If you’re wondering why your laptop will happily charge from some USB plugs but not others, the answer is USB-C Power Delivery. We’ve rounded up some great examples you can buy right now.
It’s not quite as simple as searching for a charger with Power Delivery (PD) support, however. While some laptops will charge from a 30W adaptor, others require significantly more power. These chargers range in output—up to 200W total—so to find a compatible device you really need to know what is required by your particular model of laptop.
Later we discuss how much power your laptop requires, but as a standard guide, 30-45W will be sufficient for a small laptop, 65W for mid-sized and 90W for most larger laptops.
If you’re looking to fast-charge a smartphone that promises charging of, say, 65W, do note that many third-party Power Delivery chargers will not support protocols such as PPS (Programmable Power Supply) or SCP (Super Charge Protocol) that is required by proprietary fast-charging standards. You can expect 18W charging from such devices, regardless of the theoretical output of the USB-C port.
While there undoubtedly cheaper chargers out there, the risks of dangerous over-heating—inherent in chargers—are reduced by picking a premium brand, which make the recommended chargers we have tested here. Our favorites are Anker, UGreen, Satechi, Hyper, Syncwire and Alogic.
With 65W potential, this ultra-compact USB-C wall charger can power most mid-sized laptops, although larger notebooks may require a more powerful 100W charger.
It has two USB-C PD ports, and when using both it can power at 45W and 20W so could fast-charge your phone while keeping a laptop ticking. It supports Power Delivery 3.0, PPS, and Quick Charge 3.0 so is speed-ready for most devices. Owners of phones with an old-style USB-A charging cable may need to buy a new cable with USB-C at one end.
It’s also competitively priced for a 65W charger, supports international voltages and, because it uses GaN tech, it’s a diddy little thing for such a powerful device, especially the UK version.
Unless you need additional USB ports or 100W, we really can’t see how you’d be better served by another Power Delivery charger.
This UGreen device is a powerful 100W laptop charger.
The UK three-pin model, which has a different design to those available in the US and EU—necessarily so, because the elongated design and sheer weight (268g for the UK model) of this thing would likely have trouble staying attached to the wall without that third prong to steady itself. The 8.29oz (235g) US model has a taller, more rectangular design, with folding plugs to make them more compact for travel, but the core specs are otherwise the same.
We like the design, and it feels much better made than some cheap plasticky chargers. There are no angular edges here, with every line smoothed out and rounded to soften its appearance. The outer casing is a matte gun-metal grey, and all the necessary tech specs are hidden out of sight where the adaptor plugs into the wall. It’s not overly bulky, despite its weight, thanks to the GaN tech inside.
But it’s really not about what it looks like; it’s about what it does—and this UGreen GAN X 100W adaptor has some serious power behind it.
There are four USB ports in all—three USB-C and one full-size USB-A—two of which support a 100W output, with the other two rated at 22.5W. There’s a maximum power output of 100W, which means when you use more than one port the power rating will be reduced, but it’s still possible to get up to 65W on either of those two 100W USB-Cs.
This UGreen adaptor supports multiple charging protocols, including Power Delivery 2.0 and 3.0, Quick Charge 4+ and PPS, and it will work with pretty much any device that charges over USB.
Note that you can purchase this adaptor with or without a USB-C cable. If you are buying one separately or providing your own, you’ll need to make sure it is capable of carrying up to 100W.
3. Anker Nano II 65W GaN II PPS Fast Charger – Best small 65W USB-C charger
Anker is perhaps one of the best-known names in charging tech, and this single-port PD charger is attractive to us for several reasons.
Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology has made chargers a fraction of the size of silicon-based models only a couple of years old, and once considered small themselves.
Anker’s new Nano II chargers utilise next-generation GaN II tech that transmits energy more efficiently and operates at twice the frequency of the first generation of GaN—making these chargers even smaller.
