CNN Underscored: Faves List

So many things on this CNN Underscored list I find flummoxing, but the Nano 3 charger is not one of them.

It’s tiny and has 30w.

I’m DONE with hotel USB ports, and the Nano 3 is traveling with me to NYC this week.

Why no hotel USB ports? I’ve heard that this can be a mechanism for identity theft, and heck, I don’t need the hassle of even fact checking that.

The real reason is because USB ports in hotels are never tested, and they’re often broken junk. Why risk that? I hate charging my phone away from the bedside when I’m in a hotel.

What’s your go-to charger?


The 615 is ALWAYS in my bag ready to go at a moment’s notice. Mainly because I never need to charge “just one thing”. It’s always multiple things, and thanks to the size and connections, I don’t have to take multiple bricks with me!


Hotel USB ports are a bad idea for many reasons:

  1. As you said, identity theft is unlikely but possible; you can buy “power only” usb adapters that will not allow data to pass, but at that point a dedicated charger would be better anyway.
  2. Frequently these plugs do not have any type of decent power regulation, overheating protection, etc.
  3. Frequently these are very low power devices, and cannot even power a new smartphone at any decent speeds.

And my favorite personal story. Years ago I forgot my charger and was delighted to see a plug on a table lamp. Plugged in my phone and it started charging; turned off the tv and the lights and went to bed. Wake up in the morning to a dead phone. The USB port only worked when the lamp light was on; such a terrible design. Anyway, I carry a slew of different chargers depending on how many devices I’m powering.


We usually rent lodges, so there is never an USB port available.
At home I use an old Powerport 6
When on vacation I have now a Atom III slim. Very comfortable


I take the old PowerPort 6 when my family is with me as well. If not, I have an older two port Anker wall brick with one USB-C and one USB-A ports on it. Works well for me.


These old chargers are lasting and working perfectly a long time.
I have only some old devices to charge, so I am absolutely happy with them.

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That’s nice! I really like how your colleagues will ask to borrow a charger from you, too! You’re always RTG, Tabor!


Yup. It’s the perfect combination of portable … light and fast.

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Oooooo. I like that Atom 3 Slim!


100 percent on this. All of this.

I’ve had the exact same thing happen with the lamp-USB. So much for truly functional. Argh.

And those are great points on how not all USB chargers are “smart.” Why risk degrading my tech because the hotel chain doesn’t know or care about this aspect of the stay?


Me too!! :grin::grin::grin:

I would never trust in such “unknown” devices.
Same at airports.


Depends on type, duration and location.

If I’m traveling within USA for a long period my go-to charger is this

It gives me a 45W port able to fully power my laptop (Chromebook), 2 USBC for laptop+phone and 2 USBA for watch+audio.

I fit a USA 2 pin cord and to get me to USA I’ll pack a plug adapter.

For USA trips I’ll pack the folding pin 2 USBA charger for more ports and as a backup charger.

For UK my EDC charger is the single port Nano it’s the most compact light wall charger

And if a longer trip the same 4 port desk charger but with a UK cord.

I prefer desk chargers to wall chargers for sleeping in hotels as you can handle when the socket is far away or tucked behind something. They also better handle worn 2 pin sockets than wall chargers which can easily fall out.

I’m also with an Anker Powercore so I’m not reliant on power. I’ll often be keeping my devices fully charged from the Powercore and recharge the Powercore from any available socket. Has advantage of if the socket is not where I’m sat, e.g. airport restaurant of my expensive phone isn’t out of sight.

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Nice kit! I’m bringing my 65w to New York. I think I’m leaving my 140w behind. It’s heavy.


More important is what Powercore you also carry. During travel I’ll have episodes of sat down (e.g sat on train) and if I have a socket nearby I’ll use it, otherwise I’ll connect my Powercore.

That means my devices are typically full or near full, so I’m prepared for long upcoming moving episodes (e.g. walking).

Then if an episode has me stationary but the socket is not nearby I’ll be using devices discharging (but they’re nearly full due to an earlier use of Powercore) so I then recharge the Powercore.

If only with phone I’ll carry a 10000 if with laptop a 20000.

That then means at end of day I’m wanting enough ports recharge everything including a Powercore.

This collection of methods means I’m usually with a nearly full device and a nearly full Powercore so if I’m about to enter an unexpected long period without sockets I can handle it.

People who don’t carry a Powercore more often find themselves with a brief time next to a socket and a nearly empty device and so hunt for faster chargers making themselves both more vulnerable and spending more money.

Anker have never made a Powercore without a USBA socket, meaning you can travel with only USBC chargers and recharge your USBA device from the Powercore and recharge the Powercore from your exclusively USBC charger.

This is my EDC when out only with phone in UK

  • Anker Powercore 10000 PD. This is no longer made (shame) but does both USBA 10W and USBC 18W concurrently.
  • Short USBC to USBC cable. Anker doesn’t make them.
  • USBC to usbB adapter for my bike lights.
  • Soundcore X10 waterproof overear hook buds for wet weather or I want ANC
  • USBA light , it’s summer so chance I’ll need a flashlight is very low, this is a very lightweight way to make light from the Powercore.
  • Soundcore Frames (discontinued) and charging cable noting it’s USBA (silly engineering decision). I’m always wearing my Frames either clear lens winter or dark lens summer, the X10 is for when it rains or I’m indoors in company as Frames everyone can hear them.
  • Fossil smart watch USBA charging cable.
  • Anker Nano 20W charger. This is the best ever charger Anker ever made for UK, it’s 41g , puts all the GaNPRIME to shame as say a 45W is 90g.

For comparison this is my phone’s charger a OnePlus 80W with it’s cable Vs the Anker Nano, 10000 and a short cable. The supplied phone charger never leaves home, my EDC is more flexible and harder to leave me with a flat phone.

Never use the hotel USB ports terrible idea. Depending on my trip decides which Anker charger I bring but there is always one in my bag. I once brought an Anker powerport that had I think 6 ports to Nicaragua with me cause I knew wheee I was staying there would be like one outlet and a bunch of people needing to charge.


The most versatile approach is bring a USA power extension cable and then can place 2 or 3 wall chargers on either side. It covers when there’s contention on sockets (take 1 gives 3) and a 12ft cord gets awkwardly located sockets into use even if worn weak as little weight.

You can then bring 2 wall chargers each with fewer ports so difficult to be left short of capacity or performance and the total charger cost can be lower.

These images from 2017, look how old the chargers look now!

This works globally as you simply add the local socket adapter once at the extension cord even though all your chargers are USA type. This means you get the full benefits of USA folding pins.

That then means you have simple plug “dumb” adapter, a simple extension cord, and 2 wall chargers so it’s nigh impossible for a situation you can’t handle. Add Powercore to cover no power and you’re good.

You’re the friend with a charger … and we all need at least one!

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It’s always a hassle when they’re unreliable or potentially unsafe. The Nano 3 charger you mentioned seems like a great solution with its compact size and 30W power. It’s wise to bring your own charger when traveling, especially to a place like NYC.

As for the reasons behind the absence of USB ports in hotel rooms, there are a few factors to consider. While concerns about identity theft through compromised USB ports have been raised, it’s essential to fact-check such claims to separate misinformation from actual risks. However, the more common reason for the lack of USB ports in hotels is often due to the inconsistency in quality and functionality. USB ports are not always tested and can be prone to malfunction or be of poor quality. To avoid potential issues, relying on a personal charger is a reliable choice.

Of course its much better to use your own charger.
A “normal” power outlet should be found in a “normel” hotel! :grin: