me this fluctuated between 83.5% at very low load and 94.6% at high load. Both are excellent values! Many high-performance chargers are weak in terms of efficiency, especially at low loads.

But 83.5% are great here! We don’t even need to talk about the outstanding 94.6% at maximum load, that’s the highest value I’ve seen so far.

Conclusion

Of course, I don’t expect anyone to buy the Framework 180W Power Adapter based on this article.

Of course, this is not a “regular” USB charger. However, this article is intended to be an indication that there is the first 180W USB C charger, which is also technically excellent!

The charger offers the advertised performance, very good voltage stability and an efficiency that I have never seen before in any USB charger.

So if you are looking for a notebook charger with up to 180W, which can also charge 140W and supports smaller power levels, with a technically excellent quality, the Framework 180W Power Adapter might be an interesting option.

Especially since Framework also sells this separately for around €110.

However, it’s not entirely perfect either. The 20V level seems to be limited to a maximum of 4.5A and we don’t have PPS.

However, this is not a disadvantage for its intended use.

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