Need to charge your laptop on the go? We've got you covered!
The Xiaomi Gen 3 Pro is a great option for smaller laptops, having great capacity and efficiency at a very affordable price.
The ZMI 20,000mAh Pro has a great design and great output and efficiencies that are hard to beat.
The RAVPower 80W AC is one of the only portable chargers in the 20k category with an AC outlet, making it the perfect power bank for laptops.
The Zendure Supertank is a heavy-duty power bank with great efficiencies even at the higher levels of watt output.
The Omni Ultimate is truly the ultimate power bank for laptops, having practically every port under the sun and an AC outlet.
Charging a laptop with a power bank is completely doable nowadays. Battery technology is increasingly better – you’re able to get a lot of power out of these small power banks. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind about the power bank such as capacity, output, and what you’re looking to charge. For one, how big is the battery inside your laptop? How fast does it typically charge? You don’t have to worry though as we’re going to cover all of that, what you should look for, and our top picks for the best power banks for your laptop.
Yes. Charging a laptop with a power bank is possible because of USB-C. This is the same technology that every smartphone nowadays uses. This means that phones and laptops more or less use the same power technology. That’s great because it means that the wall adapters or power banks that you use to charge your phone can also be used to charge most laptops.
Laptops charge in a generally similar manner using standard Power Delivery over USB-C. This is much different from smartphones that charge using different fast charge protocols which can give you different results for different power banks. But even if you have an older laptop that cannot charge using USB-C and that still needs a wall adapter, we’ve still got you covered as some of our picks have AC outputs. This means that no matter what type of laptop you have, our recommendations can still power them up.
Laptops are big devices that require a huge amount of output. But if you know what to look for, you will find that a lot of power banks are more than capable of charging your laptop for an extended period of time. Now, there are two general categories that you should be looking at: 20,000mAh power banks and 27,000mAh portable chargers.
As expected, these are big packs. 20,000mAh power banks are more portable and comfortable to carry compared to 27,000mAh options but more capacity typically means more amount of output that you’re going to get out of the pack. This is important because depending on the size of the laptop that you’re going to be charging, you’re going to need a lot of output.
As a general rule of thumb, the best way to see what kind of requirements you need from your power bank in order to charge your laptop is to simply look at what kind of power brick comes with the package. For example, the Macbook Air ships with a 30-watt power brick which means that you charge it with 30 watts of output. Another thing to look at is how big the battery is within the laptop. The latest Macbook Air that has just been released comes with a 50 watt-hour battery inside. Pretty much every power bank out there will come with both the watt hours and the maximum watt output. If it does not come with the watt hours as stated, you can simply just multiply the milliamp hours by 3.6 to get the watt hour capability of the power bank.
Generally if you have a smaller laptop, you’re probably going to be able to get away with using just a 20,000mAh portable charger which is cheaper and lighter with great performance as you’re easily going to be able to get something with enough watt output to power your device. However, larger laptops can be incredibly power hungry which means that there’s nothing you can do but max things out to 27,000mAh or 100 watts of output. There are a number of power banks that you can get in order to do that so you don’t need to be playing around with 20,000mAh packs.
Something to keep in mind though is that even if power banks are capable of a large amount of output on paper, they will likely lose a lot of efficiency to meet the output demands of the laptop. It’s unusual that a 20,000mAh portable charger can put out high watt outputs without losing a fair amount of power. Even if it looks like you can charge – say a Macbook Air – more than one time on paper, it will not likely deliver that because of those levels of efficiency. This is why it is really important to know how efficient these portable chargers are at those higher watt outputs.
As these packs have been tested either by us or our trusted sources, rest assured that these power banks that we’re about to recommend have really great efficiencies at higher watt outputs.
This is best for smaller laptops like the Macbook Air and the Dell XPS.Num
The Xiaomi Gen 3 Pro is a tremendous budget pack capable of a maximum of 45 watts of output. It definitely has a great output and efficiency at the price point of around $40 which is really unheard of for a pack with these features. A couple of drawbacks with this portable charger though is that it’s not widely available at various points around the world and that at those higher outputs of 45 watts, it doesn’t have the best efficiencies – around 64%. This means that it’s really best for power-efficient laptops like the Macbook Air or an iPad.
The ZMI 20,000mAh Pro is our favorite pack in this category because although it’s far more expensive than the previous Xiaomi power bank, it makes up for it in terms of performance. It’s capable of 65 watts of maximum output which is perfect for charging smaller laptops. It also has far better efficiencies, using 80% of its capacity even at the maximum 65 watts. It’s truly a premium pack with its brushed aluminum finish and slightly heavier weight but with a thinner design which makes it portable still. It also has a hub feature so you can use it to read USB devices which is good if you’re travelling.
The RAVPower 80W AC – as its name suggests – has an AC outlet. It’s one of the only power banks in the 20,000mAh category that does have an AC outlet. With 80 watts being available through the AC outlet, you can charge any smaller-sized laptops out there. One thing to note though is that the USB-C port in this pack is only capable of 30 watts of output. While that is enough to charge small laptops, we’d probably be recommending this pack to people specifically looking to charge their laptops over the AC port. Otherwise, one of our previous recommendations would be the way to go. This portable charger is slightly more expensive than the other picks though so it is another thing to keep in mind.
When you’re looking to charge larger laptops, there’s really no point in looking at anything under 27,000mAh. This is because the packs that you’re going to encounter will either have horrible efficiencies at higher watt outputs which big laptops are going to require because these laptops have huge batteries inside them.
The Zendure Supertank and Supertank Pro are the only packs that have the massive 100 watt output and that fit under the 27,000mAh category. This is the limit for most international airlines for bringing a power bank on board. If you’re planning on taking a long-haul flight and using your laptop, this might be the pack for you. 100 watts out should be capable of charging any laptop over USB-C. One thing to note though is that given the huge output of 100 watts, it’s going to be the same capacity as a lot of these laptops have in their internal battery. Around 70% is the limit that you’re going to get from a single charge even from these top of the range packs while you’re using your laptop and demanding serious capabilities from it. That being said, the Zendure Supertank and Supertank Pro have great efficiencies right up until the maximum limit. Even at 60 watts out, we got more than 80% efficiency which means that it is likely that you’re going to get a single charge from this device with your laptop even while you’re using it at a fairly high demanding rate.
The Omni Ultimate lives up to its name with practically every port under the sun available. It has numerous USB-C and USB-A ports with an AC outlet. The AC outlet is capable of a maximum of 120 watts of output while the USB-C port is capable of 60 watts output. This portable charger also has a massive 142 watt hours of capacity. The battery and the output side of this device are detachable so you can actually take with you multiple batteries with one power bank. This is useful because 142 watt hours is under the 150 watt hour limit that some aviation authorities have. Since you can take two batteries and one power bank, you’re going to get a lot of power for an extended trip. This is ideal if you’re going on a long filming trip wherein you’re going to have to fly with a lot of equipment. You have to be careful with this one though as a lot of aviation authorities will not allow you to fly with more than 100 watt hours of power so don’t go for this pack if you’re planning on taking it on just about any airline. Other than that though, the giant internal capacity that this power bank has is tremendous. Paired with its great efficiencies and huge amount of output, there’s no laptop out there that cannot get at least one charge out of this device.