USB chargers

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gavinsiu
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USB chargers

Post by gavinsiu »

My kids lose their charger again. i was thinking of replacing the charger but make them keep in in their rooms. The issue is that there seems to be more and more devices. First it was the ipad, now they get a chromebook, then wireless headsets for zoom and a few years, I am pretty sure they will have a phone. Should I just bite the bullet and buy a multi-charger that have enough power to charge a laptop for example. We have over the years collected a lot of charge blocks that don't actually have enough power to charge even a new ipad these days.
quietseas
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Re: USB chargers

Post by quietseas »

You could buy chargers that are built into the outlet and replace the outlet, then they would not be lost. They might not charge the fastest, but kids would learn the lesson that they need to be responsible with the good stuff.
livesoft
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Re: USB chargers

Post by livesoft »

I'd make my kids get a job and buy their own chargers. Also my kids would be resourceful enough to have their friends give them old chargers that worked for them. So that's recycling.
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Topic Author
gavinsiu
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Re: USB chargers

Post by gavinsiu »

quietseas wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:53 pm You could buy chargers that are built into the outlet and replace the outlet, then they would not be lost. They might not charge the fastest, but kids would learn the lesson that they need to be responsible with the good stuff.
I tried that, but when I plug in the ipad into the outlet, it said "Not Charging" indicating that it did not provide enough charges, though it does charge the ipad as long as you are not using it. I think the outlets are inferior to the chargers.
sureshoe
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Re: USB chargers

Post by sureshoe »

How old are your kids? I mean, if they're under 12, I get it. I wouldn't get too fancy - there are a lot of chargers you can get at Amazon that plug in with multiple outlets. I bought color-coded ones, so 1 kids has blue, 1 has pink, 1 has purple, etc. Then buy the bulk cables.

If they're over 12, I'd probably be a little more hard core.
hunoraut
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Re: USB chargers

Post by hunoraut »

simplify. recycle all the old stray chargers. determine what devices you have and consolidate it all with a high-powered, multi-port/format charger.

anker and ravtech and monoprice are a good place to look.
neilpilot
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Re: USB chargers

Post by neilpilot »

gavinsiu wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:58 pm
quietseas wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:53 pm You could buy chargers that are built into the outlet and replace the outlet, then they would not be lost. They might not charge the fastest, but kids would learn the lesson that they need to be responsible with the good stuff.
I tried that, but when I plug in the ipad into the outlet, it said "Not Charging" indicating that it did not provide enough charges, though it does charge the ipad as long as you are not using it. I think the outlets are inferior to the chargers.
Next time you shop, compare the power rating of the usb outlet. There are several that cost more but supply much higher max power at the usb port. Also, some outlets with dual usb ports will supply higher power when one usb is used than if 2 devices are plugged in.

For example the Leviton T5632, that costs about $22, will only deliver a combined power of 18 watts, or 12 watts of electricity if you just use one port.

Leviton's T5633, for about $5 more, will deliver 25+ watts at the usb, or 15+ if you use a single usb.
livesoft
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Re: USB chargers

Post by livesoft »

neilpilot wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:48 pmNext time you shop, compare the power rating of the usb outlet. There are several that cost more but supply much higher max power at the usb port. Also, some outlets with dual usb ports will supply higher power when one usb is used than if 2 devices are plugged in.
All true, but if your device doesn't use the higher power, then you are essentially paying for a better charger that you might use in the future when the input power ratings of your devices catch up to the output power rating of your charger.
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Topic Author
gavinsiu
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Re: USB chargers

Post by gavinsiu »

The kids are in elementary school. I notice the increase use of technology in school. One reason I was thinking ahead is that they will probably need to get a laptop. Charger of that type may need to output 45W, 65W or even 100w. May be it's better to get one that charges multiple device than try to fit multiple adapter on the same power strip with tight spacings.
jayjayc
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Re: USB chargers

Post by jayjayc »

