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rczrider
1 Copper

Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from the USB-C port.

I Googled this and could never find a definitive answer, so I decided to try it out using the USB-C TurboPower 30 charger that came with my 1st gen Moto Z Force. The specs on the charger are 5V at (up to) 5.7A for a total of 28.5W (I don't believe the laptop pulls anywhere near this, just saying it's what the charger is rated for). The OEM charger (with barrel connector) is rated for 19.5V@2.31A, for a total of 45W.

Per the specs sheet, the battery is a 3-cell, 38WHr rated at 11.4V, giving us a total capacity of around 3300mA (3.3Ah) and an approximate charge time of 4 hours while the laptop is off (and assuming 0-100%). The USB-C port is USB 3.1 Gen 1 (aka regular ol' USB 3.0), which doesn't really tell us much, since the Power Delivery (USB-PD) spec is independent of the type-C connector (ie. having a type-C connector does not inherently mean it can accept power input for charging purposes). Since Dell doesn't advertise the USB-C port as supporting PD - and yet it does charge via the port - we can assume it at least meets the USB Type-C 1.2 spec of 5V@3A (15W). If it were true USB-PD, it would have to support a minimum of 20V and 3A (not necessarily at the same time, which is why 15V@3A and 20V@2A chargers are pretty common).

As for the actual test, the laptop did not appear to charge via USB-C when it was on. The white light on the front came on when the laptop was off and plugged in, however. Since I don't have a different USB-C charger to test it with, I don't know if that is a limitation dictated by the low output (eg. it could not successfully charge and operate at such a low wattage, so it never even tried) or one imposed by the hardware/firmware (eg. it doesn't officially support charging through the USB-C port, so all draw is disabled while the computer is on) or a combination of the two (eg. it only supports the type-C spec, not USB-PD, and so is therefore limited to 15W which isn't enough to both power and charge simultaneously).

It took right around 3 hours and 15 minutes to charge the laptop from 10% to 100%, so to make things clean, lets assume it was down by 3Ah (the amount we need to charge). I realize that Li-ion and LiPo battery chemistry is more complex than this, but let's also assume a continuous charge rate and overall efficiency of 90%. This gives us draw of around 1A by the laptop (using the formula: 3Ah / (0.9x) = 3.25 hours).

At this rate, it would take approximately 3.7 hours to charge the battery from 0-100%. This is in line with the specs sheet, which claims an approximate charge time of 4 hours (again, I'm assuming 0-100%). My knowledge of the engineering involved is minimal (and clearly oversimplistic), but I do wonder if this indicates that the charge controller is tied to both the barrel and USB-C ports. Clearly the laptop can charge while on using the OEM charger and barrel connector, so if the charge controller is the same, I'm wondering if a proper USB-PD charger (15V@3A or 20V@2A) would work, as well. It should be a relatively safe thing to check, as a PD charger would need to negotiate the charge rate and circuitry on both ends would have to agree. Failing that, it should do nothing.

Given the similarity of the 7373 to the XPS 9360, I would not be the least bit surprised to find out that the 7373 supports USB-PD charging via the USB-C port just like the 9360.

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21 Replies
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NaniLeHeck
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from the USB-C port.

Not relevant to your laptop I general, but I also tested things with my Inspiron 15 7570. I first tried to use a standard 5V 1A USB-C phone charger and nothing registered. Then I pumped it up a notch by using the 45W USB-C charger of the Razer Stealth. Surprisingly my laptop actually registered it. However a warning popped up on screen telling me that the power source was 45W, and that it recommended me to use a 65W charger instead. Else the laptop would charge slowly. My battery icon on the taskbar actually showed the charging icon as well.

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Rednroll
2 Iron

Re: Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from

I have a 7570 as well.  Great to here that it works.

Has anyone identified a 65W USB C PD charger that works?

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HHillsman1
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from

Just received a Hyper-Juice power bank (an Indiegogo crowd funded project).  It has a 100W output and comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable.  Just tried it on my Inspiron i5759-8835SLV Dell laptop;  I can affirm that it works.

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LINN24
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from

HI, Do you still charge your laptop through usb-c port ? Do you have any problems with your laptop ?
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LINN24
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from

Hi @NaniLeHeck Do you still charge your laptop through usb-C port ? Do you have any problem with your laptop ?
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NaniLeHeck
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from

Yes, I still charge it with USB C. Though not often because the USB C charger I have is a 45W from a Razer Stealth. Hence I use the supplied barrel charger, as my Inspiron charges slowly with the USB C charger. Though a notification says that it will charge normally if I use a 65W charger.

My laptop hasn't had any problems so far, and it's already been over a year so I see no problems with the USB C PD.

I heard Nekteck has good 65W USB C PD chargers.

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LINN24
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from

Thank you so much !


@NaniLeHeck wrote:

Yes, I still charge it with USB C. Though not often because the USB C charger I have is a 45W from a Razer Stealth. Hence I use the supplied barrel charger, as my Inspiron charges slowly with the USB C charger. Though a notification says that it will charge normally if I use a 65W charger.

My laptop hasn't had any problems so far, and it's already been over a year so I see no problems with the USB C PD.

I heard Nekteck has good 65W USB C PD chargers.


 

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Berntr
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from the USB-C port.

Thorough write-up, thank you. Wonder why Dell can't/doesn't supply this info...!

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AM8219
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 13 (7373, at least) will definitely charge from

Hi, 

 

Did you manage to find suitable charger? I have 7373 as well. 

 

Thanks

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