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DudaStar
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USB-C Port Power

HP Recommended
Zbook 17 G4
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

The Zbook is too powerful for airline AC plugs. Airline outlets support a max of 75 watts and the Zbook power adapter is rated up to 200 watts so I know if I plug it in it'll automatically trip the electric breaker in the outlet. (been there, done that with my older Elitebook)

 

I am trying to find a solution to prevent my battery from dying on me on the plane since i can't plug in to charge normally. I understand that the USB-C port can do a max of 100 watts. Will plugging in a device that only delivers ~65 watts cause the laptop to function poorly or simply take some of the power from the battery if the USB-C isn't providing enough power? I am hoping for the latter (extended battery life essentially by plugging in)

 

My idea is to get a USB-C charging adapter rated for 65 watts so it won't blow the airline electrical circuit and let the laptop battery take on additional power needs. My alternative is to use 2 laptop batteries and use an external charger to charge the dead one while I use the charged one (annoying to do but I've done it before with the elitebook)

 

2nd Question: There's 2 USB-C ports. Can I plug an adapter into each one and deliver 2x65 = 130 watts of power to the laptop? Or is the 100 watts max for all USB ports connected to the laptop / a board limitation?

 

Also: Do I need an additional device for the laptop to charge from a USB-C source? Or will it work by just plugging into the existing USB-C ports?

 

I honestly think the 65w would be enough anyway as I'm only doing email type work on these long international flights. But even if I eat up the battery a little bit it's still better than playing the use and swap game with these more annoying to remove batteries. Gonna miss my elitebook; that thing was designed by Aliens!

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bubler
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I doubt it will charge through USB-C.

 

Why don't you just get a standard 65-90w power adapter, it won't use the full performance and or charge the battery but it will stay alive.

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DudaStar
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I've confirmed with HP support that there is no charging capability via USB-C. Based on other articles, I think HP is concerned about bad chargers being used at the moment.

 

Usage of a 65w charger would be just fine for me, especially if all it does is drain the battery as needed. However, I am afraid the laptop might throw a fit at me. I made the mistake of buying a Dell laptop first (forgetting Hp is what I like) and I tried plugging in my airplane adapter to it and the keyboard barely worked / it warned me the power source wasn't good. It outputs the right voltage but that Dell laptop knew it didn't like the charger. I can't even try it on the HP laptop because the plug is different and apparently finding an adapter from a very large DC connection (HP Elitebook 8770w is what it fits) to the new, smaller size for the zbook is difficult. And I made the assumption that it means HP really wants to keep us away from mixing these chargers with these laptops / it'll do the same thing the Dell laptop did. HP support at the time of purchasing also told me that it will kill the performance if I try to use it so I was discouraged from the start. But I could try finding an adapter with my limited time left to see if it works. I just can't find one. I could also try a cheap/65w adapter and see if it works but I have my doubts.

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DudaStar
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A less preferable solution I have is using an external battery charger. I used to do this before I found the HP airplane charger, which can power the laptop without charging the battery. However, the charger I got only charges the batteries to ~90% and of course it means having to power down and swap batteries. It's acceptable if I have to do it but I'd much prefer a charger that will work on an airplane if the laptop won't throw errors at me / not work.

 

I had hopes in USB-C because Dell's laptop works like that for charging from a power pack. It'll drain the battery a bit if the power consumption is high but that's fine, it's not causing the laptop to malfunction.

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bubler
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As long as it's an HP adapter you'll be fine.

 

Just  tested to connect a 65w adapter to a Zbook 15 G3 and it does show that it charges the computer. But it shows a message telling the you need more power for better performance.

 

There's also 7.4 to 4.5mm dongle you can buy.

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DudaStar
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Any clue how the performance is reduced? Does the Laptop just run at lower power (reduced CPU speed) or do you see issues such as what I experienced with Dell? Literally, if I typed a key it took 5 seconds to type, if it accepted it. I was blocked from entering my username and password trying to set the PC up in windows.

 

I just purchased the dongle adapter and will give it a try myself. Considering weight, I am probably going to stick with the external battery charger andf 2nd battery. 2 batteries give me use in an airport where I can't plug in. And I can still operate at 100% performance on battery power. The drawback is I can't use the laptop non-stop for a 13 hour flight since it's probably 2 hour lifespan on the battery and a good 4 hours to charge it. But I don't plan on using more than 2 batteries / 4 hours before I sleep anyway. Powering the laptop via a charger on the plane is more convenient than having to swap batteries but not if I lose processing power since I use some series excel spreadsheets with a lot of formulas.

 

I'll give any feedback I find once I get that dongle. It'll at least be good for everyone to know. The battery pack HP offers isn't a good solution because it's heavy (5 lb). The 2nd battery and external charger is only about 1.5 lb. That battery pack would be helpful for someone who is without any socket at all for a long time though. That's rare for me.

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