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The 5 best USB-C laptop chargers: Stay powered up

What is the best USB-C laptop charger? ZDNet's top pick is the Satechi 100W wall charger. With its compact design and cooler operation, it's an almost perfect USB-C charger for both Windows and macOS laptops.
adrian-kingsley-hughes
taylor-clemons
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer and  Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

As laptops have shifted from proprietary chargers to USB-C chargers, it means that it's easier than ever to pick up another charger for your laptop so that you're never without power.

Most laptops come with a charger, and that charger is usually good enough for the job, but it can be very convenient to have a second charger, either as a spare, or so you can have one at home and one at the office.

Satechi
Satechi

Tech specs:

  • Max output: 100W
  • Ports: 1x USB-C

This is the perfect replacement for your existing USB-C laptop charger, even if you have something like the latest 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The next-gen Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology not only means that this charger is smaller than ones based on older silicon technology (it's a fair bit smaller than the charger Apple supplies), but it also runs cooler.

This is my go-to charger for pretty much everything I have that uses USB-C.

Pros:

  • Good for Windows and Mac laptops
  • Runs cooler than other wall chargers
  • Compact design

Cons:

  • A bit heavy
  • On the pricey side
Zendure
Zendure

Tech specs:

  • Max output: 136W
  • Ports: 2x USB-C, 2xUSB-A

The SuperPort 4 features two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports with Zen+2.0, allowing you to charge up to four devices simultaneously with a maximum combined output of 136W.

Also, since this is small, lightweight, and slimline, and works across all voltages, it's a great travel charger for those who lug a lot of gear around.

This flexibility makes this the perfect desktop charger for those with multiple devices that need to be kept topped up.

Pros:

  • 4 ports
  • Great for travel
  • Great power output

Cons:

  • On the pricey side
Anker PowerPort
Anker

Tech specs:

  • Max output: 60W
  • Ports: 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A

Here you get a 2-port Anker charger, featuring 2 compact Gallium Nitride (GaN) 45W USB-C ports. It's compatible across almost all of Apples devices, so you can charge your laptop as well as your iPhone or iPad without worrying about connectivity issues. It also has a quick-charge feature that brings your iPhone up to 50 percent power in just 30 minutes.

Pros:

  • Compatible with almost all Apple devices
  • Quick charge feature
  • Dual USB-C ports

Cons:

  • No cable included
Anker PowerPort Atom PD 4
Amazon

Tech specs:

  • Max output: 100W
  • Ports: 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A

This charger offers an enormous 100W of charging power, which is enough to charge two USB-C laptops and two smartphones simultaneously.

Thanks to sophisticated power allocation technology, the full 100W of power are available if you connect a single device to a USB-C port.

Pros:

  • Great for charging newer and older devices simultaneously
  • Can charge two laptops at once
  • Quick charge

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • No cables included
LinkOn
Amazon

Tech specs:

  • Max output: 112W
  • Ports: 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A

High-power USB-C charging when on the move.

This compact charger features a 90W USB-C port that's good for even demanding laptops like the 16-inch MacBook Pro, as well as an 18W USB-A port.

This has become my go-to in-car charger because of its power, flexibility, and reliability.

Pros:

  • Dual ports
  • 12V outlet compatible
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Only one USB-C port

What is the best USB-C laptop charger?

The Satechi 100W wall charger is our pick for the best USB-C laptop charger. It has a compact design and runs cooler than most other wall chargers so you never have to worry about damage from overheating. It's also compatible with both Windows and Mac laptops.

USB-C laptop chargfer

Price

No. of ports

Quick charge?

Satechi 100W

$70

1

No

Zendure Superport

$110

4

No

Anker PowerPort 60W

$50

2

Yes

Anker PowerPort Atom

$120

4

Yes

LinkOn 12V travel charger

$41

2

No

Which USB-C laptop charger is right for you?

The best USB-C laptop charger for you will have enough ports to handle all of your most-used devices at once. It will also provide enough power for faster charging than traditional USB models so you don't have to wait around all day to top up your laptop battery.

Choose this USB-C laptop charger...

If you need...

Satechi 100W

A powerful and well-rounded USB-C laptop charger

Zendure Superport

A charger for multiple devices at once

Anker PowerPort 60W

A reliable charger for Apple devices

Anker PowerPort Atom

Something with a quick charge feature

LinkOn car charger

A USB-C laptop charger for travel

How did we choose these USB-C chargers?

Everything on this list has not only been tested by me but is also part of my daily kit. This way, I know that not only does the equipment delivers on what it promises, but it also offers a high degree of reliability and robustness and that you're getting value for money.

I also pick manufacturers that offer a decent, no-quibble warranty. Things can and do go wrong, so dealing with a company that has you covered offers an added peace of mind.

Are all USB-C chargers the same?

No. You need to check what power your laptop will draw. Some laptops are happy with a 45W charger; others need a 95W charger. In an emergency, you can still normally trickle charge a laptop using a lower-power charger, but that's far from ideal.

Then there's a quality issue.

You've likely spent big bucks on a laptop, so it doesn't make sense to connect that up to a cheap charger that you picked up from a dollar store!

Should I only use the charger that came with my laptop?

The charger that came with your laptop will be chosen to work great with your device, but as long as you pick the right charger for your hardware, there's no reason you can't use a third-party charger.

Should I go for a single-port or multi-port charger?

I like the convenience of a multi-port charger, but be aware that most will charge at lower power when more than one port is in use.

Can I use a USB-C phone charger with my laptop?

You can use a USB-C phone charger with your laptop, but since both types of devices have different power requirements, it may take longer to get your computer up to a full charge.

What is the difference between USB and USB-C?

A USB-C charger can support up to 100 watts and 20 volts of power, while a traditional USB charger can only support 2.5W and 5V. This means that not only will a USB-C charger top up your devices faster, but it can also be used with multiple devices at once as well as larger devices like laptops.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

An alternative is to buy a charger direct from the manufacturer. That way, you'll be getting the charger matched to your device. However, expect to pay more for the genuine article than you would for a high-quality third-party charger.



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