After debuting at CES earlier this year, Zolt is finally gearing up to start shipping its tiny laptop charger on November 17. To refresh, Zolt is a 70-watt charger that’s significantly smaller and lighter than traditional laptop power bricks, and it can also charge tablets and smartphones over two USB ports. It seems ideal for today’s laptops and hybrid devices, which are getting continuously thinner, while their power adapters don’t change much. You can preorder a Zolt for $100 starting today on the company’s site, though you’ll have to wait until the company starts clearing out its existing preorder queue until you get yours. It’ll ship with a variety of tips for most laptops, but be prepared to shell out an additional $20 for Apple laptop tips. (Given that a replacement MacBook Air charger costs $80, Zolt still seems like a better deal.)
The company has spent much of the year testing the Zolt charger, marketing head Steven Gibson tell us. He claims it’s the first UL-certified device that can charge a laptop and two mobile devices at the same time. Its closest competitor, the Finsix Dart, isn’t shipping yet and can only charge one mobile device, along with a laptop. While the Zolt is compatible with most laptops these days, it won’t work if you’ve got an older or particularly power-hungry machine that requires an 85-watt charger.
I’ve been testing out a Zolt prototype for a few weeks now, and for the most part, it works as advertised. I’ve been able to charge my MacBook Air, along with multiple smartphones and the occasional tablet, without much issue. It’s been nice not having to lug my Apple power adapter around — the weight difference is noticeable in my daily messenger bag.
Looking ahead, Zolt plans to bring fast-charging and USB-C to future Zolt models. And it’s also considering upgrades like USB hub funtionality, or perhaps even Zolt models with built-in batteries for charging your phone on the go. For now, Zolt is off to a good start.