How to Charge Your Laptop Anywhere With a Portable Charger

A woman using a laptop while laying on a beach.Kite_rin / Shutterstock.com

Do you want more autonomy on the road? You can get a portable charger for almost any laptop, whether or not it has a USB connection. Portable battery chargers are not smartphones. Throw one in your bag and you will always have backup power.

USB-C Chargers (for laptops that charge via USB-C)

Imuto USB-PD power bankimuto

Many modern laptops come with USB-C Power delivery for the load. For example, Apple’s new MacBook computers charge via a USB-C cable. This is also becoming common on new PC notebooks, especially thin and light models.

If your laptop can charge via USB-C PD, you can plug in and charge from a portable charger that supports USB-C. But you can’t use just any battery: you will want a battery with sufficient charge speed (watts) to charge your laptop and sufficient capacity (mAh) to charge it. Smaller portable batteries for charging smartphones often do not offer enough batteries for a laptop.

A battery designed to charge a laptop can be a little heavier, but it can still laptop bag or backpack. We have good USB-C battery choices for laptops and large devices. Our best overall choice is 45 W imuto power bank at $ 60.

Unfortunately, although USB-C Power Delivery is supposed to be a standard that allows you to charge any laptop with a standard USB-C charger, it doesn’t always work that way in the real world. In 2015, PC World found that not all laptops could charge with each charger. The only way to know for sure if it will work is to try a charger with your laptop. You may want to find reviews of whether a charger you’re interested in works with your laptop – or just buy one from a store with a good return policy.

RELATED: The best USB-C batteries for your laptop, Nintendo Switch or smartphone

AC chargers (for laptops without USB-C charging)

The Mophie Powerstation ACMophie

If you have a laptop without USB-C charging – and let’s be honest, most laptops that people use these days – you’ll need a portable AC charger.

This is exactly what it looks like. Imagine a large battery with an AC outlet. You plug the charging cable of your laptop as you would a standard AC outlet.

We say it works for “most laptops” because they can only provide limited wattage. They may not be able to load extremely energy-consuming gaming laptops, for example. Check your laptop to see what it needs.

These chargers are more expensive and heavier than your average USB-C charger. However, they are also more flexible: you can plug almost any device with a standard AC power connection into one. It is a power bank that can work for a wide variety of devices in a wide variety of situations.

Wire cutter recommend the Mophie Powerstation AC, which can provide 100 W of power and is still thin enough to fit in a bag. It costs $ 200. For a more economical option, Wirecutter also appreciated RAVPower 27000, which offers a power of 700 W for $ 130, but has an “unwieldy charging cord and power brick”.

These are far from the only options, and you will find many portable chargers and power banks that can supply AC power both in online stores and in electronics stores.

RELATED: USB Type-C explained: What is USB-C and why you will need it

New batteries (for laptops with removable batteries)

Of course, if your laptop has a user-removable battery – these are no longer too common, but they still exist – you can also just buy a second battery for it and exchange it when you run out of power. ‘energy.

However, you will need to turn off your laptop to replace the battery. Replacing the battery is often very inconvenient as well. It is always worth considering if you have a laptop where the battery is easily exchangeable, as rare as these become.

Fair watch out for counterfeit and poor quality batteries.

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