Last reply by 06-19-2020 Unsolved
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Power Bank Not Working With XPS 13

I have the latest Dell XPS 13, and I recently purchased the Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger because the battery drained to quickly. The power bank could charge my phone with no issues, but I could not get it to charge my laptop. The issue is that the power bank has USB-A output, and I could not charge the laptop at all with several different USB-A to USB-C cords that worked with other things. Where can I find a cord or adapter to get this to work?

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7 Plutonium

@Prismavoid  I'm a big fan of Anker products, but you've got the wrong product for your purposes.  You can't charge a laptop from a USB-A port.  According to Anker's specs, those USB ports can provide a maximum of 3A per port (15W) and 6A total across all 3 ports.  And USB-A ports only provide their power at 5V.  That's fine for phones and tablets, but the XPS 13 is designed for a 45W power source, delivered at either 15V or 20V using the USB PD standard.  It might charge from a lower wattage source, but it would do so more slowly, and if you tried to use the system while connected to that undersized source, you might experience reduced performance as the system tried to reduce its power consumption to fit its undersized power source.  But again, your laptop is designed for 3x more power than your power bank is able to provide, and at a much higher voltage than standard USB-A ports provide, and also using a standard that isn't supported on USB-A ports.

So for optimal performance, you would need a power bank that supports USB PD with up to 45W output.  Last time I checked, Anker only made power banks that supported up to 30W output.  Dell has a power bank that provides up to 65W output called the Notebook Power Bank Plus, link here.  But as you'll see, it's quite a bit more expensive than regular power banks.  Its energy capacity is 65 WHr, which is roughly equivalent to 20,000 mAh.

When it comes to power banks, there are two important specs.  One is energy storage capacity, expressed in mAh or WHr (watt-hours), and the other is energy delivery rate, expressed in W (watts) or sometimes amps.  Your Anker power bank has relatively high storage capacity, but relatively low delivery rate, since again it's simply not designed to charge laptops, and the power banks that ARE designed for laptops are more expensive due to the additional electronics required to support that energy high delivery rate.

7 Plutonium

@Prismavoid  Actually it seems that Anker might have a power bank that provides 45W output.  The PowerCore+ 26800 45W PD has the same capacity as what you have, but instead of having 3x USB-A ports, it has 2x USB-A ports and a USB-C port, the latter of which can be used either to provide power to a device or to charge the power bank itself (much faster than the dual micro USB inputs of the regular PowerCore 26800).  It also comes with a 60W USB-C wall charger.  The link is here, but strangely there doesn't seem to be a link to buy it either from Amazon or Anker's own website, so maybe it hasn't quite launched yet.  Just be careful if you decide to look for this, because there are several variants of PowerCore 26800 power banks that offer different ports and different output capacities.

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