USB Power Delivery (USB PD) enables safe, flexible USB charging up to 100W over a full-featured USB-C cable (support for up to 10 Gbps data transfer and 100W Power Delivery) when connected to a full-featured USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 / 4 port.
As an added benefit, USB PD enables consumers to transition to a single type of charger for laptops, phones, tablets, and devices with a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 / 4 connection.
But Wait, There's More
There's more to Power Delivery than just more power. Suppose your device doesn't need 100W.
Devices that support USB PD will actually negotiate with the system for their required power levels allowing the device to pull the appropriate charge. The USB charging capability can even adjust as the needs of the peripheral change.
The direction of the power flow is no longer one way, either. Now either the device or the peripheral can supply the charge.
Put in Practice
To put Power Delivery in practical parlance, let’s take a look at how different wattages charge a laptop. But first, we need to clear up some confusion. Your computer’s maximum charging rate isn’t your computer’s only charging rate.
Assuming you’re charging through USB-C (because, why would you be reading this if you weren’t?), you can power up with more or less wattage than your computer’s native charger prescribes. In fact, Apple sells a 61W USB-C Power Adapter and a 96W USB-C Power Adapter for their Macbooks.
To demonstrate, we charged a 14-inch Macbook M1 Pro with a Plugable TBT3-UDZ (96W charging) and a Plugable UD-6950PDZ (60W charging). This is what we found: