Over the past two weeks while I was away in Germany, I had the opportunity to visit lots of places and take a staggering amount of photos all along the way. It seemed like everywhere I went I was presented with yet another photo-worthy scene. I loved every second of it, but my phone’s battery didn’t feel quite the same way.
On quite a few occasions, my wife and I ended our phone batteries long before our day was ready to be done. In my rush to get everything packed and ready for the trip, I completely forgot to bring along a battery pack to take on our day trip excursions, and I would have been totally up a creek if not for this handy little trick I’d forgotten all about.
Pixelbook As A Battery
Six moths ago on a trip for Chrome Unboxed I stumbled on a little, unknown trick: the ability to not only charge my phone, but rapidly charge it with only the Pixelbook and a USB-C cable. With no need for an outlet or external power, if you have a phone plugged into the Pixelbook, it will deliver enough power to that phone to give you the coveted “charging rapidly” indication on the Pixel’s lock screen.
While in Germany, I recalled this trick and it became a go-to fix for taking photos and videos all day and the sheer wreckage it causes on a phone’s battery. We’d make time to sit down in the afternoon, plug in each of our phones for about 20 minutes and then get going again. With quick charging, the first 20-30 minutes are much more productive than the final minutes and we’d easily get enough juice to finish out the day with just a short charging session.
We did figure out that charging two phones at once dropped us down to standard (but not slow) charging speed, so we usually opted to charge one phone at a time. Another thing to note: you can’t let the Pixelbook go to sleep or the charging will obviously stop. If you were to set your power options to keep the Pixelbook awake and to keep the screen on when the lid is closed, you could actually load your charging setup back into your bag and continue on. You can see the settings below for that.
We’ve tried other Chromebooks including the Pixel Slate and it seems that the Pixelbook is alone in its ability to deliver quick charging when not on a battery supply, so it doesn’t seem that this is a universal Chromebook thing right now. Just another reason to love my Pixelbook!