If you’re like most Apple fans, you probably have multiple devices you need to keep powered up on a near-daily basis. From your iPhone 15 Pro, Apple Watch Series 9, and AirPods Pro to a MacBook Pro, there’s always something calling for some extra juice.
At one time, keeping all of your device’s power requirements satisfied required an octopus-like collection of cables at your desk. Thankfully, wired charging has changed the game, helping to reduce some of that by letting you dock your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods more conveniently to charging pads and stands.
Nevertheless, some things still need wires, and Apple’s higher-end MacBooks crave more power. The good news is that companies have created unique ways to provide everything your Apple devices need in one simple and elegant package, such as ESR’s new 6-in-1 Charging Station.
ESR’s 100W 6-in-1 charger began its life as a Kickstarter project during the summer. The company sent me an early-release unit in August, which I’ve used daily since then. Here’s what I’ve found over the past four months.
Thanks to modern gallium nitride (GaN) technology, ESR has created a MagSafe charging stand that can deliver a staggering amount of power in a package compact enough to fit comfortably on your desk or bedside table.
ESR’s new charger looks remarkably similar to most 3-in-1 charging stands you’ll find on the market, and it has the usual spots for a MagSafe-capable iPhone, an Apple Watch, and a set of AirPods or other wireless-charge capable earbuds. However, as the name implies, ESR’s 6-in-1 charger is designed to handle up to three more devices, and it can deliver up to 100 watts of juice to do so.
That’s substantially more than you’ll get from most other multi-device Apple chargers, which are typically built to deliver around 20 to 30 watts. That’s more than enough to meet the needs of an iPhone (15W), Apple Watch (5W), and AirPods (less than 5W), but even when those chargers offer an extra USB port, there’s rarely enough there to charge even the smallest MacBook Air.
The most noticeable visual distinction between ESR’s 100W 6-in-1 charger and its less powerful models is the more prominent bump beneath the Apple Watch charging stand. This is where the GaN technology lives, which provides enough power to deliver up to 100W to a MacBook or other USB-powered device. As a bonus, since all the circuitry is in the stand, there’s no blocky power brick to deal with; ESR’s charger uses a standard AC power cable with an IEC 320 C7 connector on the stand and a standard two-prong plug on the other end that should easily fit into any outlet.
On the side, a pair of USB-C Power Delivery (USB-PD) ports can each deliver up to 100 watts. A third USB-A port can supply standard 5-watt USB charging to another lower-power wired device, such as a Magic Trackpad or a set of earbuds that don’t support wireless charging.
As with most chargers, this 100W of power is shared between all the devices you connect, but ESR has designed its charger to intelligently distribute power to where it’s needed.
For example, when I plugged in a 14-inch MacBook Pro while charging my iPhone, the charger delivered the maximum 15W of MagSafe power to the phone, with the remaining 85W going to the MacBook Pro via the USB-C port. As the iPhone moved toward a full charge and no longer required 15W of power, ESR’s circuitry shifted the extra over to the USB-C port. By the time my iPhone was above an 80% charge, the MacBook Pro was getting 95W of power, as the iPhone typically slows down its charging above that level to preserve battery health, only drawing 5W for the final 20%.
The same applies when adding an Apple Watch or set of AirPods to the mix. ESR’s stand is capable of fast-charging the latest Apple Watch models (Series 7 or later), which meant my Apple Watch Series 8 could draw a full five watts during its initial charge, slowing down to around 1.5 watts for its final top-up. Again, ESR’s power management circuitry sends the juice where it needs to go, ensuring every device can get the spare power.
To be clear, there is some prioritization at work. Basically, the USB-C ports get whatever power is left over from the wireless coils. Plug in a 16-inch MacBook Pro, which can draw a full 100W from a standard USB-C port, and it won’t choke out the iPhone, Apple Watch, or AirPods chargers; instead, the MacBook will simply get around 70 to 75W when all three of those devices are charging at full capacity.
Similarly, plug in two 16-inch MacBook Pros, and you’ll share that power equally between them until one no longer needs it when it’s fully charged. However, it’s fair to say that’s an edge case for most folks. It’s also only for those who need the fastest possible charging. Even the 16-inch MacBook Pro will charge fine from 70W of power; it just won’t do it as quickly. The latest M2 MacBook Air tops out at 67W charging but only ships with a 30W or 35W adapter, depending on which configuration you opt for.
This means that for most folks, ESR’s charger will give you more than enough power to keep everything at your desk powered up at the same time. However, it also has another really useful trick up its sleeve.
