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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 May 17, 2023, 3:53 pm
  #751  
 
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Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory
Sorry, I didn't word that very well.
I don't want to power more than one laptop on a plane. But I'd ideally like to power two laptops at the office/hotel, and travel with a single charger.
I'm worried that a 100W+ charger might not work on a plane, even if I'm only charging a single laptop, as mentioned here: https://www.reddit.com/r/onebag/comm...n_an_airplane/
But I guess it also depends on the laptop, and that information is absent from that post... And most people on the internet outside of Flyertalk don't travel a lot, so I was hoping for more reliable data points.
The laptops I intend to use both come with a 65W charger.
So, there is an old thread somewhere in this sub we could point out to you about over powered adapters, but the long and short of it is, the reason the brick blows the "fuse" of the plug is because during the initial power up, the draw of the system is high. It'll settle down shortly after, but if you plug it in and it shorts, that's what happens. Some people have reported if they plug, unplug and replug the AC adapter fast enough, that it'll stay up.

That said, my advice still applies. You could try plugging two in, but most adapters are not designed for it and you risk rebooting (at the least) one or both laptops and possibly damaging the charger. If you can get two smaller adapters, I'd probably be happy with that. While it might be more convenient for some to have just one charger, I'd rather have a bit of buffer if you did have any issues.
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Old May 17, 2023, 3:57 pm
  #752  
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D you really need both laptops plugged in at the same time? They have batteries for a reason and usually you can charge faster than you can use up the charge with the machine on.
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Old May 17, 2023, 4:21 pm
  #753  
 
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Originally Posted by Xyzzy
D you really need both laptops plugged in at the same time? They have batteries for a reason and usually you can charge faster than you can use up the charge with the machine on.
It's possible. I have two laptops connected most of the time. My work laptop and a client assigned laptop. The client assigned laptop is an access point into their internal network (usually for data loss prevention). Having to flip a charger between two machines would be annoying.
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Old May 17, 2023, 5:22 pm
  #754  
 
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Originally Posted by CarlTheWebmaster
For me personally, I'd prefer to have more than one charger, just to have a backup.
This is exactly what I do. I travel with my Dell laptop charger, and an Anker 747. When I'm staying in a hotel, the Anker stays in the hotel, and the Dell charger stays in my backpack. This reduces the chance I'll walk out of the hotel without my laptop charger - plus gives me a backup if something gets lost/fails/etc.

Anything else I need to charge can also be plugged into the Anker 747 - with one exception. This model has a quirk that whenever you plug something in, it resets the power to all of the ports. Generally that won't matter, but I also travel with a mini-router, and if it's plugged into the Anker then every time something else gets plugged in, the router resets.
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Old May 17, 2023, 5:31 pm
  #755  
 
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Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ
It's possible. I have two laptops connected most of the time. My work laptop and a client assigned laptop. The client assigned laptop is an access point into their internal network (usually for data loss prevention). Having to flip a charger between two machines would be annoying.
I have a corp and a client laptop with asset validation during login. With the client approval, i installed a virtual client on the client machine. The VC is slow but allows me to carry one laptop for shorter trips out of town.
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Old May 17, 2023, 6:03 pm
  #756  
 
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Originally Posted by TGarza
I have a corp and a client laptop with asset validation during login. With the client approval, i installed a virtual client on the client machine. The VC is slow but allows me to carry one laptop for shorter trips out of town.
Depends on the client. I had the choice of separate laptop or a VDI (at least for this client). The VDI is more painful. The only problem is I have four laptops (three clients two who I'm not actively working on projects for, but they said to hold onto the laptops). I haven't had a chance to try the microsoft solution (forget the name at the moment) but it might be handy at one point.
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Old May 17, 2023, 7:00 pm
  #757  
 
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Same situation here - one personal laptop, one client laptop. I have to use Teams etc. from the client laptop, so can't use Remote Desktop (also that would probably be too slow for other things like software development).
Right now, my other laptop is an old X1 Yoga that doesn't have USB-C ports yet. I ordered a new X1 Carbon today, so then both laptops would support USB-C. Being able to power both laptops from a single charger would be super convenient as sometimes there aren't enough outlets near the desk.
Maybe with the new laptop, battery life won't be an issue and I could just work on battery the whole day, but I'd feel more comfortable knowing I could keep both devices charged if necessary. Otherwise I'd have to charge them at home/at the hotel after work, which would be a bit of a hassle, too.
Then again, if the Anker 747 and similar chargers might not work on planes, even if charging only one laptop (for whatever reason), then I'd definitely have to at least get a second 65W charger as a backup...