My suggestion is to replace the power strip with a new one that has USB ports for charging.
https://smile.amazon.com/Protector-Anke ... B07PMKP919

Make the power strip a permanent fixture to your kids' rooms so it can't be misplaced. Re-use your existing collection of chargers when they're out of the house to maintain a charge. I wouldn't worry about future proofing your chargers. Technology is moving at a fast enough pace to make new ones faster and cheaper. They also become obsolete.
neilpilot
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Re: USB chargers

Post by neilpilot »

livesoft wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:33 pm
neilpilot wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:48 pmNext time you shop, compare the power rating of the usb outlet. There are several that cost more but supply much higher max power at the usb port. Also, some outlets with dual usb ports will supply higher power when one usb is used than if 2 devices are plugged in.
All true, but if your device doesn't use the higher power, then you are essentially paying for a better charger that you might use in the future when the input power ratings of your devices catch up to the output power rating of your charger.
Obviously, but consider my reply in context. It was directed to the OP who indicated the outlet tried apparently wasn’t a sufficiently high output to charge an iPad while in use.
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heartwood
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Re: USB chargers

Post by heartwood »

I'm not clear on the nomenclature, but so many recent cords are UB-C with a larger fast charging plug on the other end. I have one for my Samsung tablet, another to charge my external battery, and another for my phone. Those might not fit a wall outlet or outlet in a power strip.
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lthenderson
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Re: USB chargers

Post by lthenderson »

gavinsiu wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:49 pm i was thinking of replacing the charger but make them keep in in their rooms. We have over the years collected a lot of charge blocks that don't actually have enough power to charge even a new ipad these days.
The only time we use charging blocks are traveling when we might not have access to powered USB ports. We just use the cords and plug them into power strips that come with USB ports or dedicated USB surge protectors like below that can charge 10 devices while only using one A/C outlet. Each bedroom has one.

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Family-S ... B00OJ79UK6
Doctor Rhythm
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Re: USB chargers

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

Yes - buy a multi-charger, something like this (not specifically this model, just the concept). Major advantage over big power strips or built-into-the-wall units is that it can travel. Your family of four will eventually go on vacation and need to charge a half-dozen devices overnight in the hotel room. Depending on number of jacks, one or two of these will let that happen.
hudson
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Re: USB chargers

Post by hudson »

gavinsiu wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:49 pm My kids lose their charger again. i was thinking of replacing the charger but make them keep in in their rooms. The issue is that there seems to be more and more devices. First it was the ipad, now they get a chromebook, then wireless headsets for zoom and a few years, I am pretty sure they will have a phone. Should I just bite the bullet and buy a multi-charger that have enough power to charge a laptop for example. We have over the years collected a lot of charge blocks that don't actually have enough power to charge even a new ipad these days.
When I had the same issue, I'd throw money.
When they lost the charger/cable...
Of course, I'd try to scrounge a replacement.
If that didn't work, I'd buy an Anker brand close to exact replacement....or an exact replacement.
I didn't try the multi-charger route as I wanted something that I was sure that would work.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: USB chargers

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

neilpilot wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:48 pm
gavinsiu wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:58 pm
quietseas wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:53 pm You could buy chargers that are built into the outlet and replace the outlet, then they would not be lost. They might not charge the fastest, but kids would learn the lesson that they need to be responsible with the good stuff.
I tried that, but when I plug in the ipad into the outlet, it said "Not Charging" indicating that it did not provide enough charges, though it does charge the ipad as long as you are not using it. I think the outlets are inferior to the chargers.
Next time you shop, compare the power rating of the usb outlet. There are several that cost more but supply much higher max power at the usb port. Also, some outlets with dual usb ports will supply higher power when one usb is used than if 2 devices are plugged in.

For example the Leviton T5632, that costs about $22, will only deliver a combined power of 18 watts, or 12 watts of electricity if you just use one port.

