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Outfitting your travel kit for USB-C

Old Feb 10, 2019, 11:52 am
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Last edit by: cheltzel
If you want to use USB C for more than charging, then these two posts are useful: 1 2.

When planning your charger loadout, do note the charger your laptop shipped with is not a requirement, a lower one will be fine. For example, https://9to5mac.com/2018/09/25/60w-u...-all-macbooks/ says

the 87W charger filled up my 15-inch MacBook Pro battery more quickly than the 60W charger, but not by very much. After an hour and a half, the 87W charger added 76% battery while the 60W charger added 72%.
On the other hand, most laptops are not built to use higher wattage even if available. It won't hurt your laptop, though.

Buy chargers on Amazon at your own risk, they are known to commingle stock from every third party sellers. But, the chargers here do not have fakes (yet?) so even Amazon might be safe.

The smallest USB C chargers:
  1. Mu One. 45W. Comes with UK, US, EU folding plugs. 96 x 55 x 14mm, 82g with the UK plug attached. 3.78 x 2.17 x 0.55 inch, 2.89oz. Manufacturer shop, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N1PK1RP https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N1PK1RP
  2. RAVPower GaN 45W : 72 x 54 x 14.9mm / 2.83 x 2.12 x 0.59inch, 75g / 2.65oz. This is a similar charger to Mu One only without the nifty plug heads. It is marginally cheaper, but without the unique multi-region folding plugs it isn't as good of an option for international travelers. Manufacturer shop, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H9WMW6N
  3. Innergie 60C (nee 55CC): 65W 60 x 30 x 30mm / 2.3 x 1.2 x 1.2 inch, 85g. While much thicker than the previous two, when the socket is hidden in a recess this has a much better chance to fit. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GBYVF4Q Also, a cable is available to charge legacy laptops https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GBYL5KZ only compatible with the Innergie 60C. This makes the Finsix Dart fully obsolete, it started as a legacy laptop charger and a USB C cable was planned and reviewed two years ago but never shipped.
If you have more than one USB C device:
  1. Satechi 75W: USB C 60W, USB C 18W, two USB A share 12W. 4" x 2.63" x 1", 11.14 oz. Manufacturer shop https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078864F15
  2. LVSUN LS-PD87-2C sold as Hyperjuice 87W charger: two USB C and one USB A all three share 87W. 4.33" x 3.86" x 0.79", 8.32oz Aliexpress Hyper https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KLWDY9C
  3. Hyperjuice battery: 27000 mAh USB C 100W, USB C 60W, USB A 18W. 7.2" x 3" x 0.84" / 183.2 x 77.1 x 21.3 mm Manufacturer shop (although it goes through indiegogo, it is not crowdfunding, it's just a shop)
  4. Maru & Masa Kickstarter: Maru is a 82mm/3.23" diameter bagel, 28mm/1.1" thick, 7.4oz, USB C 45W, USB C 18W, two USB A share 15W, three international AC sockets, nifty interchangeable international plugs. Masa is a battery 80 x 80 x 28 / 3.15" x 3.15" x 1.1" , 11.3oz 18000 mAh, USB C 45W, USB C 15W, Qi 7.5W, kickstand. Promised shipping: April 2019 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...e-yet-powerful
  5. SuperTank & SuperPort 4 Kickstarter: SuperPort 4 is a 114 x 100 x 24 / 4.5" x 3.95" x .95" charger, weight not disclosed, USB C 100W, USB C 18W, two USB ports share 18W. SuperTank is a 27000 mAh battery w/ lots of features, 4.7" x 2.8" x 1.6", 17oz USB C 100W, USB C 60W, USB A 18W, USB A 15W all ports share 138W Promised shipping: May 2019 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ek-recharge-in
  6. AlsterPlus Kickstarter: 7.4" x 3.28" x 0.85", 20oz / 568gr, 27000mAh battery with 2 x 100W USB-C + 2x 18W USB-A, lots of features. All ports share 156W.
  7. Anker Atom PD4. Two USB C, two USB A all share 100W, USB A per port is 12W max. 4.1" x 3.3" x 1.3", 13.5oz. https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Chargin.../dp/B07VSMK849
  8. MagicFox PD180. This is a DC-DC unit, it takes 12-28V 180W via a 5.5mm x 2.5mm jack or 100W max via USB- C input and provides three ports: USB C 100W, USB C 40W, USB A 40W. Size 3.15" x 2.76" x 0.53", 3.44oz. Possible interesting AC-DC choices: Lenovo 4X20Q88542 at 135W either from Encompass with very long ship times or from Japan via Rakuten, Lenovo-to-5.5mm plug adapter here. 4.65" x 3" x .83", 15.24oz. If that's not enough Razer has a 180W which, AFAIK has the right plug. Notably light at 14.82oz, 5.98" / 152mm x 2.87" / 73mm x 0.93" / 23.5mm. The MagicFox PD180 itself is, so far, China only, I had good experiences with Superbuy as proxy so https://www.superbuy.com/en/page/buy...832086035.html While the MagicFox PD180 itself is cheap, high wattage, quality, lightweight AC-DC adapters are anything but.
Getting multiple units from the small section can be more compact and versatile. It is expensive, though and requires plugging multiple devices. Recommended: power strip, wall tap, wall tap. Add USB A ports via slim chargers, Amazon list and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016XO41KQ/

