Can I charge my laptop via USB-C ?


👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 Nov 26 2022    📁 TECH

If you bought an electronic gadget a few years ago, there is a decent chance it contains a USB type C port. They are typically used for data transfer, but did you know that some USB Type C ports can also be used for charging? And if you are new to these facts or if you already know them, you may be wondering whether your laptop can charge via USB C. If so, you've come to the correct place.

If your laptop has a general USB-C port, you can use it to charge your lower-end peripherals such as a mobile phone or headphones, and the standard USB port can give power to those devices. Then in your mind, it might come like can I charge the laptop using its own USB C port. So, stick with us.

There are lots of benefits to having USB Type C ports. Some of them are bandwidth transfer rates, they are reversible and symmetrical,durable and secure.

However, charging through a USB port is only available on specific laptops, and the type must be USB Type C. Charging a laptop requires a higher voltage and current, which most laptops do not have because USB Type C ports are primarily used for data transfer and not for charging laptop batteries. For charging purposes, laptops most have dedicated USB C charging Ports. If your laptop offers charging capabilities via a USB C port, that port is known as a USB C PD Port.

USB Type C/PD Port 

USB Type C/PD Port is an abbreviation for USB Type C Power Delivery port, which was developed by the USB-IF and uses dynamic fast charging technology to allow USB C to manage much greater voltages and currents required to power larger devices such as laptops and displays.

USB Type C/PD is superior to USB Type C because, even if you attach small devices to this port, USB Type C/PD will communicate with the devices to determine how much power they require and then deliver the optimal power.USB Type C/PD can deliver 100W of power. As a result, a 100 Watt PD charger may charge a phone that only requires 20 watts of electricity without hurting it. As a result, USB Type C/PD will work with any device that supports fast charging, from a smartphone to a tablet to a laptop.

USB C/PD Port Laptop in Legion Pro
fig. USB C/PD Port Laptop in Legion Pro (Source: Lenovo Official site)

USB Power Delivery is becoming more powerful, with some claiming that it can support up to 240W of power, allowing it to charge even the most demanding devices such as laptops, PlayStations, and displays.

From the below table, you can clearly see tablets, small laptops, displays can be charged with USB Type C/PD.

USB PD Power Range USB PD Fixed Voltage and Current Range Devices
0.5 - 15W 5V , (0.1 - 3.0A ) Headphones 
15 -27 W 9V, (1.67 - 3.0 A ) Camera and Smartphone
27 - 45W   15V, (1.8 - 3.0A ) Small Laptops and Tablets
45 -100W 20V,2.25 - 3.0 A, 3.0 - 5.0 A only when using rated cable High-End Laptops and Display Devices

How to know whether my laptop has USB Charging Port?

There are some ways to know whether your laptop has a USB Charging Port ie USB Type C/PD port. Let's look at them.

1 Look at the USB Port Label

Some laptops include a USB port, and if you see the words PD or USB PD or PD Enabled on the side or top, it means that your laptop has a USB charging port.

I have a Lenovo Legion 5 laptop with a PD symbol on the top of the USB port, which I use to charge my laptop.

PD word at top of USB Port
fig. USB-PD Labeling

2 Look at Watt, Voltage, and Ampere defined in USB.

Some laptops have a USB port with Wattage, Voltage, and Ampere values defined near the USB port. If the wattage is between 27W and 240W, the amps are between 1.8A and 5A, and the voltage is between 15V and 20V, there is a good probability that this laptop includes a USB Charging Port.

Also read: What is USB BC 1.2? 

3 Look at the manual of the laptop

If you do not identify it, consult the laptop's user handbook, which will inform you what sort of USB Port you have.

My laptop manual, clearly states that the USB-C port on the back of your laptop enables power input up to 20 V and 5 A, which clearly falls within the range and may charge the laptop; additionally, it is written PD in the symbol, proving that the USB Port can also give power.

Not only that, but your laptop can also power other gadgets.

4 Using UsbDeview Software 

It is free software from Microsoft. You can download it from here.

Just double-click on the USBDeview application and it will open it.

Then just navigate to Power and USB Version section . And if you find Power in between 3A to 5A or any version of USB PD then it is sure that your laptop has a Charging port. 

Also read: What is USB upstream/downstream port on the monitor?

5 Self-Test Method

 You may check the input voltage of the USB on your laptop. For this, you will need a multimeter or any meter that can measure voltage, ampere, and wattage, and a USB port that supports rapid charging. The chargers, such as 65W and 96W chargers, as well as the charging cable should have high quality.

Then you should try attaching the Charging Fast Charging to the USB Port of the laptop, and the charger head should be connected to the meter. After that, it should display the value. If this figure is between 27W and 240W and between 3A and 5A, the range of amperes is considered acceptable.

After that, by connecting your laptop to that port, you will be able to charge it. If that doesn't work, you might try connecting to a different USB port.

FAQ:

Can I use a USB-C cable to charge my laptop?

If your laptop comes equipped with a USB-C charging option, then you shouldn't have any trouble using USB-C to charge your system as a rule, provided that the feature is enabled.

In addition to this, certain portable computing devices, such as notebooks and laptops, call for the usage of a particular cable that was developed specifically to be compatible with that device.

Is there a difference between USB-C and PD?

The primary distinction between USB Type-C and USB-PD is that the former refers to a new reversible USB connector with less wattage, while the latter refers to a power delivery protocol that supports power delivery of up to 240 watts. 

What does USB Type C/PD supports?

It supports all the features that USB Type C supports along with Power.

What is USB PD 3.0?

The successor to USB PD 2.0 is called USB PD 3.0, and it enhances communication with devices that are charging by listening for things like the overall health of the battery, increasing the level of security, and allowing for faster roll shifting.

What is USB PD 3.1?

The success of USB PD 3.0 led to the development of USB PD 3.1, which has the capability of delivering up to 240 watts of power and has the capacity to release higher fixed voltages at 28 volts, 36 volts, and 48 volts. When these higher fixed voltages are combined with the flexible current, they are able to produce 140 watts, 180 watts, and 240 watts of power levels respectively.

Conclusion:

The USB C port is becoming more common on modern laptops; nevertheless, this port also allows you to charge your laptop. It is clear that the answer is not yes.You will not be able to utilize the port for charging if it does not have PD enabled.

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