We haven’t seen PD chargers this small before. They are tiny—about the size of Apple’s weedy 5W iPhone charger but over 10x more powerful. The 65W Nano II charger weighs just 132g and comes in at 41.7-x-36-x-44mm. The US version features neat foldable pins.
Moreover, they support not only Power Delivery, Quick Charge and Anker’s own PowerIQ smart charging, but also PPS. This means it stands out among other third-party adaptors in its ability to fast-charge smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 that require the Super Fast Charging protocol for their proprietary charging standards.
On the downside, there is only one output, which means you can charge only one device at a time and it’ll need to support USB-C.
There are also smaller, cheaper 30W and 45W options are available in the US and UK Anker stores.
This 30W Power Delivery charger from Syncwire keeps things simple with a single USB-C output for charging your phone, tablet or—potentially—laptop.
There’s support here for PPS, but it’s worth pointing out that 30W is not enough to charge all laptops, so do check your spec to see if it’s appropriate before you buy. It should be plenty for a MacBook Air, but not some of the larger, more powerful laptops.
If it’s powerful enough for your needs, this is a really appealing device—significantly more affordable than other devices in our round-up, and thanks to GaN tech it has a sleek, compact design that is easily portable. We like the smooth, rounded corners, and the tiny LED that sits just above and lights up the USB port when in use.
5. OneAdaptr OneWorld 65 – Best compact travel USB-C PD 65W charger and adapter
The OneWorld 65 looks like any international adapter but boasts a built-in 65W PD Charger and can charge up to six devices simultaneously.
Built with the latest Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology that packs in all the required electronics in a tiny package without overheating, it’s only a little bigger than a standard pin-sliding travel adapter.
It features one side-mounted 65W USB-C PD port, one 20W USB-C PD port , another USB-C charging port and two USB-A charging ports. Quick Charge and PPS are supported for phone fast charging.
Maximum power output is 65W so if you are charging a mid-sized laptop in full use, there won’t be much spare juice for the other devices. However, if the laptop is just having a battery top-up, there should be enough power to be spread about.
What’s handy is that in addition to all these USB ports you can also use this as a travel adapter. Sliding connectors will fit into US, European, Australian/Chinese and British wall sockets so covering over 200 countries, and you can plug a similar range of plugs into the OneWorld 65 from the other side.
Now, as with all travel adapters, you just have to remember to pack it on your next trip rather than realise you’ve left it at home as soon as you get to the airport or hotel.
International pricing at the OneAdaptr store is calculated on current US $ rate at time of purchase so prices may vary to our stated cost at the time of writing.
6. Anker PowerPort III 65W – Best USB-C PD 45W travel charger
Anker’s PowerPort III is interesting for two key reasons: first, it has three outputs (one 45W USB-C PD, and two full-size USB-As), which makes it super-versatile; and, second, supplied in the box are interchangeable plugs for the UK, US and Europe, making it an excellent travel charger.
This is another GaN charger, which means it is delightfully small for a device that is potentially going to be consuming suitcase room.
With a 45W maximum output for the PD port, you should double-check that this is sufficient for your laptop before you buy. It’s also worth pointing out that unlike some of Anker’s other adaptors, which support the PPS protocol required by some devices for their proprietary fast-charging standards, this one does not.
It does support PowerIQ, however, which is Anker’s own intelligent device-detection tech, able to adjust the output for optimal charging of the connected device.
For a more powerful alternative, see the Hyperjuice GaN 100W USB-C Charger that also includes a set of travel plugs (US, UK, EU, AU). At 100W (PD 3.0), it’s enough to full-speed power-up a large, top-end laptop plus other devices. There are two 100W USB-C power ports, and two 18W QuickCharge 3.0 USB-A ports, which should be enough to charge most of your devices out of one charger. You could charge a laptop, tablet, and a couple of phones at the same time. Priced at $99.99/£99.99, it’s available from Hyper or Amazon.