Cabling wise, AmazomBasics and Monoprice is your friend. Do not use female USB C to USB A / micro USB adapters, these are explicitly forbidden by the USB C standard. Male USB C to USB A / micro USB is fine.

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Outfitting your travel kit for USB-C

Old Dec 26, 2019, 12:45 pm
  #211  
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Originally Posted by paperwastage
No, I need at least one usbA to charge my camera/qc20/others

I guess a separate wire isn't that much more annoying, just wonder if someone has seen a built-in plug with the ports I want

I agree that a USB-A port adds utility. When I travel, I have a dual USB-A charger handy to charge my iPhone and iPad on planes.

I have one 30-watt USB-C charger, which came with an Anker power bank. Very useful for recharging a big power bank but now I have a USB-C to Lightning cable so I can use USB-C to charge faster.

USB-C will soon be on phones and tablets. I also have a multi-port USB-A charger for all the other things but I can keep that in my check-in as my immediate charging needs are with the phone and iPad.
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Old Dec 26, 2019, 1:56 pm
  #212  
 
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This
RAVPower one RAVPower one
with foldable plugs has only one USB-C, but it's very compact for the ability to output a full 60W PD if the second USB-A port is not being used (drops to 45W in that case). I've not come across a dual USB C charger of sufficient wattage with a foldable plug.
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Old Dec 26, 2019, 2:00 pm
  #213  
 
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Originally Posted by paperwastage
If want a compact(ish) charger

2 USB TypeC (one fast at 45-60W, one slower at 18W)
1 or more typeA at 12W each, qc optional
Baseus 2C1A - Not 60W + 18W + 12W all at once, but right combination of C, A, fold out prongs.
https://www.chargerlab.com/baseus-65...ardown-review/
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Old Dec 26, 2019, 2:08 pm
  #214  
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Foldable plugs makes for compact charger but I have the hardest time with them for plane outlets.

The Anker one I have won't fit snugly and maintain electrical contact in a lot of plane seat outlets. I often use a plug adapter, which maintains electrical contact.

But it makes the adapter, charger and charger cables stick out so it's prone to being knocked out of the outlet entirely.


Alternative is to have a plugged cord part but then it adds bulk to the charger, to have a power cord to deal with.
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Old Dec 26, 2019, 2:22 pm
  #215  
 
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Originally Posted by wco81
Foldable plugs makes for compact charger but I have the hardest time with them for plane outlets.

The Anker one I have won't fit snugly and maintain electrical contact in a lot of plane seat outlets. I often use a plug adapter, which maintains electrical contact.

But it makes the adapter, charger and charger cables stick out so it's prone to being knocked out of the outlet entirely.


