These are the best laptops with USB-C charging: Dell XPS 13, Surface Laptop 4, and more
USB-C or USB Type-C has been one of the most successful universal ports seen on almost every modern gadget, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) announced the specification back in 2014, and it has seen multiple revisions over the years. This 24-pin double-sided connector can be implemented with various data transfer specifications, including the latest USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4.
Apart from offering the ability to transfer high-speed data or attach external monitors and docks, USB-C can be used to deliver up to 100W of power. This essentially means you can carry just one single cable to charge almost all of your devices, including your laptop. In fact, a variety of laptops today can be charged using a third-party charger that supports USB-PD (power delivery), in case you don’t want to carry the bundled charging brick. So today let’s check out some of the best laptops that offer USB-C charging.
Navigate this guide:
- Best overall laptop: Dell XPS 13 9310
- Best tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Best 15-inch laptop: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- Best 17-inch laptop: LG Gram 17
- Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
- Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
- Best ARM laptop: HP Elite Folio
Best Overall Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9310
Dell has been offering the XPS 13 with a USB-C port for some years now, and many of us at XDA have been personally using the laptop series for our daily tasks. Today, the Dell XPS 9310 comes with two USB Type-C ports with support for Thunderbolt 4 specification allowing you to attach up to two 4K external monitors and even hook up an eGPU for high-end graphics performance. Best of all, the laptop is charged via USB-C by default. This means that you can choose to charge the laptop with a reliable third-party charger with a minimum power rating of 45W.
The laptop is available with up to an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB 4267MHz of LRDDR4x memory, and 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. The 13.4-inch 16:10 ratio screen is available in either 1200p or 2400p resolutions. You also get a claimed battery life of up to 14 hours on the Full HD+ model, which is great for all-day workloads.
Best Tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
It took forever for Microsoft to add a USB-C port to its popular Surface Pro series. The Surface Pro 7 finally includes the well-needed port, and while it doesn’t feature Thunderbolt, Microsoft does say you can use it to transfer files and data or plug an external display. While it also supports USB-PD, Microsoft recommends you use the bundled charger with the proprietary Surface connector for a faster charging experience. However, you should be able to quickly charge it using USB-C with a minimum of 30W power delivery.
The Surface Pro 7 is one of the lightest Windows machines around, making it one of the best ultra-portables you can put your money on. The tablet is available with up to a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB LPDDR4x RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. Of course, you need to spend extra money if you want the Surface Type keyboard cover.
Best 15-inch Laptop: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
The latest addition to the Surface family, the Surface Laptop 4 comes with similar I/O options as the Surface Laptop 3, meaning you still get a single USB-C port. It continues to offer support for DisplayPort, data transfer, and power delivery. The Surface Laptop 4 is available in 13.5-inch and 15-inch display options, both available with Intel’s 11th-gen processors or AMD’s new Surface Edition chipsets based on the Ryzen 4000 series. Like the Surface Pro 7, this one also primarily supports charging via the proprietary Surface Connect port, but one can use the USB-C port for charging as well.
Best 17-inch Laptop: LG Gram 17
If you’re looking for a 17-inch notebook with USB-C charging, the LG Gram is a fine option. While it comes with a power adapter that uses an old barrel pin-type connector, you can still charge this laptop through its USB-C port. It’s one of the lightest 17-inch notebooks you can buy, weighing just 2.5 pounds (1.15kg). The notebook is powered by the latest Intel 11th-Gen processor and can be configured with up to 512GB SSD, 16GB of memory, and a 17-inch 2K touch display. It comes with two USB-C ports, both of which support Thunderbolt 4, which means you can use them for data transfer, video out, and of course, power delivery.
Best Business Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
For the ones who need a rugged yet premium business laptop with USB-C ports, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon should be one of the options to consider. Featuring the iconic Thinkpad design, this laptop comes with two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, allowing you to expand your productivity with ease. As for the core specs, the laptop comes with up to an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 vPro processor, 2TB of storage, and 32GB of RAM.
You also have a variety of display options ranging from the basic full-HD+ IPS touch panel with 400-nits brightness going all the way up to a UHD+ (3840 x 2400) HDR400 IPS panel with Dolby Vision, 100% DCI P3 and 500 nits brightness. The laptop charges via the USB-C by default, thus making it our recommendation of the best business laptop if you are looking for one that charges off USB.
Being a ThinkPad, it also assures maximum security with a fingerprint scanner, webcam privacy shutter, and some additional optional features.
Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Another one from our list of the best laptops for 2021, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, is a premium laptop offering high-end hardware, which might even sound like overkill for Chrome OS. It comes with two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, including support for charging. Acer says the laptop also meets MIL-STD-810G military-grade durability standards, which means you expect it to last long.
Apart from that, you get a 2-in-1 design form factor, the option to configure the machine with up to an Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD, and a premium 13.5-inch 2K resolution IPS touchscreen display.
Best ARM laptop: HP Elite Folio
The HP Elite Folio is one of the newest Windows laptops that runs on an ARM processor. A solid competitor for Microsoft’s Surface Pro X, it ups the ante by offering optional 5G mobile connectivity. It has a unique faux leather covering the entire magnesium chassis, while the 2-in-1 design allows you to lay the display flat and be used as a tablet. A dedicated stylus pen is included with the laptop that neatly sits in a compartment right above the keyboard.
The Elite Folio is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 SoC that’s clocked at 3.1GHz, while graphics are handled by the Adreno 690 integrated chipset. The 13.5-inch display on the notebook comes with a WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280) IPS panel available in either 400 nits of brightness or a brighter 1,000 nits option that also comes with HP’s Sure View Reflect technology.
As for memory, HP offers the laptop 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM, while storage options start at a 128GB PCIe NVMe TLC SSD, going up to 512GB.
Our best pick would be the Dell XPS 13, as it continues to offer a great blend of premium design, compact size, and great performance. Before you pick one from our list, make sure you get the right model, as not all USB-C ports are the same. USB-C is only the connector, and it’s up to the manufacturer to implement the protocols and specifications. It’s also advised that you confirm the power rating of your laptop before using a third-party charger to ensure safe and efficient charging.
If you’re looking for a particular laptop, we have been listing some of the best ones out there. For instance, here are the best 5G laptops, and if you’re on a tight budget, then check out some of the best cheap laptops.