The differences between USB only Batteries and Batteries with high power ports…

I get a lot of questions from people asking if they can run their Surface Pro or MacBooks from a battery that has USB only output, so I thought I’d blog about it again.

Demystifying USB only Batteries vs High Power Port Batteries:

There are primarily only two types of batteries on the market:   Smaller batteries and larger batteries.  Smaller batteries typically only have a USB port (the rectangular ports you find on computers too) and these can only output 5V. The larger batteries typically have two types of output voltages. I like calling them "High power ports" and "Low power ports".  

The high power ports can have a range of voltages from 9V all the way up to 20V and are usually adjustable. They are for use on larger devices like laptops and the larger tablets and usually also have a USB port for smaller devices like phones and smaller tablets that plug into these.  

The low power port (or USB only battery) is a mere 5V and CANNOT be used to power larger devices. Some people think that one can up convert but this is like trying to put a motorcycle engine into a truck; there simply is not enough power from a USB port on the battery to power larger devices no matter how much up converting you try.

The bottom line:

So the bottom line is that USB only batteries are meant for smaller devices and NOT larger devices like the Surface pro 3,4/Book or MacBooks, no matter how much up converting you do. The higher power port batteries, however, CAN drive all the larger devices AS WELL AS the smaller devices with minimal down converting.

All our Batteries including the “Little Giant” all have a low power port (USB) as well as a high power port that will drive any large devices. They differ only in the amount of time you will get out of each battery.  The “Little Giant” was given it’s name because it’s size is actually pretty comparable to other batteries on the market that are intended for smaller devices ONLY and that have USB ONLY and yet it is ALSO capable of high power output like our larger batteries such as the “CEO” or “Executive” batteries.

Next topic of discussion… 

Why are there so many different batteries on the market with such a wide range of “mAH” and “AH” and what do these actually mean? Can a small battery with a higher “mAH” actually last longer then a large battery with lower “mAH”?

Stay powered,


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