Can You Charge A Laptop Through A USB Port?

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It's only within the last few years that a quiet buzz was starting to form thanks to the possibility of charging a laptop with a power bank.

The idea is that you can extend your laptop's battery run time with a  large capacity power bank. These power banks aren't physically very large and can easily be tossed into a backpack or handbag.

If you want to skip right to the solution, get this Zendure Super Tank 100W USB-C portable charger on Amazon.

New technology, new ways to charge.

You can charge up a whole host of devices with a powerbank.

Things like your smart phone, your wireless headphones, your smart watch…even flashlights and personal fans.

It makes waaaay more sense to carry a power bank with you than a bunch of power adapters and hope that you find an outlet wherever you have to go today.

You could charge up your laptop and your phone at the same time.

Neat right?

Here's the caveat – only some laptops will be able to be charged with USB.

Those laptops will use a connection called USB-C.

Here's what a USB-C connection looks like in comparison to a standard USB that you've seen for years:

If you want to see what the USB and USB-C ports should look like on your laptop, check out this next photo.

The best way to find out if your laptop can indeed be charged using a power bank via USB-C is to check your owners manual.

Each laptop brand – and even each unique laptop model – can have different specifications when it comes to power requirements.

Electricity and laptops aren't something that should be gambled with because you can easily fry your laptop if you accidentally plug something in where it shouldn't.

Just to show you how confusing it can be – my laptop came in a 14″ and 15″ model. The 14″ allows USB-C charging, but the 15″ does not.

Why? Because the larger laptop uses more power.

I expect it will only be a few years before the majority of laptops can recharge with USB-C.

Right now it's a bit hit and miss.

What is USB PD?

If you've been shopping for a laptop or power bank that can take advantage of Type-C charging, you may have heard “USB PD”.

USB PD just means USB Power Delivery.

Before, you had to make a USB data connection between your laptop and the accessory and then also make another power connection.

USB-C or USB-PD avoids that and means you can have one port that both can receive and supply power and data. Pretty neat!

Which Power Bank Will Recharge My Laptop Using USB-C?

It depends.

What seems like the best method is to look at your power adapter that you connect to a main power outlet to charge your laptop.

You're looking for the voltage.

Here's what my laptop power supply looks like:

Most power banks don't supply enough voltage to charge a laptop via USB-C.  They may have a good capacity, but they probably won't have the voltage to charge up a much larger laptop battery.

For my laptop, the power bank has to supply at least 65 Watts of power to match the Lenovo power adapter that came with the laptop. You can calculate the Watts by multiplying the voltage (V) by the current or amperage (A).

  • 20V x 3.25A = 65 Watts
  • 15V x 3A = 45 Watts
  • 9V x 2A = 18 Watts
  • 5V x 2A = 10 Watts

If I supply my laptop with 65 Watts of power, it means that I can turn on and use the laptop while it's also charging.

Using a power bank that has less than 65 Watts will make charging slower and it might mean your laptop's battery won't have enough charge coming in so that it may not be able to charge and be powered up and in use simultaneously.

Just to make you more confused, this RavPower power bank outputs 30 Watts of power, with a dedicated USB-C output port. This most likely won't be able to power and charge my laptop, but on smaller laptops like the 12 inch Macbook Air, it will do just fine.


How to calculate the amount of power you need

Look on the power adapter that came with your laptop when it was brand new. Spot the voltage (V) and amperage (A) and multiply them together.

Voltage X Amperage = Power (Watts)

If your laptop's power (Watts) needed is higher, like mine at 65 Watts, you can get power banks that are 100 Watts like this Zendure Super Tank 100W USB-C power bank

Over the next few years you should expect USB-PD or USB-Type C charging on almost all laptops.

The Solution

If you need more power, the solution is the Zendure SuperTank. This power bank is large enough to charge most laptops via USB-C while it's turned on and you're use it.

It has a 100W USB-C PD port. This should take care of almost all laptops, unless you have some beast of a laptop that needs more than 100W to charge.

It has 2 USB-C ports and 2 USB ports, all with high output so you're devices will charge up quicker. Carrying a power adapter for each device you own is so 2000's. You should get this monster of a power bank that will last you years because it's got extreme durablitiy. The case is made out of a composite polycarbonate material (polycarbonate + ABS), the same tough material used on high end suitcases to protect the contents.

You know how beaten around suitcases get?

Carry this one power bank and one or two cables and you can recharge almost ever tech item you own.

These new, higher powered power banks will be backwards compatible with your other USB powered devices. So as well as charging your laptop, it can charge your phone, earbuds, smart watch and more

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