I actually wonder if something like a PiKVM could work for remote access to the second laptop, but I guess you'd need a connection with super low latency for that.
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Old May 17, 2023, 8:18 pm
  #758  
 
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Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory
Then again, if the Anker 747 and similar chargers might not work on planes, even if charging only one laptop (for whatever reason), then I'd definitely have to at least get a second 65W charger as a backup...
My concern with the 747 on a plane wouldn't so much be the power, but the near guarantee that it's going to continually fall out. It's heavy enough that I can't see it working on any power point I've ever used on a plane. You'd need to also include a cable long enough to get it to the ground or somewhere else in order for it to work.

On the power side, even through its 150 watts, it shouldn't draw much more than the maximum of what is plugged into it. Most normal laptops wont draw more than about 65 watts regardless of what the adapter can provide - although there absolutely are exceptions to that. I just plugged my half-charged Dell Latitude into my Anker 747 with a Kill-a-Watt power meter and a USB-C cable that reports power draw. The 747 can do 100 watts max on any one USB-C port. The Kill-a-watt is reporting 65 watts (well within what a plane can support), whilst the cable is reporting 60 watts (potentially rounded down a little, I'm not sure). If the laptop battery is close to fully charged then the power draw will be even lower.

I used to have a Dell Precision M5510 laptop, which used a 130 watts power supply. The only way to get it to work on a plane was to start with the battery at least about 75-80% charged. Then plug in the power supply whilst not connected to the laptop. Occasionally that would trip the supply, so you'd pull it out and try again. And again. After a while it would work. Then you could plug in the laptop and it would normally work fine. If the battery was less than 50% charged, there was no hope.
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Old May 18, 2023, 7:08 am
  #759  
 
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Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory
Right now, my other laptop is an old X1 Yoga that doesn't have USB-C ports yet. I ordered a new X1 Carbon today, so then both laptops would support USB-C. Being able to power both laptops from a single charger would be super convenient as sometimes there aren't enough outlets near the desk.
Maybe with the new laptop, battery life won't be an issue and I could just work on battery the whole day, but I'd feel more comfortable knowing I could keep both devices charged if necessary. Otherwise I'd have to charge them at home/at the hotel after work, which would be a bit of a hassle, too.
Then again, if the Anker 747 and similar chargers might not work on planes, even if charging only one laptop (for whatever reason), then I'd definitely have to at least get a second 65W charger as a backup...
I generally carry a power bar/strip of some sort when I am onsite. Generally the boardroom tables don't have enough outlets for everyone regardless (although usually in those cases, I am usually down to one laptop). As for whether your laptop could last a whole day or not, depends on what you do. If it's just spreadsheets and powerpoint, most likely. If you do any dev/ops stuff (I need to run VMs in the background) then it won't go. Anything that does media rendering is also similarly going to drain your laptop quick.

Originally Posted by docbert
My concern with the 747 on a plane wouldn't so much be the power, but the near guarantee that it's going to continually fall out. It's heavy enough that I can't see it working on any power point I've ever used on a plane. You'd need to also include a cable long enough to get it to the ground or somewhere else in order for it to work.
The 747 is supposed to come with a "stablizer" (737 too)... but there are other tools for that too. Of course, you could also use a roll of masking tape if you really want too. Depending on cabin, My power bar solution works fine (under seat)...