7. UGreen Nexode 200W USB-C Desktop Charger – Best desktop USB-C power charger
The Ugreen Nexode 200W USB C charger allows you to charge six devices at the same time, and so avoid having to plug in multiple chargers for the task and free up space on your desktop. While it’s too heavy to be truly portable, it is a super-compact size for so many ports.
Boasting four USB-C ports and two USB-A, it can supply up to 200W of power, and therefore could charge three mid-sized laptops, a couple of phones, and your headphones simultaneously.
The charging options are too numerous to list here, but with six devces charging at the same time, you could have one at 65W, two at 45W, one at 20W, and the two USB-A ports sharing 20W.
It is compatible with both iPhone and Samsung Fast Charging.
8. Nekteck 107W USB-C Charger – Best value desktop USB-C charger
This is a slightly different breed of charger than those we’ve discussed so far in this group test, and is what we call a desktop charger. Rather than hugging the power socket, it has a 1m extension cable that lets you plug it into the wall but bring the USB outputs themselves up to a more accessible area on the desk.
It has four USB outputs in all, making it an ideal device if you have multiple devices to charge. However, not if you have multiple laptops to charge…
There are one 65w USB-C Port, one 30w USB-C port and two 12W USB A ports for simultaneous charging of laptop, tablet, phones and other devices. Four of these five ports are full-size USB-As, rated at 12W. The device’s maximum output with all ports in use is 107W, which means you can’t run them all at full power at once.
Yet we are drawn to the versatility of this desktop charger, with its 65W output enough for most mid-sized laptops. We’re impressed to find a 100W USB-C cable is provided in the box, as this will be required to fully utilise that output.
This Satechi’s desktop charger has two USB-C Power Delivery ports and two USB-A ports—especially useful if you’re travelling with more than one power-hungry USB-C device or a mix of USB-C and USB-A.
However, do note that one of the USB-C ports will charge at the full 90W and the other at a more sedate 18W (more than fine for a phone, but unlikely to be enough to power a laptop).
The two USB-A ports are handy as most of us still have devices that require a charging cable connection into this old standard. Each can handle 12W charging but that capacity is shared between the two ports so will be lower if both are in use. This is fine if you are charging one phone or two lower-powered devices such as headphones or watch.
At 14.7oz (417g) it isn’t super-lightweight but is a desktop charger so will probably not be travelling with you.
A more mighty model, the Satechi 165W USB-C 4-Port PD GaN Charger, is a real power beast. For $119 / £119, it has two 100W-capable USB-C ports and two that can reach 60W—although max output is 165W, it’s the highest of any of the chargers we have tested here. You can charge a large laptop and a mid-sized laptop at the same time. Interestingly, being GaN, it’s actually lighter (12oz or 340g) than the 108W version, although it is priced higher.
How much power do I need to charge my laptop?
The easiest way to find out how much power is required to charge your laptop is to inspect the charger that was sold with it, if you have that to hand. Alternatively you can look for its specification on the manufacturer’s website.
You’re looking for a figure in Watts, although it may be expressed in Volts and Amps. If so, simply multiply these two numbers to get the figure you need. For example, a device that requires 12V/2A to charge will need a 24W USB-C PD charger (12×2=24).
Once you know what power rating you’re looking for, finding a USB-C PD charger for your laptop or console is easy. Sometimes it can pay to get one a little faster than you need – it may be more expensive, but you’ll be pleased you bought it if you later decide to upgrade your laptop.
Look out for newer GaN (gallium nitride) chargers that require fewer components than traditional silicone chargers, allowing them to be less bulky and also more efficient.
My laptop won’t charge
The adaptor itself is only one piece of the puzzle, and the cable with which it is combined must also be capable of delivering the required amount of power. And these, frustratingly, come in all different types.
And don’t skimp on the charging cable. Cheaper cables may well not support the same charging power as a quality cable: see our list of recommended cables below. Certainly the cable that ships with the charger should be capable of top speeds (with that charger) but often we pick up the nearest cable to hand.
We’ve put together a range of articles to help you choose the best charging tech for the mobile devices you carry everywhere. You’ll also like: