How To Choose A Power Bank For Laptops

When going out, everyone is used to carrying a mobile power bank in their bag. In the current era where only a mobile phone can solve all problems when going out, you can rest assured when you go out with a mobile phone. Mobile phones are standard equipment for everyone to travel, but there are still a considerable number of people who go out. In addition to mobile phones, many office workers are commuting with laptops on their backs. Looking at the current notebook computer market that supports PD fast charging, the 12-inch MacBook that Apple once launched is probably the one with the lowest power requirement. With the popularity of PD charging, most thin and light notebooks will start to support C-port PD charging in 2020, which lays the foundation for using mobile power to charge notebooks. When going out, meeting and other occasions when the battery life of the notebook is insufficient, it is undoubtedly much more convenient to plug in the power bank milk that is carried with you than to look for the socket in embarrassment. However, there are not many mobile power models on the market that can charge notebooks, and the protocols they support are also different.

For the vast majority of notebooks that support C-port PD charging, the mobile power supply that can charge them generally needs to use C to C wires. The C-port output has a 20V voltage file and has an output of more than 2A 40W. However, a small number of notebooks originally equipped with 65W chargers have high requirements for charging power, and cannot be charged with common 45W mobile power supplies and PD charging heads. The specific model GG cannot be listed. Please consult the customer service of your own notebook brand. I would very much like to connect a discharged laptop to the first power bank that came across and ... continue to enjoy life. Maybe in the future it will. In the meantime, finding an external charger for a laptop is not so easy. Even power banks designed specifically to recharge laptops may not be suitable for a particular one. Therefore, further we will consider what characteristics portable batteries for a laptop should have and analyze several examples of such devices.

Why can't a laptop be charged from any power bank

The main reason for this injustice lies in the fact that initially mobile batteries were not designed for laptops at all. The first prototypes of modern power banks were small Power Tube capsules with an AA battery inside. They were shown to the world in 2001, but further development and unprecedented popularity came to external batteries a few years later with the rapid growth in the number of phones and smartphones. And for the latter, large power is not required.

Only with the growing popularity of power banks, they started talking about devices for laptops. But for them it was necessary to create new external batteries - with more powerful and heavier batteries and with high output characteristics (we will analyze them below). Such devices are more expensive, and therefore cannot yet push ordinary power banks for smartphones. Moreover, to charge a laptop from a power bank, these devices must be compatible. We will talk about this further.

What characteristics should a Power Bank for a laptop have?


A laptop is a powerful device, so it cannot be charged through a standard USB port, and here's why. USB standards appeared in the nineties of the last century. Since then, many varieties of USB ports have been developed, such as USB 2.0 Type A Plug or USB 2.0 Type B Jack. But they are all designed for low power of a few units, which is not suitable for devices as powerful as laptops. And the power of gadgets is constantly growing from year to year. So the developers decided to make their lives easier by creating a new standard and a universal connector with a power reserve. This is how the USB 3.1 standard and the Type-C connector, designed for a current of 100 W, appeared. But the presence of a dual-sided 3.1 Type-C port in a laptop does not guarantee its operation from a power bank, since a cable that supports this standard is also needed. If the laptop power bank is of high quality and comes with its own cable of the named type, then everything is in order. But in its absence, you should buy a cable with caution, since 100 watts is no joke! Technically, the Type-C cable can be made so that it even complies with the 2.0 standard, and not at all advanced 3.1, which is often used by manufacturers of cheap wires. Type-C cables for a couple of hundred dollars can be made to the old standards, with the resulting power and speed limitations. At best, they will not allow the laptop to charge, and at worst, they can burn it.

However, you can charge a laptop from a power bank not only using a USB Type-C 3.1 connector. Many powerful external batteries have their own ports for connecting laptops. Moreover, universal external batteries for laptops are also equipped with a variety of adapters so that you can connect almost any device. These ports are originally designed for higher voltage and current ratings.

Current strength and voltage

The power banks on the market are for the most part designed to charge phones, smartphones, fitness bracelets and other low power equipment. Therefore, their output voltage is most often 5 volts, since this is the most common value for modern devices. The current for charging them is also used small - about one ampere. But a laptop with such modest parameters will not charge. It needs an output voltage of more than 12 V. Note that many modern laptops require a voltage of 15-20 V, so power banks are often equipped with 16 and 19 V switches. The current for charging a powerful laptop should also be higher than for tablets or smartphones (on average from 3A). For example, in the Pitatel NPS-153 universal power bank, the maximum output current is 4.75 A, and the MAXOAK K2 Laptop Power Bank model can deliver up to 5 A. If the current is much less than what the device requires, then at best the laptop will charge for a long time . Then there is no question of any work on a laptop in the process of charging it from a power bank. The external battery may react to overcurrent and shut down.


This parameter also matters, because laptops consume a lot of energy and have quite capacious batteries. External batteries for charging laptops typically have a capacity of over 10,000 mAh, while the average power bank for charging a phone or smartphone can have a capacity of less than 5,000 mAh. And since the latter were originally designed for low-power gadgets, their voltage and current output parameters are small. Let's not forget that not a single Power Bank for a laptop will transfer the entire capacity due to the inevitable loss of energy during its conversion. For example, with a capacity of 20,000 mAh, a new power bank can only give out about 14,000 mAh (see USB charge loss table below). That is, for long-term operation of a laptop, it is better to take a power bank with a large supply of capacity. But chasing powerbanks with space capacity is worth caution, as there are many fakes in this segment. Recall that high-quality devices with a large capacity are expensive and weigh a lot.


To draw attention to their products, the seller may indicate that the Power Bank is universal, that is, it is suitable for everything from car gadgets to powerful laptops. But it is better to treat this statement according to the principle of "trust, but verify." Studying the output characteristics and ports will make it clear whether, in principle, such a device can charge portable computers. It is also desirable that the laptop charging function is indicated in the power bank's instruction manual and it is described using which port and cable this happens. Some manufacturers also indicate the approximate number of laptop recharges.