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NTMBK
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Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:40 pm

My dad needs a new laptop to replace his dying Dell. He usually uses it hooked up to two monitors, a keyboard and mouse, but he needs to take it away and use it in meetings. He had a docking station for the old one, and I'd like to get a laptop that can drive a docking station with a single cable.

Is there a good list of laptops with this capability?
 
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:54 pm

USB-C, technically known as USB Type-C, is the connector. USB Type-C connectors can be limited to just USB 1.1.

Ideally one would buy a laptop that features Thunderbolt 3 via USB Type-C. At the very minimum look for laptops that support USB 3.1 Gen 2 via USB Type-C
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:22 pm

I have a Dell Inspiron 13" 7000, which both charges over USB-C (but the also has a separate charger port) and outputs DisplayPort/HDMI/VGA over the same port. It only has one, though, so pick your poison unless he has a multi-purpose adapter. Mine is the Kaby Lake generation but the new ones support power delivery and video as well.
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:35 pm

2018 (and maybe the 2017 version) XPS machines have two TB3 ports that'll work
rMBP has four TB3 ports
HP Spectre x360 should have more than 1 Type-C port that'll do power and/or DP out too

All great options.
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:12 pm

Recently went through this search for my father and I. He ended up with a Dell XPS 15, I ended up with an HP Spectre x360. Both carry Thunderbolt over USB-C (though the Dell is limited to 2x PCIe lanes in case you do something crazy like an external GPU). One of these dongles allows video and charging at the same time: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-u ... Id=5577934

Beware the XPS 15 requires more power than it can take in via USB-C, because it's a 15" laptop with a dedicated GPU. The XPS 13 charges through USB-C fine.
 
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:07 am

Bottom line is, if you want something awesome that will last a good long time, then get a laptop that supports Thunderbolt 3.
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:41 am

Thanks for all the help guys! It kind of looks like it's as much of a quagmire as I had expected :D Definitely some solid recommendations there though.

derFunkenstein wrote:
I have a Dell Inspiron 13" 7000, which both charges over USB-C (but the also has a separate charger port) and outputs DisplayPort/HDMI/VGA over the same port. It only has one, though, so pick your poison unless he has a multi-purpose adapter. Mine is the Kaby Lake generation but the new ones support power delivery and video as well.


Definitely an interesting option! It's right in the price range I was hoping for (my Dad doesn't like spending too much on laptops), so he might well go for that. I'd definitely buy a multi-purpose adapter, so he can get the single-cable easy docking.

End User wrote:
Bottom line is, if you want something awesome that will last a good long time, then get a laptop that supports Thunderbolt 3.


If money were no option then that would be great, but sadly most of the TB3 laptops seem to start pretty expensive. My Dad's not looking to spend a fortune, and he doesn't really have any high speed I/O requirements- displays and input devices are pretty much it, and possibly a gigabit ethernet port. (Though his laptop is set up literally directly next to the wifi router, so he could probably survive without that.)
 
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:30 am

I never used a docking station, but I always assumed they are what the name says - that is, you dock your laptop in it, it connects through some proprietary socket and doesn't require any cables between laptop and the station. If that's not how it works, then I fail to see any point in having a docking station.
 
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:38 am

End User wrote:
Bottom line is, if you want something awesome that will last a good long time, then get a laptop that supports Thunderbolt 3.

In a perfect world where we all have unlimited funds, that would be a fantastic idea.

And where laptops are concerned, longevity is more about build quality and ease of service than what kind of ports you have. Given the price, I'd expect most Thunderbolt 3 laptops to have decent build quality; but I'm sure there's not a perfect correlation, and many high-end laptops are also difficult to service.
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:46 am

Froz wrote:
I never used a docking station, but I always assumed they are what the name says - that is, you dock your laptop in it, it connects through some proprietary socket and doesn't require any cables between laptop and the station. If that's not how it works, then I fail to see any point in having a docking station.

Yes, that's what a docking station is. Something that connects with a single Thunderbolt cable would be roughly equivalent in terms of convenience and would take up less space.

I don't have a docking station for my laptop, but the external keyboard, mouse, and network are all connected via a USB3 hub, which reduces the number of cables I need to plug in when I want to use it at my desk with a full-size keyboard and display. 3 cables (power, HDMI, USB) instead of 5 (power, HDMI, keyboard, mouse, network).
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:12 am

Build quality is a trait shared by my Inspiron. The outer case is aluminum and I carry it with me 2x-3x a week to class, and have done so for a year. It's been very resilient. Also the RAM and SSD are upgradeable, at least in the 7th gen model. Two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots and a PCI-e capable M.2 slot. You'll pay for it in bulk...it weighs closer to 3.25 pounds as opposed to the sub-three-pound XPS 13 and it has a bigger footprint thanks to bezels straight out of the 2015 MacBook Pro.

As for a dock, there are lots of USB-C docks out there but you're probably looking at $150+ for one that will include its own power adapter rather than expect you to plug in your own. I have an OWC mini DisplayPort dock. I'm not happy with it. My MBP loses track of it and stops charging when the machine goes to sleep. OWC has replaced it twice and each one has the same problem. The HDMI version got a firmware update to fix that problem, but mDP version hasn't yet. So all I can suggest is that you avoid this one.
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Re: Laptops that charge and output video over USB-C?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:52 pm

NTMBK wrote:
End User wrote:
Bottom line is, if you want something awesome that will last a good long time, then get a laptop that supports Thunderbolt 3.


If money were no option then that would be great, but sadly most of the TB3 laptops seem to start pretty expensive. My Dad's not looking to spend a fortune, and he doesn't really have any high speed I/O requirements- displays and input devices are pretty much it, and possibly a gigabit ethernet port. (Though his laptop is set up literally directly next to the wifi router, so he could probably survive without that.)


I put the kibosh on TB3. Look for something with an MX150. The ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331UA looks good.
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