Leviton's T5633, for about $5 more, will deliver 25+ watts at the usb, or 15+ if you use a single usb.
Are these USB outlets "smart" enough to not be constantly wasting power on conversion of AC to DC when something isn't actively plugged in?
02nz
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Re: USB chargers

Post by 02nz »

gavinsiu wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:49 pm My kids lose their charger again. i was thinking of replacing the charger but make them keep in in their rooms. The issue is that there seems to be more and more devices. First it was the ipad, now they get a chromebook, then wireless headsets for zoom and a few years, I am pretty sure they will have a phone. Should I just bite the bullet and buy a multi-charger that have enough power to charge a laptop for example. We have over the years collected a lot of charge blocks that don't actually have enough power to charge even a new ipad these days.
I'd recommend a USB-C charger, which will be able to deliver more power than older USB (type-A) chargers and is easier to use (reversible connector). See Wirecutter recommendations here: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/revi ... -chargers/

To prevent them from losing them so easily, you might want to look into a desktop charger, like this one or this cheaper ZMI one, which is less portable and thus more difficult to lose. (You may not have heard of ZMI but they're a reputable brand, their chargers have been recommended on Wirecutter and I've had good experiences.)
neilpilot
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Re: USB chargers

Post by neilpilot »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:45 am
neilpilot wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:48 pm
gavinsiu wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:58 pm
quietseas wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:53 pm You could buy chargers that are built into the outlet and replace the outlet, then they would not be lost. They might not charge the fastest, but kids would learn the lesson that they need to be responsible with the good stuff.
I tried that, but when I plug in the ipad into the outlet, it said "Not Charging" indicating that it did not provide enough charges, though it does charge the ipad as long as you are not using it. I think the outlets are inferior to the chargers.
Next time you shop, compare the power rating of the usb outlet. There are several that cost more but supply much higher max power at the usb port. Also, some outlets with dual usb ports will supply higher power when one usb is used than if 2 devices are plugged in.

For example the Leviton T5632, that costs about $22, will only deliver a combined power of 18 watts, or 12 watts of electricity if you just use one port.

Leviton's T5633, for about $5 more, will deliver 25+ watts at the usb, or 15+ if you use a single usb.
Are these USB outlets "smart" enough to not be constantly wasting power on conversion of AC to DC when something isn't actively plugged in?
Depends on the specific outlet design. I installed an outlet with spring-loaded "Safety Shutters" that eliminate "vampire" energy draw
02nz
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Re: USB chargers

Post by 02nz »

neilpilot wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:48 pm Next time you shop, compare the power rating of the usb outlet. There are several that cost more but supply much higher max power at the usb port. Also, some outlets with dual usb ports will supply higher power when one usb is used than if 2 devices are plugged in.

For example the Leviton T5632, that costs about $22, will only deliver a combined power of 18 watts, or 12 watts of electricity if you just use one port.

Leviton's T5633, for about $5 more, will deliver 25+ watts at the usb, or 15+ if you use a single usb.
The T5633 has USB-C but does not appear to have Power Delivery, which provides more power (18W and up) and will be needed for devices like the Chromebook mentioned by OP, which typically charge at around 30W. An iPad will charge at 12-15W but it will be fairly slow esp. if the iPad is also being used; all recent iPads support Power Delivery (with a USB-C to Lightning cable) to charge much faster.
Topic Author
gavinsiu
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Re: USB chargers

Post by gavinsiu »

One question I have is how much power do I need to charge a laptop. I think most of the ones I have can be charge using a 45W charger, but are there laptop with greater charging needs?
02nz
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Re: USB chargers

Post by 02nz »

gavinsiu wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:46 pm One question I have is how much power do I need to charge a laptop. I think most of the ones I have can be charge using a 45W charger, but are there laptop with greater charging needs?
Most laptops up to about 14 inches and without discrete graphics are fine with 45W. Larger than that or with discrete graphics you're likely to need 65W or more.
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anon_investor
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Re: USB chargers

