While it is common to use portable chargers to charge small devices such as cell phones and smart watches, you may find yourself wondering if they can also be used to charge your laptop. Put simply, the answer is “yes.” There are some factors that may affect this, though, and you should consider them before attempting to charge your laptop with a portable charger.
Required Power Output
The first factor to consider is the power output that is required to charge your laptop. This varies depending on the laptop you own. A 15-inch Macbook Pro, for example, requires 87W, whereas the 12-inch model requires only 29W. If your portable charger cannot deliver the required wattage, your laptop will charge extremely slowly.
The rate at which your laptop charges in this scenario depends on whether your laptop is on or off. If it is on, it may draw some charge from your portable charger while also drawing power from its own battery, meaning that it could still die even though it is plugged in. This will also drain your portable charger.
If your laptop is off when you charge it with a portable charger that has an insufficient power output, it will still take a long time to charge. In some cases, it may take 12 hours to charge your laptop while it is off.
For these reasons, you should make sure that your portable charger meets your laptop’s power requirements. For almost all laptops, a portable charger with a minimum output of 80W will be sufficient. There are a number of affordable options in this range, such as the RAVPower PD Pioneer 80W.
Compatible Charging Ports
The standard charging port for most of today’s laptops is the USB-C port. Conveniently, most portable chargers come with USB-C output ports. If your laptop uses this kind of charging port, you should encounter no difficulties when charging it with a portable charger.
In some cases, your laptop will have a different charging port. This is most common with older laptops from brands such as Apple, Dell and Lenovo, among others. If this is your situation, you have two options.
First, you may consider buying an adapter for your portable charger’s charging cable. An adapter that is specific to your laptop’s charging port will enable you to charge it with your portable charger. Some power banks like the Maxoak K2 come with a variety of adapters.
Second, you can purchase a portable charger with an AC outlet and plug your laptop charger straight into it. This is a good option if you don’t want to fuss with different adaptors. For a portable charger with an AC outlet, you may consider the Maxoak AC 10.
Portable Charger Capacity
The number of charges that your portable charger can deliver depends on its capacity. When shopping for a portable charger, you should have an idea of how many times you would like to charge your laptop with your portable charger.
When fully charged, your portable charger should charge your laptop at least once. Most portable chargers are capable of charging a laptop 1-2 times. There are options with an even higher capacity than this, but they are generally rather large in order to accommodate their larger batteries.
An easy way to figure out how many times a given portable charger will charge your laptop is to determine your laptop’s capacity in milliAmp hours or Amp hours. Compare this value with the portable charger’s capacity in milliAmp hours or Amp hours, respectively.
A 15-inch Macbook Pro, for instance, has a capacity between 6,345 mAh and 7614 mAh. In this case, you’ll want a portable charger with a capacity of at least this much. There is a difference between listed capacity and actual capacity, though, and you should calculate the actual capacity of a portable charger before you purchase it.
You may have to convert between milliAmp hours and Amp hours, which can be easily done with the following formula:
MilliAmp-hours/1000 x Voltage = Watt-hours.
(mAh)/1000 x V = Wh
It isn’t hard to find a portable charger that will charge your laptop. By considering the above factors along with your specific charging needs, you can ensure that your laptop stays charged while you are on the go.