Aukey PA-U32 USB Power Adapter Tear-Down

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Daniel Sauvageau

Daniel Sauvageau is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He’s known for his feature tear-downs of components and peripherals.

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  • dpedrus
    Nice. Could you do the same for Ugreen 17W 3.4A?
  • leclod
    Yeah ! me too, Ugreen. I have the CD132 dual USB 30W Quick Charge 3.0 but any will do.
  • d.schrei3er
    About the "cracks" around the LED hole: three flowsthey are "knit lines" caused by the flow of plastic into the mold. Its pretty obvious that the plastic converged at the LED hole from 3 fronts: over, under, and in between the two USB holes. By the time the plastic reaches that location it has cooled enough (at least at the surface) that the 3 flows are not hot enough to fully weld. You comment that it seems solid, which it most likely is, and the obvious knit lines may merely be a cosmetic surface defect caused by minimising mold temperature, pressure, and cycle time past the bare minimum. I.e.: there's a reason this device only costs $9.99.
  • mikewinddale
    Thanks for doing these teardowns. I own two Aukey products: a 20,000 mAh battery pack and a Quickcharge charger. This teardown gives me some extra piece of mind.
  • Farrwalker
    This type of article is interesting to me. So may USB chargers out there and so little objective information.

    I recently bought three of Quick Charge 3.0,Onlier 30W Qualcomm USB Wall Charger 3-Port USB Fast Travel Adapter.

    It is supposed to have the following features:

    Quick Charge 3.0
    4x faster than conventional charging. Charge a compatible mobile phone up to 80% in 35 minutes.

    Charging Quicker, Using Safer
    Protect your devices against excessive current, overheating, and overcharging; avoid any security issues happening.

    Qualcomm Quick Charger 3.0 Specification
    Input:100v-240VAC 50/60HZ.
    Output :
    1:DC3.6v-6.5v/3A Dc6.5v-9v/2A Dc9v-12v/1.5A
    2:DC5V2.4A max
    3:DC5v 2.4A max
  • Xajel
    I have a very good experience with AUKey in their cables, I use Type-C ( with QC 3.0 phone and charger ) and Lightening and both are awesome.. I had one charger before which was working flawlessly with all my devices.. but I lost it somewhere...

    For me, AUKey, Tronsmart, Choetech & UGreen are good Chinese brands that worked hard to distinguish themselfs from other cheap makers...
  • Lutfij
    A very nice read! I'll relay the info to my little brother who is an avid user of smart phones and tends to go through USB chargers like the wind :P
  • htelectrical
    No images are showing.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    Anonymous said:
    Nice. Could you do the same for Ugreen 17W 3.4A?

    Anonymous said:
    Yeah ! me too, Ugreen. I have the CD132 dual USB 30W Quick Charge 3.0 but any will do.

    Anonymous said:
    Thanks for doing these teardowns. I own two Aukey products: a 20,000 mAh battery pack and a Quickcharge charger. This teardown gives me some extra piece of mind.

    Glad you found it useful. I'll put Ugreen on my watch list for when I run low on my current stock One problem with buying stuff for future articles so far in advance (and without even knowing beforehand if the topic is going to be a hit or a miss to justify having so many samples ready to go) is that much of it may be gone from the market by the time I get around to it.

    Anonymous said:
    About the "cracks" around the LED hole: three flowsthey are "knit lines" caused by the flow of plastic into the mold.

    That sounds plausible. I don't buy the cost-cutting argument though: you can change where flows meet by adding an extra injection port or widening an existing port, adding/widening/closing vents, making runners slightly deeper, etc. all of which adding very little cost. If $2 adapters can achieve visually defect-free glossy finish, a $10 one should easily be able do the same. Granted, most of the cheapest adapters have a simpler shell with only one USB-A hole in it which makes it more difficult to get it wrong. With only one unit in my inventory though, the surface defect could be an exception rather than the norm.

    Anonymous said:
    No images are showing.

    Chrome? I had issues previewing the article on it too, had to read it with Edge.
  • berezini.2013
    has anyone actually taken up the recommendation and purchased this product?
  • nukemaster
    Another great tear-down.

    Looks great for the price.
  • Xajel
    Anonymous said:
    has anyone actually taken up the recommendation and purchased this product?


    AUKey are actually good for their price... I've had a charger and two cables from them. I lost the charger ( or stolen Idk ) but the cables are very good. the Type-C cable has the safety 56k resistor as required by the specifications, can work with QC 3.0 chargers also with no issue. the Lightening is a MFi certified also so it works flawlessly with iPhone for both data and power.

    Other cables & charger I tried are Tronsmart & lately Choetech also.

    Tronsmart are very good also, I've two car chargers, both are QC 3.0 compatible and work flawlessly. Choetech I only used their cables which are good also...

    I've heard a lot about UGreen but never tried any.
  • drajitsh
    Thanks, useful to know which brands are value for money. Safety = 1 value in my estimation.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    It has been brought to my attention via Twitter that someone on Amazon may be selling fake PA-U32:
    http://www.intertek.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=34359756154
    The ETL unauthorized mark notice picture does not match my adapter: different model name, lacks the Level-VI efficiency mark and the rest is laid out completely differently. My adapter's label does match what is shown on Aukey's product page and, as shown in my tear-down, my unit clearly isn't some cheap generic unsafe and inefficient $1 knock-off job either.

    Intertek does have a result page linking the Aukey brand with the PA-U32 model number (the one I pulled my manufacturer and alternate brands info from) here:
    https://ramuk.intertekconnect.com/WebClients/ITS/DLP/products.nsf/4c8700f3b75987a08525777700583333/c48f2b5e770ef2bf862580ed00064a96?OpenDocument

    As I have already written once or twice before, safety marks are only as trustworthy as the supply chain between the manufacturer and consumer. I doubt that Amazon itself is distributing the fakes, so I suspect ETL's unauthorized sample came from a 3rd-party seller that ships direct: if ETL's fraudulent adapter came from a 3rd-party seller fulfilled by Amazon or Amazon itself, then it would imply that Amazon's inventory was tainted with fakes at some point and might still be today. Unfortunately, ETL's notice doesn't specify the source beyond "known to be sold at Amazon.com" to disambiguate this critical detail.
  • georgewherbert
    After the teardown but before the fakes warning, I purchased one in Feb 2018 at Amazon (seller "Aukey Direct" fulfilled by Amazon). Same PA-U32 but in white vs black. Mine is as far as I can tell identical to the teardown unit (didn't tear mine down), except for the presumably internal part number AQH36 where the teardown unit in black was AQH31.

    I've been using it in moderately rough service since, no problems at all. Clearly feels heavier than average wall cube and feels cooler in operation.