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Outfitting your travel kit for USB-C

Old Feb 10, 2019, 11:52 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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 Jan 10, 2019, 8:10 pm
  #106  
 
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Satechi released a 2 usb-c PD + 2 usb-a 75W charger for $69.99
Amazon Amazon
https://www.redmondpie.com/satechi-a...rger-ces-2019/

I'm looking forward to Anker's Atom PD chargers, especially the two and four port versions. The single port Atom PD 1 charger is slated to go on sale in January https://www.anker.com/deals/powerport_atom It looks like the plug might not be foldable based on stock photos? RavPower also released a single port GaN usb-c PD charger https://theinventory.com/ravpower-fi...war-1831265460. The Atom 1 would probably fit into bedside sockets on weirdly shaped decorative lamp bases while the RavPower might not.

There were also a few usb-c PD power banks announced at CES 2019. I've been waiting for a PD enabled one which is around 10,000 mAh or less ( or < 6 oz) which charges & discharges with usb-c (a few only charge the power bank with usb-c and send power out via usb-a). Mophie's Powerstation PD (XL) is close but max is 18W which limits it to phone and tablet http://uk.mophie.com/shop/powerstation-usbc-pd and looks a little bit chunky for a hand bag.

Fans of Qi have a few charging mat announcements including one on a power bank. Could be useful for those who travel with Qi compatible devices like the discontinued Sonicare Qi toothbrush.
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Old Jan 10, 2019, 8:38 pm
  #107  
 
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Originally Posted by chx1975
Oh there is a huge development: you can now get USB 3.1 to M.2 key M (NVMe) adapters. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/USB3...904347018.html
Sandisk announced the Extreme Pro Portable ssd with NVMe
https://www.anandtech.com/show/13824...-ssd-goes-nvme
Could be an option for those who would prefer not to DIY. I hope they include a compliant A male to C male cable instead of the non-compliant C female to A male adapter (at least I haven't see a compliant C female to A male adapter, afaik https://plus.google.com/+BensonLeung/posts/UFCHbSDRa2o ) they bundled with the current version.
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Old Jan 11, 2019, 1:25 am
  #108  
 
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Newest addition to my travel kit is a 65W charger made by one of Xiaomi's brands. Excellent build quality at unbeatable price, as per usual:


Looking forward to getting this as well, with a MSRP of $30.
https://www.gizmochina.com/2019/01/0...fast-charging/
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Old Jan 11, 2019, 1:37 am
  #109  
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Originally Posted by freecia
Satechi released a 2 usb-c PD + 2 usb-a 75W charger for $69.99
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07M97XGNZ
https://www.redmondpie.com/satechi-a...rger-ces-2019/

I'm looking forward to Anker's Atom PD chargers, especially the two and four port versions. The single port Atom PD 1 charger is slated to go on sale in January https://www.anker.com/deals/powerport_atom It looks like the plug might not be foldable based on stock photos? RavPower also released a single port GaN usb-c PD charger https://theinventory.com/ravpower-fi...war-1831265460. The Atom 1 would probably fit into bedside sockets on weirdly shaped decorative lamp bases while the RavPower might not.

There were also a few usb-c PD power banks announced at CES 2019. I've been waiting for a PD enabled one which is around 10,000 mAh or less ( or < 6 oz) which charges & discharges with usb-c (a few only charge the power bank with usb-c and send power out via usb-a). Mophie's Powerstation PD (XL) is close but max is 18W which limits it to phone and tablet powerstation PD and looks a little bit chunky for a hand bag.

Fans of Qi have a few charging mat announcements including one on a power bank. Could be useful for those who travel with Qi compatible devices like the discontinued Sonicare Qi toothbrush.
I was originally considering the Atom PD 2 for my 13" MacBook Pro but now I'm thinking the Innergie 60C may be a better bet for keeping size/weight down. While the latter only has one USB-C port, the ports on my laptop are active while it's closed, meaning that I can charge my cell phone (which uses USB-C) and my smartwatch (micro USB to the wireless charger but can be converted to USB-C easily enough) through it. However, exact sizes and weights for the PD 2 and 4 still haven't been released, so perhaps they might still be acceptable.
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Old Jan 11, 2019, 1:49 am
  #110  
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Are there security concerns with Chinese branded products?

Apparently malware injection through USB ports is a real thing.
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Old Jan 11, 2019, 2:33 am
  #111  
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Originally Posted by wco81
Are there security concerns with Chinese branded products?

Apparently malware injection through USB ports is a real thing.
You can make a power-only USB cable by following instructions like these that should mitigate that problem. Not sure how to do this on USB-C but I suppose one could convert to and from micro-USB or USB-A when using that adapter (bearing in mind that you'd lose out on PD).
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Old Jan 11, 2019, 2:55 am
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Originally Posted by wco81
Are there security concerns with Chinese branded products?
In this case, wouldn't the more important factor be Chinese-manufactured instead of solely Chinese-branded?
You'd be hard-pressed to find many major brand that are neither. Given their dominance of power banks and cables on Amazon, it's easy to forget Anker is Chinese.
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Old Jan 11, 2019, 2:41 pm
  #113  
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All electronics are manufactured in China.

Remember the claim by Bloomberg that the Chinese had implanted spy chips in Apple products which Apple vociferously denied?

You can expect an American company to audit and make sure nothing is implanted.

But a Chinese company? More likely to be accomplices.
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Old Jan 12, 2019, 7:58 am
  #114  
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Originally Posted by wco81
All electronics are manufactured in China.
Apart from those that aren't.
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Old Jan 12, 2019, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA
Apart from those that aren't.
I suppose a tiny handful are from SK and Taiwan.
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Old Jan 14, 2019, 4:12 am
  #116  
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My latest addition is a Surface Pro-to-USB-C charging cable:

J-Go Tech Surface Connect to USB... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KY31Q4Y?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

I can confirm it does, in fact, do what it says on the tin - it fully charges my Surface Pro 4 just like youd expect. The cable quality is... acceptable. Im not going to say its premium, and I plan to keep a close eye on it for a while. But even if it just serves as a backup charger while traveling, Im excited about adding it to my bag; once I get enough confidence in it, ditching the Surface brick once and for all will be amazing.
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Old Jan 14, 2019, 9:28 am
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interesting, I guess for 20 bucks it's worth a shot.
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Old Jan 14, 2019, 9:57 am
  #118  
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Received the Innergie 60C yesterday. While it's powering my laptop with no issues, I'm a bit disappointed that it seems to move around in the socket very easily. In fact, it's already gotten unplugged several times. Did I get a dud or are they all like that?
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Old Jan 15, 2019, 12:10 am
  #119  
 
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Originally Posted by Coolers
Newest addition to my travel kit is a 65W charger made by one of Xiaomi's brands. Excellent build quality at unbeatable price, as per usual:

What's the model number?
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Old Jan 15, 2019, 3:06 am
  #120  
 
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https://www.zmiusa.com/products/zmi-...e-wall-charger but I'm based in HK so I'm not sure what stateside availability is like.
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