Alternative is to have a plugged cord part but then it adds bulk to the charger, to have a power cord to deal with.
What about a short grounded rotating extension cord?
https://www.amazon.com/Stellar-Labs-Extension-Degree-Rotating/dp/B008I5SHF4/ref=pd_sbs_60_t_0/131-6146195-7970737?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B008I5SHF4&pd_rd_r=eaac3fc6-0b72-43a2-8928-5d7fce3717ba&pd_rd_w=LTWeE&pd_rd_wg=fwFIy&pf_rd_p=5cfcfe89-300f-47d2-b1ad-a4e27203a02a&pf_rd_r=K79TF3S4HBKMFE7Y4Z5Z&psc=1&refRID=K79TF3S4HBKMFE7Y4Z5Z https://www.amazon.com/Stellar-Labs-Extension-Degree-Rotating/dp/B008I5SHF4/ref=pd_sbs_60_t_0/131-6146195-7970737?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B008I5SHF4&pd_rd_r=eaac3fc6-0b72-43a2-8928-5d7fce3717ba&pd_rd_w=LTWeE&pd_rd_wg=fwFIy&pf_rd_p=5cfcfe89-300f-47d2-b1ad-a4e27203a02a&pf_rd_r=K79TF3S4HBKMFE7Y4Z5Z&psc=1&refRID=K79TF3S4HBKMFE7Y4Z5Z

I usually pack a small extension cord if I expect to use the charger in a loose socket or desk https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=5299 grounded to hold in loose outlets.
If I don't need grounded (preferred) https://www.elecom.co.jp/products/T-ADR1BK.html
Other plug configs - c7/8 "mickey mouse" short cord with a desk charger & apple plug adapters
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Old Dec 26, 2019, 2:50 pm
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I pack a short extension cord for my long travels

But don't Carry it around for daily commute/goign to different offices

That's why I wouldnt mind too much about the extra cord for the desktop 2usbC+usbA i linked above

@
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Old Dec 26, 2019, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by freecia
What about a short grounded rotating extension cord? https://www.amazon.com/Stellar-Labs-...S4HBKMFE7Y4Z5Z

I usually pack a small extension cord if I expect to use the charger in a loose socket or desk https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=5299 grounded to hold in loose outlets.
If I don't need grounded (preferred) https://www.elecom.co.jp/products/T-ADR1BK.html
Other plug configs - c7/8 "mickey mouse" short cord with a desk charger & apple plug adapters

Those are thick power cables.

Short but I'm not sure the bulk of them is any less than something like this:

Amazon Amazon

Obviously with all the ports it has, it's bigger than a wall charger. However, the cable is thin though longer than those fat short extension cords.


This seems like a real good deal with a $20 coupon:

Amazon Amazon


I wonder if CES might bring more GaN chargers.

Or especially if the next iPhone goes USB-C, you can probably expect a slew of small USB-C chargers.
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Old Dec 28, 2019, 5:18 pm
  #218  
 
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I ordered this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZCGYP27/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZCGYP27/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The other day. I'm eager to see how it works out. Currently I'm using a single Gan based 45W charger for everything, which leaves me looking for USB ports in the hotel room for my headphones etc. This little guy should do all in one. 45W is enough to slow-charge my Macbook pro 15 inch while it is in use.

The fact it has a cable is also a bonus for those horrible recessed conference room chargers.
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Old Jan 1, 2020, 3:41 pm
  #219  
 
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Please recommend a very small lightweight USB-C charger in the 45-60W range that should work on airplanes (not fall out) and hotel rooms to charge a laptop (Thinkpad X1), phones, and, with a USB-C to micro-USB or lightning cable, earphones or a small power bank.
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Old Jan 1, 2020, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by richarddd
Please recommend a very small lightweight USB-C charger in the 45-60W range that should work on airplanes (not fall out) and hotel rooms to charge a laptop (Thinkpad X1), phones, and, with a USB-C to micro-USB or lightning cable, earphones or a small power bank.
https://www.themu.co.uk/products/mu-one-international I tested it on airplanes, works fine. Not sure what problems others had...
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Old Jan 2, 2020, 3:58 am
  #221  
 
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Originally Posted by richarddd
Please recommend a very small lightweight USB-C charger in the 45-60W range that should work on airplanes (not fall out) and hotel rooms to charge a laptop (Thinkpad X1), phones, and, with a USB-C to micro-USB or lightning cable, earphones or a small power bank.
Unless the charger is really heavy, not falling out of airplane outlets is more a function of the outlet than the charger. Essentially all airplane outlets fit US and European plugs, and most will fit UK plugs as well. On US domestic flights, I find that no matter how worn-out the outlet is, the contacts for European plugs are still pretty intact so I use that. On intra-European flights, I find the opposite to be true. Occasionally one has to resort to using a UK plug, but that adapter is nearly the size of my charger.

