CalDigit. Serious Storage.


The latest USB-C and Thunderbolt™ 3 technology allows our external devices to do so much more than they ever did before. The most exciting update is laptop charging. With so many different laptops available, each with their own unique power adapter there can be some confusion on whether external devices have enough power to charge them.

The laptop’s included power supply has one dedicated job to charge the attached laptop. However, CalDigit docks and storage have to charge the laptop and power multiple devices such as USB devices and monitors. It’s a delicate balance to provide all this great functionality in addition to laptop charging in one device.

CalDigit Devices with Laptop Charging

In this instance we will use the 2016/2017 MacBook Pro 15” as an example. However, the principals are the same for any Mac or PC laptop. This MacBook Pro has an 87W laptop charger included. The assumption is that your external device, be it a dock or storage, must also provide 87W to charge that laptop. This is actually not the case. The external dock/storage would need 87W to charge at the same speed as the included adapter, but a lower wattage, such as 30W or 60W will still fully charge the MacBook Pro but at a slightly slower speed.

It is only thanks to the new USB-C and Thunderbolt™ 3 specification that devices are able to offer laptop charging. USB-C and Thunderbolt™ 3 both offer a maximum power delivery of 100W. A question we often get is “Thunderbolt™ 3 offers 100W, why doesn't your device charge at 100W?”. Dual port Thunderbolt™ 3 devices output power from each port. The 100W is shared between the two ports.

The wattage of power supplies included with select laptops
13” MacBook Pro 2016/2017 15” MacBook Pro 2016/2017 MacBook 2015/2016 Dell XPS 13 w/ Thunderbolt™ 3
Wattage 60W 85W 29W 45W

As you can see from the above chart the power supply wattage is varied. Laptops will only take the power they need. For example, the 13” MacBook Pro has a 60W charger, the CalDigit TS3 dock supplies up to 85W power delivery for charging. In this instance the 13” MacBook Pro will only take 60W. Laptops will only take what they need.

Power delivery of CalDigit products & compatibility
USB-C Dock TS3 Lite TS3 T4 Thunderbolt™ 3 AV Pro 2
Max. Wattage 60W 15W 85W 85W 30W
2016/2017 MacBook Pro 13”/15”
2015/2016 MacBook
PC w/ Thunderbolt™ 3 ---
PC with USB-C ---

All CalDigit USB-C and Thunderbolt™ 3 products include cables in the box. However, if you need to purchase new cables for your devices you will need to check they are the correct specification in order to provide power delivery. For more info on CalDigit cables [click here].

Cables required for CalDigit products
USB-C Dock TS3 Lite TS3 T4 AV Pro 2
(USB 3.1 10Gb/s)
Thunderbolt™ 3
Thunderbolt™ 3
Thunderbolt™ 3
(USB 3.1 10Gb/s)

*The T4 Thunderbolt™ 3 is only Mac compatible.

1. The Charging function is available on USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 laptops, smartphone, and tablets only. However, some manufacturers choose to partially support this feature or have their own proprietary charger. Please contact your device manufacturer to confirm 3rd party Type-C charging support.

2. Functions such as video output and power delivery to charge host computers may may be limited. Please verify full functionality with host computer manufacturer.

3. Thunderbolt™ 3 chipset offers various support functionalities from each host manufacturer. Video output and/or host charging function may be limited depending on hardware and firmware compatibility design. To ensure best performance, always update your Thunderbolt™ 3 computers to the latest firmware.

4. Video output, charging function and Ethernet may be limited depending on USB-C Type-C computers, smart phone and tablet hardware design and software capability. Some Type-C manufacturers chose not to support these new features in USB Type-C Alt mode and some only support 1x DisplayPort lane. Contact your device manufacturer to obtain more information.

5. Thunderbolt™ and the Thunderbolt™ logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries.






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