Post by anon_investor »

gavinsiu wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:46 pm One question I have is how much power do I need to charge a laptop. I think most of the ones I have can be charge using a 45W charger, but are there laptop with greater charging needs?
I think a MacBook Pro needs at least 60W.
yules
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Re: USB chargers

Post by yules »

livesoft wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 3:58 pm I'd make my kids get a job and buy their own chargers. Also my kids would be resourceful enough to have their friends give them old chargers that worked for them. So that's recycling.
My neighbors kids used to collect old chargers from friends! The problem was that the friends we replacing their chargers because they didn’t work well or had frayed wires, etc. and my neighbors kids didn’t know to inspect things properly, they only heard the word “free”.

Let’s just say that one night my neighbor got a nice visit from some men in uniform, who rode to their house in a big red truck with flashing lights and their kids’ room received a nice bath from water courtesy of a nearby fire hydrant.

(Everyone made it out alive.)

Moral of the story: inspect everything and when in doubt throw it out! That’s not only true for food.

Yules
Topic Author
gavinsiu
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Re: USB chargers

Post by gavinsiu »

yules wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 4:49 pm My neighbors kids used to collect old chargers from friends! The problem was that the friends we replacing their chargers because they didn’t work well or had frayed wires, etc. and my neighbors kids didn’t know to inspect things properly, they only heard the word “free”.

Let’s just say that one night my neighbor got a nice visit from some men in uniform, who rode to their house in a big red truck with flashing lights and their kids’ room received a nice bath from water courtesy of a nearby fire hydrant.

(Everyone made it out alive.)

Moral of the story: inspect everything and when in doubt throw it out! That’s not only true for food.

Yules
This is why I do not buy USB charger from gas stations for $5. Many of them are of dubious quality and may be a fire hazard.
inbox788
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Re: USB chargers

Post by inbox788 »

anon_investor wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:54 pm
gavinsiu wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:46 pm One question I have is how much power do I need to charge a laptop. I think most of the ones I have can be charge using a 45W charger, but are there laptop with greater charging needs?
I think a MacBook Pro needs at least 60W.
"any"!

Depending on what you're doing and how much power the laptop is consuming while using, you may not be charging with a low powered adapter, but might be extending the time being used on battery. If you want to charge the battery with a very low power adapter, it's best to turn it off and not use it, and even then, it will take many hours, so overnight would be best.
If your Mac uses USB-C to charge, you can charge your Mac notebook with any USB-C power adapter or display. For the best charging experience, you should use the power adapter and cable included with your Mac notebook.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201700
Topic Author
gavinsiu
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Re: USB chargers

Post by gavinsiu »

I did some research. Majority of the laptop these day can be charged using a 65W charger. The only laptop that needs more tend to be monster gaming laptops, some which may required over 100W. There are apparently charging standards like QC and PD. These days PD standard is mostly and you usually need PD 3.0. A new standard PD 3.1 can output up to 240W.

However, multichargers that can output 100W are going to be pretty expensive (double the price) and need special usb c cable that support 100W+. The problems is that they don't have markings which indicate that they are special, so it's confusing. I figure let's stick with less than 100W and if we need a high powered laptop we could get a separete charger since it's rare.

When getting the charger, make sure to check the review comments. Some of them have problems with charging multiple device at once.

I end up getting one with 3 usb c port and 1 usb a.
ddurrett896
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Re: USB chargers

Post by ddurrett896 »

My solution is easy. All devices charge in the same place in the kitchen.

The chargers never leave that spot and they can’t sit there and use the device while it changes, forcing them to take a break.
livesoft
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Re: USB chargers

Post by livesoft »

gavinsiu wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:53 am I did some research. Majority of the laptop these day can be charged using a 65W charger. The only laptop that needs more tend to be monster gaming laptops, some which may required over 100W....
That's good info, but I doubt that laptops or any device "need" such high power although it is certainly desirable if one wants to charge in a reasonable amount of time. Even a 5W charger could act as "trickle" charger and take ~20 times longer than a 100W charger to charge a high power device that can accept 100W. :) But I would expect that one might have to have the device turned off (no screen time!) when using such a low power charger.

