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  1. #1
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Charging a USB-C laptop with something other than the standard power pack

    Ive been travelling carry on now for about 6-7 years and still trying to find ways to make it better. One item that Im begrudged to always take is the heavy bulky laptop power brick.

    I just picked up an HP Elite small laptop today for work which seems to charge through USB-C. It has a relatively small power brick but Im wondering if a simple USB-C cable and USB plug will work.

    I appreciate that a small 5W iPhone plug wont be quite up to the job but I have a USB 40W power bank that I use for all my usb powered devices already. http://Anker USB Charger PowerPort 5..._hpg.BbGD2NE3C

    Any Pros out there know if this and a usb cable will work. Id love to be able to leave the power brick at home.


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  2. #2
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    If not, you could try this as an option (though you'd have to buy yet another new thing which is one of the most annoying parts about changing charging standards!!! ): https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Anker...dp/B072K5ZJXF/

    I use it for travel with my MacBook and it's great to have one charger for everything.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  3. #3
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathryn View Post
    If not, you could try this as an option (though you'd have to buy yet another new thing which is one of the most annoying parts about changing charging standards!!! ): https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Anker...dp/B072K5ZJXF/

    I use it for travel with my MacBook and it's great to have one charger for everything.
    Thanks. I just saw the one you mention which seems to have a specific port for the laptop (PD I think). I could then use the other ports for iPhone and kindles etc. Seems like the best overall solution and would just replace the current one I have.


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  4. #4
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    @kathryn's suggestion sounds good -- in general you'd have to worry about whether the unit you'd connect to would be delivering power at the higher voltage required by laptops, even though the USB-C connector could, in principle, make the connection (your iOS devices only require 5 volts, but that won't work for your laptop).

  5. #5
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    I can tell you that one can charge a laptop with a USB-C phone charger, just very, very slowly. (How do I know? I bought the wrong charger to keep at home for my work laptop!)

  6. #6
    Forum Member ceepee's Avatar
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    I don't know if your Anker/cable combo will work, but I've been searching for a solution to the same issue and I think I've found it.....

    MU have just started fulfilling orders for their latest Kickstarter campaign, the MU One 45W USB-C charger

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...rnational-fast

    I received mine a little over a week ago and have used it to charge a Microsoft Surface Go and a Google Pixelbook 2 with no issues.

    I've been a happy customer of MU since they introduced the MU Classic with a fold flat UK plug and the MU One is now accompanying me, as my only charger, on a trip to Canada.

    Card (card-tec.com) also have a compact travel adaptor, the CA4-Pro that has a USB-C charging port plus 3 USB-A ports. It's a very clever design but I found that it ran quite hot whilst charging the Pixelbook. Also, the UK pins fold out in such a way that the switch on a normal UK socket can interfere with it being plugged in. You might find it interesting though.

  7. #7
    Forum Member mrbrown's Avatar
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    For laptops that support USB-C Charging, you will need a charger or powerbank that supports the higher voltage that the laptop requires.

    For 12-inch MacBooks, it will be 29W over a USB-C port.

    For best results, you will want a powerbank that supports USB-C PD, which stands for Power Delivery.
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  8. #8
    Forum Member Perseffect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceepee View Post
    I don't know if your Anker/cable combo will work, but I've been searching for a solution to the same issue and I think I've found it.....

    MU have just started fulfilling orders for their latest Kickstarter campaign, the MU One 45W USB-C charger

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...rnational-fast

    I received mine a little over a week ago and have used it to charge a Microsoft Surface Go and a Google Pixelbook 2 with no issues.

    I've been a happy customer of MU since they introduced the MU Classic with a fold flat UK plug and the MU One is now accompanying me, as my only charger, on a trip to Canada.

    Card (card-tec.com) also have a compact travel adaptor, the CA4-Pro that has a USB-C charging port plus 3 USB-A ports. It's a very clever design but I found that it ran quite hot whilst charging the Pixelbook. Also, the UK pins fold out in such a way that the switch on a normal UK socket can interfere with it being plugged in. You might find it interesting though.
    Thanks for this info. Going to do some research on this one with your suggestions. Cheers.