If you don't need to charge the laptop quickly while using it, I really like the Anker Atom PD1 31W charger, currently $25 with coupon
Amazon Amazon
It's barely bigger than a stock phone charger. I have a Dell XPS 13 and it complains but then proceeds to charge just as quickly as with the stock charger, even while using the laptop. Your X1 will probably slow down a bit.

If you need more power, the cheap option is the 60W Aukey model referenced upthread, $30 with the coupon:
Amazon Amazon
and the nice option is the Mu One in the post above mine.

There are also a couple cheap 45W chargers that are smaller than that Aukey but bigger than a Mu or the Atom, e.g. this Ravpower:
Amazon Amazon
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Last edited by der_saeufer; Jan 2, 2020 at 4:04 am Reason: Hey FT y u destroy my formatting?
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Old Jan 2, 2020, 5:48 am
  #222  
 
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Just to confirm, for charging my laptop, it appears that I'd need a cable rated for the charger's power, such as
Amazon Amazon
for a 60W charger? Would a cable that came with an 18W phone charger work with the 30W charger?

Can I safely charge small earphones, powerbanks, etc. with these chargers using a USB-C to micro-USB cable such as
Amazon Amazon
? Or Airpods with a USB-C to lightning?
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Old Jan 2, 2020, 7:33 am
  #223  
 
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Originally Posted by richarddd
Please recommend a very small lightweight USB-C charger in the 45-60W range that should work on airplanes (not fall out) and hotel rooms to charge a laptop (Thinkpad X1), phones, and, with a USB-C to micro-USB or lightning cable, earphones or a small power bank.
Originally Posted by der_saeufer
Unless the charger is really heavy, not falling out of airplane outlets is more a function of the outlet than the charger
The problem with almost all of these chargers is that the brick plugs directly into the wall. That makes it prone to falling out, especially with the weaker USA contacts.

My solution to go from brick into wall with a power cable (figure 8), so it is lightweight at point of connection, and I can swap power cable on the country.


The charger of choice is Monoprice PDS75-4UT01, which has 60W USB-C, and additional 12W shared betwen 3 USB-A.
It's been working perfectly for 2 years, charging Thinkpad X1, alongside other accessories simultaneously.

Monoprice no longer sells it, but the identically looking product and model name shows it as 3rd party on Amazon -- albeit with worse ratings.

Amazon Amazon
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Old Jan 2, 2020, 7:54 am
  #224  
 
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Originally Posted by deniah
The problem with almost all of these chargers is that the brick plugs directly into the wall. That makes it prone to falling out, especially with the weaker USA contacts.
Good point. I suppose the alternative is to use a short extension cord. I usually travel with a tiny power strip, so I could use that if the charger falls out of the airplane socket.
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Old Jan 2, 2020, 9:48 am
  #225  
 
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Originally Posted by richarddd
Just to confirm, for charging my laptop, it appears that I'd need a cable rated for the charger's power, such as https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071WNXY1R for a 60W charger? Would a cable that came with an 18W phone charger work with the 30W charger?

Can I safely charge small earphones, powerbanks, etc. with these chargers using a USB-C to micro-USB cable such as https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GGKYAIU/? Or Airpods with a USB-C to lightning?
In theory, any compliant USB-C cable should work; the spec requires all cables to carry 20V/3A. I'm sure there are dodgy cables out there that get warm at 60W but any proper cable is fine to charge any device. USB 2.0 vs. 3.0 doesn't matter for charging. And, yes, it's fine to charge old stuff with a C to micro-B cable as well as Apple stuff with a C to Lightning cable (and in fact the last few iPhones charge faster with PD chargers than the stock one).

Originally Posted by deniah
The problem with almost all of these chargers is that the brick plugs directly into the wall. That makes it prone to falling out, especially with the weaker USA contacts.

My solution to go from brick into wall with a power cable (figure 8), so it is lightweight at point of connection, and I can swap power cable on the country.
Your solution is far less likely to fall out of the outlet but also less compact. In situations where you can get away with the really light chargers (e.g. the PD1 or Mu), I still think those are a better option. When you need more ports or more power, though, I totally agree on the separate cord solution--heavy chargers on a plug adapter are just plain annoying even if the outlet isn't worn out.
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