How much power does your laptop take when charging?

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Traditional office and work laptops usually take around 65W when charging. However, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as we might think. 


There is no standard power rating for all laptops, and charging power may vary from model to model. So we will dive deeper into this topic and also see if charging your laptop frequently is something that can affect your power bill.


How to check your laptop’s charger power rating

There are a couple of ways to check how much power your laptop consumes while charging. And you can easily use one of these methods to see how much juice your laptop requires.

Check your charger’s power brick

This method is quite simple: pick up your power brick and read the information label. Most laptop manufacturers mention the wattage rating right away. However, if, for some reason, your laptop charging brick does not have a wattage rating, you can calculate it easy in our next step.

Manually calculate your laptop’s wattage

It’s possible that laptop manufacturers may not directly mention the wattage on the power brick, but it’s highly unlikely that they not mention the voltage and the current it takes to charge your laptop.


Simply, multiply the output current value in amperes by the output voltage, and you get your answer, plain and simple.


Just check the manufacturer’s website

If you don’t have access to the charger or label, checking the manufacturer’s website can provide you with the required information. 


Most manufacturers provide detailed product specifications, including the power requirements and charger rating.


Search for your laptop’s model specs, and you should find the power rating in the specs sheet.

Factors Affecting Power Consumption of Laptops

The power consumption of your laptop ultimately depends on your laptop components. Let’s discuss each important component in detail.


Some laptops don’t even have GPUs, to begin with. This includes your regular office/work laptops that usually rely on iGPUs. However, if your laptop has a dedicated GPU, then your laptop is most likely to draw more power from the wall than the traditional laptop GPU.


An easy way to check if your laptop has a dedicated GPU is by checking if your laptop has an Nvidia Geforce sticker on the chassis. Also, gaming laptops always have a dedicated GPU.


The CPU is one of your laptop’s core components responsible for significant amounts of power draw. If your laptop has one of the lower-end CPUs, it could include something like a Celeron, Core i3, or an Athlon. However, if your laptop has something from the higher end, such as Core i7 or i9, then these CPUs are power monsters.


Another way to verify this is by checking the letter used in your Intel CPU model number. If the model number ends with the U, it’s an efficiency-focused CPU. 


But if that intel CPU model no ends with H or K, then they are performance-focused and most likely to consume more power.


Display Brightness

The brightness on which you use your laptop daily also significantly affects your laptop’s power draw while it’s plugged in.


So as you might expect, if you use your laptop with a higher display brightness, its more likely to draw more power while you charge it, and vice versa.


If you are someone whose workload includes something demanding like gaming, video editing, code compiling, etc, then your laptop is most likely to draw more power while charging.


The number of different peripherals also affects the total power draw while it’s charging. If you have tons of peripherals connected, such as an external mouse and keyboard, an external microphone, etc., that will also slightly contribute to the overall power draw. 


Though, it won’t be as demanding as your core laptop components such as your CPU or your GPU.

Is there a minimum wattage required to charge a laptop?

Yes, a minimum wattage is required to charge a laptop, which can vary depending on the laptop’s requirements. If the wattage of the charger is lower than the laptop’s requirements, it may not charge or may charge very slowly. It’s important to ensure the charger’s wattage matches the laptop’s requirements to avoid damage or improper charging.


As we discussed at the beginning, most laptops require at least 65W of power to start charging. Then again, this may vary from laptop to laptop.

What is USB Power Delivery, and does my laptop support it?

USB Power Delivery (USB PD) is a fast-charging standard that enables devices to negotiate to change speed and power requirements. Many laptops support USB PD, allowing faster charging times than regular chargers. To determine if your laptop supports USB PD, check the manufacturer’s specifications or look for the USB PD logo on the laptop or charger.

How many watts can USB PD deliver?

USB PD can deliver up to 100 watts of power, which is more than enough to charge most laptops. However, it’s important to check the laptop’s requirements and ensure the charger supports the required wattage.


Also, not all laptops support USB PD charging, so you should check if it supports that.

What is the highest wattage for a USB C charger?

The highest wattage for a USB-C charger is 240 watts. However, not all laptops require this much power, and it’s important to match the charger’s wattage to the laptop’s requirements to avoid potential damage.


However, not all laptops support the 240W spec; most laptops max out at 65W on USB-C charging. So keep that in mind.

Compact GaN chargers, how to check if your laptop supports it

GaN (Gallium Nitride) chargers are smaller and more efficient than traditional chargers. This makes carrying them quite convenient, which helps them in carrying them.

If your laptop supports USB-C charging, you can use a GaN charger.

Some chargers that can charge your laptop

UGREEN GaN USB C charger

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Anker USB C Charger

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SlimQ 100W USB C Charger

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Do laptops use a lot of power when charging?

No laptops don’t use a significant amount of power while charging, though gaming laptops can consume a significant amount of power under load.

Does unplugging the laptop save electricity?

Yes, unplugging the laptop can save electricity as you would be running your laptop on battery power. However, if you have a gaming laptop, then you have no choice but to have it plugged in the wall.

Why do different laptops charge at different speeds?

The charging speed of laptops depends on their hardware. Most office laptops charge around 65W but performance laptops such as gaming laptops can easily require more than 100W to charge.