Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Choosing a power bank for a laptop: what you should know before buying

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jul5,2024

We choose power bank for a laptop: what you should know before buying

In order not to stop working during power outages, you should take care of a powerful power source for your laptop in advance. Not only an expensive and bulky charging station can become such, but also an ordinary power bank. However, even it must meet certain characteristics.

It's no secret that most people perceive power banks only as devices for charging small appliances, such as smartphones, headphones or watches. Analogues for laptops are largely the same – it is difficult to distinguish them from the outside. Instead, the significant differences lie within. So how to make the right choice considering the specifics of use? Techno 24 gives relevant advice.

The main difference – amperage and voltage

Smartphones and laptops vary greatly in their power needs. Therefore, if you connect an ordinary low-power PowerBank to the laptop, at best it will charge so slowly that it will consume energy faster than it will receive. At worst – does not react at all.

First of all, pay attention to the power. It should be equal to or higher than the power of the laptop charger. You should look for this information on your computer – all of them have a special information sticker. It shows power in Watts (W), output voltage in Volts (V) and current in Amps (A).

Conventional power banks offer an output voltage of five volts (sometimes eight). They also use a small current – about one ampere. But the laptop will not charge under such modest parameters. It needs an output voltage of more than 12 volts, and a current of at least 3 amps. If less – the charging process will be extremely slow.

Many modern laptops generally require a voltage of 15-20 volts, so power banks are often equipped with special switches.

Do you have enough capacity?

Laptops have significantly larger batteries than smartphones. It's not surprising, because they need to power a huge, always-on screen, a keyboard, a trackpad and many other elements that a phone does not have.

Similarly to the previous indicator, you should first find out the battery capacity of your laptop. This can be done on the website of the store or manufacturer, in the technical documentation, or on the case.

As a rule, power banks for laptops start at 10,000 milliampere-hours. But, of course, it is better to choose larger ones. The thing is, with any power bank you will never get all the energy it stores. Part is lost when charging the laptop/smartphone, so the actual capacity is always less.

The most optimal option – 20,000 milliamp-hours. But do not forget that there are a lot of fakes in this segment. There are frequent cases when fraudsters fill battery cases with sand to increase the mass, and the real capacity turns out to be very small. Therefore, it is worth remembering that devices with a large capacity are expensive. Buy them only from authorized and verified suppliers.

Pay attention to the connectors

Unfortunately, not every laptop can be charged via a power bank. The fact is that the usual USB is too weak to transmit the necessary energy, so manufacturers equipped their computers with special charging inputs – usually round plugs. Modern ones already have a powerful USB Type-C, designed for a current of 100 watts.

So if your charging connector is old, you should consider alternatives – for example, a charging station or a generator for a private house. But you can also buy a special adapter for a standard round power connector. But if you own a more modern laptop, then you can use a power bank.

Here is what you should know, because the presence of a double-sided Type-C port of the 3.1 standard in a laptop does not guarantee its operation from a power bank:

The power bank also requires a cable that supports this standard.

  • If the power bank for the laptop comes with its own cable right out of the box, then you have nothing to worry about. However, not all manufacturers sell the cable together with the power bank – sometimes it needs to be purchased separately.
  • Choosing the wrong one, you will at best not get the desired result, and at worst – damage your computer.
  • Be sure to check the package with which the cable is sold, so that its characteristics match the needs of the power bank.
  • When choosing a cable, you should not save money, because the cheap ones will not work well , will interrupt charging or not charge the laptop at all.

Not every laptop with Type-C can charge through it.

  • Look closely to your USB-C port. If you see a mark next to it with a plug for an outlet, then this port supports charging.
  • If it has a mark that looks like the letter D, then it means DisplayPort support.
  • If there just the label of USB itself, then your Type-C only supports data transfer. So, in the last two cases, the power bank will not be of any use to you.
Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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