And you are totally right about the cable, too. If the resistance and thus voltage drop across the cable and its plugs at each end are significant because it is cheap or not thick enough, then the full capabilities of a good charger are going into heating the cable and not charging the battery.
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onourway
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Re: USB chargers

Post by onourway »

While some laptops are able to trickle-charge from a low power source (MacBooks do this well) others are not. My Thinkpad's for example set a minimum threshold for the power adapter (I think around 60w) and will not charge from anything lower than that.

These multi-port chargers are nice in theory. In practice it's much more complicated if you are looking to charge multiple high powered devices simultaneously. They all advertise their peak output from a single port (and, in my experience, over-state that by a hefty margin compared to a quality OEM charger). If you have multiple devices connected, every device gets less power, and it's usually not clear how that power is being distributed as every device has its own internal switching logic. It might be that the first device plugged in gets 60w. The second device plugged in gets 20w (and the first device is reduced to 40w), etc. Often simply leaving a cable plugged into one of those slots 'occupies' that spot and you won't get full output from any single port without unplugging all other cables.

The point is, most of these devices promise the world and look incredibly convenient. For the most part, if you are charging phones/tablets/headphones/gaming consoles/etc., they work fine. If you start adding a mid-powered laptop or two to that rotation, it gets a lot more complicated.
ihelosec
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Re: USB chargers

Post by ihelosec »

For the iPad, I recommend a USB wall outlet that supports the power requirements of the iPad. Below is an example. I have not used this particular wall outlet before.

For the laptop, I recommend a docking station. A docking station is not as portable and harder to lose. You can plug USB cables into the docking station to power additional devices.

=====================================

Leviton T5635-W USB Dual Type-C with Power Delivery (PD) In-Wall Charger with 15 Amp, 125 Volt Tamper-Resistant Outlet, White: https://amazon.com/dp/B07PTWG5DV

What is the maximum charging output for the T5635?
- Single port connected to PD-enabled device: 15VDC@2A (30W) or 9VDC@3A (27W)
- Single port connected to non-PD device: 5VDC@3A (15W)
- Both ports connected to devices: 5VDC@3A (30W total power)

Q: Can this charge 2 iPhone 13s at the same time? Apple's site says minimum power output is 20W for a single phone.
A: Yes. We charge 2 large iPAD pros at the same time …..quickly

Works for charging my iPad
…It's in my kitchen where I charge my iPad. No complaints

Very Fast Charging for iPad and iPhone
…Fast charges iPad Pro 12” and iPhones no problem. Charges much faster than USB-A. Very happy with this purchase.

=====================================

Apple power requirements: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210133

The Best Wall Outlets With USB Charging Ports: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/revi ... ing-ports/
onourway
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Re: USB chargers

Post by onourway »

ihelosec wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:16 am For the iPad, I recommend a USB wall outlet that supports the power requirements of the iPad. Below is an example. I have not used this particular wall outlet before....

Leviton T5635-W USB Dual Type-C with Power Delivery (PD) In-Wall Charger with 15 Amp, 125 Volt Tamper-Resistant Outlet, White: https://amazon.com/dp/B07PTWG5DV
FYI I have this exact outlet, and for this design, it's about as good as it gets, however it has exactly the problem I described above - you can only get the full power from a single port if you have one and only one cable connected. If a second cable is connected to the outlet the power is cut in half to both outlets (even if the second cable is not connected to any device).
JDave
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Re: USB chargers

Post by JDave »

For several years I've used this charger without any issues:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VH ... UTF8&psc=1
And I've secured it with this super-strong double sided tape to my computer desk. You need a steel putty knife to remove it, which I have done once when I was doing cable management:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009N ... UTF8&psc=1
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