More and more people work over the road or need to take their laptops with them while traveling. However, who really wants to hunt for a charging outlet everywhere? That has left many people asking if they can charge their laptops by a portable device in the same way they do with their cellphones.
If you are looking to get longer battery life while you travel, do not be dismayed. Nearly every style laptop has a portable charger that matches it, even if it doesn’t have a USB port.
After all, not everything can be done comfortably on a cellphone, so it only makes sense that laptops have portable batteries. If you travel a lot, keep a portable charger in your bag to ensure that your computer never runs out of juice.
Chargers for USB-C (for Laptops That Charge Over USB-C)
For charging, several current laptops use USB-C Power Delivery. Apple’s latest MacBook computers, for example, charge using a USB-C connector. This is also becoming increasingly popular on modern PC laptops, particularly thin-and-light versions.
If your laptop supports USB-C PD charging, you can use a portable charger that supports USB-C to charge it. However, you can’t just use any battery: You’ll need a battery with sufficient charging speed (watts) and capacity (mAh) to charge your laptop entirely. Smaller portable batteries designed for charging smartphones frequently lack enough of both to power a laptop.
Although a laptop battery is a little heavier, it can still fit comfortably in a laptop bag or backpack. We’ve selected several excellent USB-C batteries for laptops and larger devices. At 60 dollars, imuto’s 45 W power bank is your best overall option.
Unfortunately, while USB-C Power Delivery is supposed to be a universal standard that allows you to charge any laptop with any USB-C charger, this does not always work in practice. PCWorld discovered in 2015 that not every laptop could be charged with every charger.
The only way to know for sure if it will work is to test it with your laptop and a charger. You might look for reviews to see if a specific charger will work with your computer or buy one from a store with a solid return policy.
If you have a laptop that doesn’t support USB-C charging—which, let’s face it, is most computers these days—you’ll need a portable AC charger.
This is precisely what it appears to be. Consider a large battery with an AC outlet. You connect your laptop’s charging cord to it the same way you would a conventional AC power outlet.
Because they can only produce a certain amount of power, we say they work for “most laptops.” For example, they may not be able to charge very power-hungry gaming computers. Examine your laptop to see what it requires.
These chargers are more expensive and more powerful than standard USB-C chargers. They are, however, more versatile, as you can plug almost any device with a regular AC power connection into one. It’s a universal power bank that can be used with many devices in a variety of settings.
The Mophie Powerstation AC, which can offer 100 W of power while remaining thin enough to fit in a bag, is recommended by Wirecutter. It’ll set you back 200 dollars. Wirecutter also liked the RAVPower 27000, which costs 130 dollars and provides 700 W of power but has an “unwieldy charging cable and power brick.”
These are far from the only possibilities, and both. Both brick-and-mortar electronics retailers have a variety of portable laptop chargers and power banks that can give AC power.
RELATED: What Is USB Type-C? What is USB-C, and Why Will, You Need It?
Rechargeable Batteries (for Laptops With Removable Batteries)
Of course, if your laptop has a user-removable battery—these aren’t as prevalent as they once were, but they still exist—you can buy a battery and swap it in when you run out of juice.
To switch the battery, you’ll need to turn off your laptop. Changing the battery is typically inconvenient as well. Even while battery swappable computers have become increasingly rare, it’s still worth thinking about if you have one. Now that you know your laptop can use a portable charger, you can travel with peace of mind. Don’t forget to keep one in your bag.