While magnetic charging is convenient, it’s also woefully inefficient compared to wired charging. A wired 20W charger can top up an iPhone twice as fast as a 15W MagSafe charger since some energy is lost in the wireless transfer.
That lost energy takes the form of heat, which is why your smartphone can get much warmer when charging wirelessly. Since this extra heat can take its toll on your battery’s health, Apple has designed the iPhone to slow down its charging speed when it gets too warm. It’s also why Apple requires a magnetic attachment (MagSafe or Qi2) for full 15W charging; misaligned coils on a standard Qi charger will generate even more heat; 7.5W charging helps keep that from getting out of hand.
However, ESR has come up with an even cooler solution — literally — to this problem, thanks to its CryoBoost technology. This is a core feature of most of ESR’s other MagSafe chargers — even their car chargers have it — so it’s naturally available on their new flagship 6-in-1 charging stand.
Combining a fan and some heat-dissipating components in the MagSafe charger, CryoBoost keeps the phone cool, which preserves battery health and allows it to charge more rapidly. ESR says it reduces temperatures by up to 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit (14.7° C). I didn’t put a thermometer on it to check that, but I didn’t need to, as the results were very noticeable.
ESR has come up with an even cooler solution — literally — to this problem.
I’ve been using MagSafe stands daily since the iPhone 12 Pro Max, often without a case on my iPhone. It’s typical for my iPhone to be warm to the touch every time I pull it off the stand, whether it’s been there for only a few minutes or several hours overnight. When I first began using the ESR stand, it took me a while to adjust to the fact that the glass back of my iPhone 14 Pro Max was actually cool to the touch every time I picked it up off the stand; it felt odd enough that I double-checked the first few times to confirm that it had actually charged.
It’s also measurable in terms of charging power. Since the iPhone will slow down wireless charging when it gets too warm, it’s not uncommon to see charging power drop to 10-12W on many MagSafe stands, even when it’s below 50 percent, which is the range where it typically runs at the full 15W whenever it can. With CryoBoost, ESR’s stand consistently supplied 15W to my iPhone 14 Pro Max throughout the entire lower half of the charging cycle.
This is also reflected in the battery health monitoring on my iPhone. Multiple reports suggest many iPhone 14 Pro models have been plagued by poorer battery health, and mine is no exception. My iPhone 14 Pro Max went down to 85% in the first 10 months; however, since I started using the ESR stand much more regularly in August, it’s only lost another 3%. While ESR’s 6-in-1 isn’t the only MagSafe charger I use, it’s the one on my bedside table, which means it’s where my iPhone spends most of its time charging.
For all its benefits, I should add that ESR’s CryoBoost does have one potentially annoying “feature.” Since it involves a fan, it’s not silent, and ESR has decided to advertise its presence with a blue light. The fan is unavoidable but not particularly loud; however, the blue light is purely cosmetic. Neither bothers me while I’m sleeping — I kind of like the “night light,” in fact — but your mileage may vary.
ESR does provide a button on the front of the stand to turn this off, but it disables CryoBoost entirely rather than simply turning off the light. This means you won’t have to hear the fan, but you’ll also lose the cooling advantage. It’s a personal thing, but if you’re a light sleeper with sensitive hearing, it may be enough to bother you if you place the stand in your bedroom.
This leads me to another point. For all of its power and versatility, ESR’s 6-in-1 charging station can be an awkward — and even unnecessary — solution for many folks. After all, you need to ask yourself how often you need to charge everything the stand supports at the same time, in the same place.
For example, ESR’s stand seems like an ideal solution at my desk for plugging in my MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPad, but I rarely take my Apple Watch off during the day, much less charge it. Similarly, while the USB ports are handy for plugging in my AirPods Max and Kindle in the bedroom, neither requires the power that ESR’s stand can deliver. I rarely charge my MacBook there, although it’s certainly nice to have the option for those times when I need to work in bed.
Of course, lots of folks have different needs, and I think it’s fantastic that ESR now provides a 6-in-1 stand for those who want a one-size-charges-all solution in their home or office. It does exactly what it’s designed to do — and keeps your iPhone cool while doing it.
ESR’s 6-in-1 GaN Charging Station with CryoBoost.
It’s compatible with all iPhones with MagSafe, all Apple Watch models, any set of AirPods with a magnetic charging case, and any USB-C or USB-A devices. It comes with a power cable, but you’ll need to supply your own USB cables for any wired devices you want to charge.
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