Originally Posted by docbert
On the power side, even through its 150 watts, it shouldn't draw much more than the maximum of what is plugged into it. Most normal laptops wont draw more than about 65 watts regardless of what the adapter can provide - although there absolutely are exceptions to that. I just plugged my half-charged Dell Latitude into my Anker 747 with a Kill-a-Watt power meter and a USB-C cable that reports power draw. The 747 can do 100 watts max on any one USB-C port. The Kill-a-watt is reporting 65 watts (well within what a plane can support), whilst the cable is reporting 60 watts (potentially rounded down a little, I'm not sure). If the laptop battery is close to fully charged then the power draw will be even lower.
It depends. As my example goes, running a VM will definitely bring it close to limit (most manufacturers usually give some leeway from the maximum draw). Rendering frames for video is also demanding. There are ways to moderate this (eg, disable discrete graphics) but depending on the job, often it can't.
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Old May 18, 2023, 7:35 am
  #760  
 
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Right now, I’m fine with two “regular”, clunky chargers (one USB-C, one proprietary Lenovo).
When I have my new X1, both laptops would have USB-C charging ports, so I was simply hoping to be able to simplify my setup and save some weight/space in my bag.
But I could also absolutely use two Anker Nano 65W chargers, they would already be much smaller than what I’m using now.
I think I might buy a 737/747 and a Nano charger as a backup and just see how it goes… Worst case I’ll return the 737/747 and buy a second Nano charger…
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Old May 18, 2023, 11:51 am
  #761  
 
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For some of our longer flights, I use this 245W 100 WH, 27000 maH battery pack to power both our MBP 14 and 16 while in flight if we both need to have it. Often its ONE of those laptops AND an ipad, or a laptop, iPad and iphone.

https://www.hypershop.com/collection...c-battery-pack

They have typically sold for ~ 129-149, not list price. It doesnt provide ALL the battery pack power listed, but paired with a small 65w single socket USB-C power plug (which fits fine in an airplane socket and gets continued power) the battery will charge all devices, keep itself powered up and not power out. Its airplane safe and approved too.
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Old May 20, 2023, 12:00 pm
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Are the power outlets at the seats not sufficient to charge the laptops or at least keep it level while you're using them?
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Old May 20, 2023, 1:42 pm
  #763  
 
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Originally Posted by frappant
Are the power outlets at the seats not sufficient to charge the laptops or at least keep it level while you're using them?
Depends on the laptop and the airline. Seat power is rated between 75-90w. If you have an ultrabook, shouldn't be an issue. But if you use a more powerful laptop (eg, gaming), the power draw is usually north of 135w. As soon as you plug in the power brick, there is the initial draw of power which is often more than the outlet is rated for, so the breaker trips. As I've said above, some people have been able to use a workaround of quickly unplugging and replugging their power adapter as there isn't that much to charge after so no surge. But for the more hefty laptops (those that do over 200w) this usually does not work.

Assuming you're lucky enough to keep it up and running, you should be good as long as you're not doing anything intensive (eg, running a few virtual machines or rendering a 4k video). If you do, you're likely to trip the breaker again. But if you're just watching a video or doing productivity stuff, you should be good.
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Old Jun 16, 2023, 10:45 am
  #764  
 
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Maybe not so much for travel, but Anker has announced their next range of chargers, including both a desktop 250W charger, and a 27,650mAh battery that can also push out 250W (with 130W/200W versions also available) and has a dock than can itself be used as a 100 Watt USB-C charger.

It's not clear to me what makes the desktop charger a "Desktop" device - the size looks similar to the 747 charger, but it appears to have a fixed power cable, so perhaps that's their criteria.

https://www.theverge.com/2023/6/14/2...r-battery-bank
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Old Aug 2, 2023, 9:48 pm
  #765  
 
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A bit surprised, but no one has mentioned that Framework has sourced a 180W (36V) EPR USB-C/PD charger for their Framework 16 laptop launch.
https://frame.work/blog/framework-la...-power-adapter

The Framework team has also hinted that 240W EPR chargers from third parties are expected to start being seen in the near future. (My guess, that means CES. 2024, or earlier?)

Still, there is going to be limited demand to start, as only the Framework is currently announced to use the higher EPR even 140V EPR is only supported by one MSI laptop (Prestige 16) and the MacBook Pro 16 - the latter actually being pseudo-EPR, as EPR is only available through the MagSafe port/cable, and its USB-C (TB) ports are limited to 100W charging.

It also looks like the EPR chargers will be significantly larger than the 60W-100W chargers we are used to seeing (though still smaller than current AC adapters). Not sure Id want to buy one unless my laptop really needed it.
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