How Long Will A Power Bank Run A Laptop?

Laptop power bank comes in different shapes, models, and sizes. However, the majority of potential buyers often have this question in mind – how long will a laptop power bank last?

Though they are usually portable, most laptops aren’t always powered by the battery alone. If you’re without an electrical outlet, or have run out of batteries, you can still get some power in a pinch with a USB power bank. But how long will it last? And what else do you need to know about these portable battery packs? 

Keep reading to find out all the details about how long a power bank will run your laptop.

What Is A Laptop Power Bank?

A power bank is a portable charger that can juice up your devices when you don’t have access to wall outlets. The biggest difference between a power bank and a traditional charger is portability. You can keep it in your backpack or purse so that you always have extra power for your devices—that comes in especially handy if you find yourself running low on battery halfway through your day. 

And, depending on how much space you need, there are power banks with varying capacities; some charge multiple devices at once. There are also external batteries designed specifically for laptops (called laptop batteries) but they tend to be more expensive because they are heavier and bulkier due to their larger capacity. 

How Long Does A Power Bank Last?

Given what we know about how long a battery can last in a laptop (and some educated guesswork about how much power you need to run a computer), it’s not too difficult to figure out whether or not you’ll get through your next cross-country flight with your laptop charged up. 

While power banks may seem complicated, they’re actually fairly simple—just keep your eyes on three different things: 

  • output (or Amps)
  • cable and ports
  • capacity (milliamp hours) 

Capacity tells us how many milliamps of electricity a battery can store at one time; cables and ports tell us what kind of cables we can plug into our power bank and use to charge it. The higher your capacity, the longer you’ll be able to use your phone or tablet before needing to recharge. 

Cables and ports are important because if you don’t have an adapter for whatever type of port is on your device, then that port is useless. 

The bottom line is that when it comes to figuring out how long a power bank will last, all you really need to do is look at its capacity and make sure it has enough juice for whatever device(s) you want to charge while traveling. 

For example, if I wanted my phone fully charged while flying across the country from New York City to San Francisco (roughly four hours by plane), I would want something with around 5800 mAh of energy storage.

How Often Will You Need To Charge Your Laptop?

This all depends on a few factors. If you’re talking about short bursts of use, like checking email and taking care of a few business tasks, then it won’t be much of an issue at all. However, if you’re looking to leave your laptop in standby mode while watching movies or playing games for long stretches at a time, then you’ll probably want to find a power bank with a higher battery capacity than others. 

Of course, that’ll come with tradeoffs in portability, but there are plenty of laptops out there that provide enough juice to last hours without needing a charge. As a general rule, though, anything over 10 hours is great. 

There are two different types of batteries used by most modern laptops: 

  1. Lithium ion (Li-ion)
  2. nickel metal hydride (NiMH) 

Lithium ion is generally regarded as more efficient and holds more energy per volume than NiMH batteries do—but Li-ion also has more restrictions on its charging cycle life. That means that Li-ion can only hold so many charges before its cells begin to degrade. That’s why some laptops have multiple tiers of battery power—one tier may be built for getting through most of your work day without recharging (3–4 hours), another for heavier use like gaming or movie streaming (5–6+ hours), etc.

Read: Do Portable Air Purifiers Use A Lot of Electricity?

What Are The Downsides To A Laptop Power Bank?

If you’re currently considering a power bank for your laptop, it’s important to understand that not all of them will have enough juice to do what you want—and there are some serious downsides if you don’t pay attention. For example, bigger batteries don’t always mean more power output, which is bad news for people who think bigger means better and charge their laptops at night; in fact, charging a laptop overnight can actually damage its battery and could end up reducing its life span . 

In addition to that, many USB-C laptops need to be plugged into wall sockets since they can’t be charged from a regular old USB port , which basically defeats the whole purpose of a portable device. 

Another option is getting an external charger. These devices plug directly into a wall socket and then connect to your laptop via USB cable. While these types of chargers are often bulkier than traditional power banks, they’re also generally faster (up to three times faster) because they draw energy directly from a wall outlet instead of relying on energy stored in another device. 

And finally, most laptops require between 30W and 60W just to boot up—which means even if you had a large capacity power bank with high wattage output, chances are good that it wouldn’t last long once you got started using your computer. All things considered, unless you’re only planning on running simple tasks like web browsing or word processing while away from home (or work), investing in one isn’t likely worth it.

What Is A Power Brick?

A power brick is a common name for a piece of electronic equipment that is used to charge or power another device. If you have an iPad, you’ve most likely seen one. It looks like a normal rectangular block with a set of prongs sticking out from one end. 

A laptop power bank is similar, but it’s smaller and doesn’t have long cords like other chargers do. Instead, it has standard USB ports so that you can connect your laptop to it and use your phone or tablet as well as it charges up your laptop at the same time.

The average power brick will run your laptop for about 4 hours before needing to be recharged itself. This means that if you plan on using it all day without charging it, you should get about 8 hours total between both devices. However, if you want to keep your battery pack fully charged throughout the day, then plugging in your computer every few hours might be necessary. 

Of course, many laptops come with their own built-in batteries which will last longer than any external battery pack could hope to achieve. However, if yours doesn’t have a long battery life (or no internal battery at all), then investing in a good external battery pack is worth looking into—especially if you travel often or don’t always have access to wall outlets when working on projects.

Read: How To Choose A Microphone For Your Computer


Simply put, how long a power bank will run a laptop depends on two factors: power capacity and efficiency. Overall, larger capacity devices are capable of holding more energy and discharging it over a longer period of time. 

If you’re looking to find something that has enough juice to last your entire trip through customs, while also having a small enough form factor that you can keep it in your pocket at all times, something with around 10,000 mAh is going to be your best bet. The downside here is that larger capacities come with heavier weights; as mentioned above, smaller devices tend to weigh less than larger ones.

Donald Felix

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