The Current State of Mobile Charging: One Charger for Notebook and Phone

After leapfrogging a couple of generations of notebooks, I recently bought a new notebook for daily use that is charged over a USB-C port and USB Power delivery. By now, the USB standard must the the most complicated interface standard imaginable, but I have to say it does its job well for me, because all chargers and spare batteries I now take with me can pretty much charge any device I have with me.

So here are a couple of examples, some of which were quite surprising to me:

For Notebook and Smartphone Alike

The USB power delivery standard negotiates, among other things, the voltage to be put on the cable based on what the device that needs power requires. That means that I can use my big USB-C PD notebook charger, that outputs 20V and 3A to the notebook, to also charge my smartphone. The phone either takes 5V or 9V and 15 Watts. Works like a charm, and in combination with a USB-C cable with a display that shows the current power draw, I can even see how fast it is charging.

External Battery for Notebook and Smartphone Alike

A particular problem of mine that is now also fixed is that I can have pretty much infinite autonomy from a power socket while traveling, as there are batteries that support USB power delivery at 45 Watts to my notebook. So the time I can stay up and running away from a power socket is now only limited by the number of batteries I can or want to carry. Also, these batteries charge my smartphone and other devices nicely.

Power Adapter: Size and Weight

USB Power Delivery chargers come in different shapes and weights, so for traveling, I bought myself a smaller one. Works perfectly and again, I can use it not only for my notebook, but for all sorts of devices.

Adapter on the Adapter

And a particular favorite of mine: I have a lot of older Lenovo 20V power adapters that are still perfectly fine. When I upgraded from an X230 to an X250, I bought an adapter from the round to the square Lenovo power connector. For the next step, there’s now also adapters for around 20 euros that convert from the square connector to USB-C and power delivery. And again, this combination works perfectly with my notebook as well as my other USB powered devices. Very nice!

And finally, my redundancy increases, as the second notebook I sometimes have to carry for work also charges via USB-C. What more could I want?