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  9. #9
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    I also travel a lot and I use LIFEPOWR devices. I have this https://lifepowr.co/shop/ultra-durable-cable/ and also A3 powerbank. Quality of their products is amazing, charging is really fast and safe for battery. Definitely can recommend it.

  10. #10
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    I looked at it for my Surface Book but nixed it after a little research. The biggest benefit of USB-C is for things like universal docking stations in flex office spaces or airport lounges, so you could plug in anywhere and not need to bring the adapter at all. Since the power output is what drives the size of the brick, the only way to shrink that is to get an underpowered one; you'll end up skimming off the battery under use, and have to charge the battery with the laptop off or asleep.

    My factory charger has a USB outlet, and the laptop 2 more, so I just charge other devices off of it while travelling. At 105W, I would have needed the largest wattage USB-C charger for it, just wasn't worth the investment.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by imperator View Post
    I looked at it for my Surface Book but nixed it after a little research. The biggest benefit of USB-C is for things like universal docking stations in flex office spaces or airport lounges, so you could plug in anywhere and not need to bring the adapter at all. Since the power output is what drives the size of the brick, the only way to shrink that is to get an underpowered one; you'll end up skimming off the battery under use, and have to charge the battery with the laptop off or asleep.

    My factory charger has a USB outlet, and the laptop 2 more, so I just charge other devices off of it while travelling. At 105W, I would have needed the largest wattage USB-C charger for it, just wasn't worth the investment.
    Dead on. Trying to charge a laptop with one of those itty-bitty chargers then it is like trying to fill a bathtub with water without putting the drain plug in and only opening the tap half way.

    The small chargers will not charge the laptop, but they may keep the laptop from discharging as quickly as normal.

    I have a Dell XPS13 with the appropriately sized (12000) Dell portable power pack. If the XPS is low on power, then the power pack does virtually nothing, but if you plug it in when the XPS is charged, then the power pack will extend battery life by about 4 hours.

    Your small charger needs to be sized close to the size of the OE charger. If the OE is a 90w, then your new charger will have to supply roughly the same amount.
    Last edited by ceb; 12-02-2018 at 08:11 AM.
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  12. #12
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    This may be too late for your needs but just in case....I got an HP 65W Slim AC Adapter at my company a couple of weeks ago to use for travel. It feels about half the weight of the charger that came with my HP Elitebook.

  13. #13
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    Some people get confused by volts vs. watts vs. amps, but it's really the wattage that measures usable power for electronic devices. The main issue is, as other people noted, there is a minimum wattage that laptops require to charge and many small power plugs don't provide enough watts (usually you need about 30W or more).

    This is a smaller problem, but to make things more complex, some usb input ports only accept specific configurations of volts and amps (volts x amps = watts), so while a plug can output the right amount of watts, it's not in the right configuration.

    Anker just came out with a small plug that does 30w, it uses a different material called GAN. Ravpower also has a small plug with higher wattage (something between 40-50W). The more watts, the faster the battery charges.

  14. #14
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    I must have missed this thread. You might be interested in my solution here.

    Overall my cautionary note is to try to find chargers that are USB-IF certified. You want to know it's doing the right thing and is safe to use.

  15. #15
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    I have an Innergie 60w USB-C charger, and quite like it. It's very small, supports PD, and will charge my 13" MacBook Pro just fine.

    https://www.amazon.com/Innergie-Adap.../dp/B07GBYVF4Q

    I used to keep all of my non-laptop chargers and cables in a small Waterfield Designs Gear Pouch, and stored my MacBook Pro charger separately.

    With the Innergie, I can fit a 2 port USB-A charger, the Innergie, and cables to charge my iPhone, Apple Watch, MBP, along with a Micro-USB cable in that pouch.

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