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We’ve all been there. Your laptop's internal battery dies while handling some CPU-intensive workload away from home. There isn't any outlet in sight. So, you spend the remaining part of the day blaming yourself for not remembering to hit CTRL+S (Save).
The good news is that you can use an external power supply for a laptop to prevent those unwanted incidents. Whether you’re using your laptop in a café, on a plane, in a cab, or at your workplace, you can relax knowing you have that extra power.
That said, all external power solutions aren’t the same. Before buying one, you need to ensure that it has the power capacity for your needs and the right ports. Portability is also important. Read on as we discuss all the key features to look for in an external source of power.
What Is an External Power Supply?
An external power supply is simply a separate physical enclosure or device that can charge a laptop. It connects to your PC through removable or hard-wired electrical connection, cord, cable, or other wiring, while some models also allow wireless charging.
However, an external power supply isn’t just important for charging PCs. With its built-in AC outlet, it can also power other electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, video projectors, digital cameras, and baby monitors.
6 Features To Look for When Shopping for a Power Supply
Buying an external power supply for a PC can be challenging, considering there is a wide range of options in the market. To help you out, here're six key things to look out for when shopping for an external power supply.
Weight and Compact Design
Since you’re going to use your battery pack mainly outdoors, pay attention to its weight and overall design. In general, these devices are pretty compact. However, their sizes and weight may vary depending on battery capacity.
Bigger and heavier battery packs usually have higher charging capacity. The trick is to find a perfect balance between energy capacity and portability. Also, if you’re looking for a portable power pack to carry around in your laptop bag or backpack, go for a power solution that is compact enough to fit in the bag.
Voltage Output and Maximum Power Output
Voltage output is a measure of how much power the external power supply can provide at maximum. Typically, the higher the output is, the better. If your battery pack has a maximum output of 30 Watts and you are charging a laptop that receives up to 60 Watts, it will take twice as much time compared to using a battery pack that gives out 60 Watts.
When shopping around for an external power supply for a laptop, look for one with a voltage output of 60 Watts or more. That's enough dc power to charge most 13-inch notebooks. But if you're looking to charge a bigger laptop with a 15-inch display (or larger), go for a battery pack with an output voltage of 85 Watts and above.
Plenty of Ports
Pay attention to the number of output ports your external power supply has. You want to ensure there are enough ports to charge all your devices. Micro USB, USB-C, and lighting are the most popular ports on external power solutions.
If you're looking to charge multiple devices concurrently, consider a battery pack with several USB ports, including USB-A and USB-C ports.
Typically, USB-C Power Delivery (PD) Ports are the best for charging laptops because they can transmit much more power (up to 100 Watts) with compatible devices. In contrast, standard USB-C ports can only transmit 15 Watts, while USB-A can transmit 12 Watts. Hence, look for a USB external power supply that supports PD technology if you want fast and efficient laptop charging.
If you're going to spend hundreds of dollars on an external power supply for a laptop, you want to be sure you are protected in case something goes wrong. Here are three types of warranties that manufacturers can offer you:
- Limited Warranty. This type of warranty covers the external power solution for a specific period from the purchase date. You'll need to keep your receipt safe to prove the purchase date.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty. This type of warranty covers the product for its reasonable life expectancy. This may vary depending on the manufacturer.
- Connected Equipment Warranty. This type of warranty covers the product as well as repair or replacement services for devices that are damaged while connected to it.
Overall, look for a manufacturer that offers at least a one-year warranty plus readily available customer support.
In 2021, the number of wireless charging-capable smartphones crossed the one-billion mark. As more consumers embrace this cutting-edge charging technology, wireless charging power solutions are becoming increasingly popular.
One of the advantages of a wireless charging power solution is you no longer have to carry cables. If you’re one of those people that regularly misplace their charging cables, a wireless solution is the way to go. In addition, the charging ports remain free. So, you can do multiple things simultaneously while charging your smartphone, tablet, or other wireless-enabled devices.
Reliable Battery Life
Before buying an external power supply, ask for the battery life estimate. Chances are you will connect multiple devices, including laptops, smartphones, and cameras to your external power supply. Further, you may be someone who uses their laptop for demanding tasks such as gaming and streaming TV shows. Whichever the case, your laptop’s battery will be taking a hit, and you may need to draw power from the external power supply more often.
As such, you can expect your battery pack to generate a lot of heat. You need a product that has built-in tech to keep the high temperatures in check and protect the internal components from overheating. More importantly, the battery pack should be able to efficiently serve your needs for an extended period to provide good value for your money.
Keep Your Laptop Charged on the Go
Omnicharge has a wide variety of power solutions for working professionals on the go. Whether you’re a digital nomad or a hybrid worker alternating between the office and cafes, we have a reliable external power companion for you.
With our portable power solutions, you can keep all your devices powered up wherever you go. While our battery packs are small in size, they are incredibly powerful, allowing you to charge multiple devices simultaneously. You can use your devices as much as you want without worrying about charges and capacities. And as if that’s not enough, your power pack can recharge itself using solar energy, meaning you can take your devices everywhere, including your annual off-grid vacation.
Remain connected and productive with our professional solutions today.