Surface Laptop 3 USB-C Charging: We tested all chargers we have

To help you find out which USB chargers are compatible with your Surface Laptop 3, we have tested all chargers we can gather to charging test with the laptop.

Surface Laptop 3 USB-C Charging

USB-C charging seems to be a very confusing topic for Microsoft Surface products. Some USB chargers can charge some of Microsoft Surface products while they don’t work with others. To be clear on this, we have tested all chargers we can gather to charge Surface Laptop 3 to find out which chargers will work and not work with the laptop.

We will start with a Q&A style to address questions you might have in your mind starting from an overview to a specific charger.

Question #1:

Can you charge your Surface Laptop 3 with a standard mobile phone USB charger?

Answer:

No, you can’t! Surface Laptop 3 requires chargers that support Power Delivery (USB-C PD) protocol to deliver a significant amount of power for a smooth charging experience. A standard mobile charger including USB chargers with a voltage of 5V and an amps rate from 500 mA to 2A.

Note Currently, only Microsoft Surface 3 and Surface Go that support charging over a standard mobile phone charger.

Question #2:

What happens when you plug-in Surface Laptop 3 with an unsupported charger?

Answer:

You will get a “PC isn’t charging” notification when you plug-in an unsupported charger to Surface Laptop 3 USB-C port. It will ask you to use the recommended charger and cable, and make sure it’s directly plugged in.

Unsupported Chargers Plugin

Question #3:

Can you charge Surface Laptop 3 with a Samsung USB charger rated at 5V/1.55A?

Answer:

Surface Laptop 3 - Samsung 5V/1.55A charger

No, you can’t! the Samsung USB charger rated at 7.75W (5V/1.55A) doesn’t meet the minimum power requirement for charging Surface Laptop 3.

Here are our testing result:

  • Charge while the laptop is on: When we plugged the charger in, the “PC isn’t charging” notification popped up on the screen and there is no sign of charging happened.
    Unsupported Chargers Plugin
  • Charge while the laptop is off:  There is no capacity percentage gain from our 10 minutes charging test.

Question #4:

Can you charge Surface Laptop 3 with a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 USB charger?

Answer:

Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0

No, you can’t! Surface Laptop 3 seems can’t work with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 protocol as it can’t negotiate with the charger to get maximum power output for charging the laptop.

Here are our tested chargers:

  • JOYROOM QC3.0 USB Charger: rated at 18W (5V/2A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A).
  • REMAX 10,000mAh RPP-105 Power Bank (USB-A port): rated at 18W (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A).
  • MI 20,000mAh PLM07ZM Power Bank (USB-A port): rated at 18W (5V/2.4A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A).

Here are our testing result:

  • Charge while the laptop is on: When we plugged the charger in, the “PC isn’t charging” notification popped up on the screen and there is no sign of charging happened.
    Unsupported Chargers Plugin
  • Charge while the laptop is off:  There is no capacity percentage gain from our 10 minutes charging test.

Question #5:

Can you charge Surface Laptop 3 with a USB-C PD Charger?

Answer:

USB-C PD Chargers

Yes, you can! Surface Laptop 3 works really well with USB-C PD chargers and as a result, it works with all USB-C PD chargers and power banks we’ve tested. However, charging speed varies from a charger to a charger depending on the power rate they can supply.

18W USB-C PD chargers can only charge your laptop while it sleeps, idle, or at a low screen brightness. For average usage, 30W USB-C PD chargers will be good enough for office tasks and 50% screen brightness. For fast charging and more intense workloads, 45W and 65W USB-C PD chargers will be a great option if you don’t mind carrying a little bigger charger with you.

Here are our tested chargers:

  • Google Pixel 1, 2 Charger: rated at 18W (5V/3A, 9V/2A).
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Charger: rated at 18W (5V/3A, 9V/2A).
  • Anker PowerPort Speed PD 30: rated at 30W (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 15V/2A, 20V/1.5A)
  • Anker PowerPort Atom PD1: rated at 30W (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 15V/2A, 20V/1.5A)
  • ZMI Turbo USB-C PD: rated at 45W (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2.25A)
  • REMAX 10,000mAh RPP-105 Power Bank (USB-C PD port): rated at 18W (5V/3A, 9V/2A, 12V/1.5A).
  • MI 20,000mAh PLM07ZM Power Bank (USB-C PD port): rated at 45W (5V/2.4A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2A).

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