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I've seen this term thrown around in laptop reviews, most recently the Toshiba Kirabook. So what is the difference between a chargeable USB and a normal USB port? Does it have make limitations i.e. can only USB 3.0 ports be chargeable?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Chargeable USB ports allow you to charge devices even while the laptop is off or in sleep mode. They can be USB 2.0 or 3.0, although 3.0 will charge faster. You do need to install a driver for it to work.

Source: Google search for "Chargeable USB port" ...

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Could you please provide the source where you've read about that driver thing? I'm not sure how to interpret it. Drivers don't work when laptop is off, and that's the whole point of chargeable USB. – gronostaj Jun 6 '13 at 21:10
@gronostaj makes a very good point. – studiohack Jun 6 '13 at 21:13
@gronostaj It shouldn't actually need a driver since it's all hardware controlled. As long as the battery has power or the plug is in, the USB will allow power to flow.… I think what Chris was referring to was the Windows driver to enable/disable this function from within the OS. – Kruug Jun 6 '13 at 21:21
Wow. I'm a bit surprised at this, but it actually does charge things while the PC is off, at least according to…. I can neither confirm nor deny the driver comment though. After a cursory glance on the web, some folks on the web claim to make software that enables this. Most folks claim to have problems with this technology working. (Again, this was a quick cursory glance at the web...) – kmort Jun 6 '13 at 21:26
I own a Toshiba Satellite myself, upgraded to Windows 7 (it came with Vista). I didn't have to install any special drivers, but it does work on my laptop. I was just assuming on my last comment, so take it with a grain of salt. – Kruug Jun 6 '13 at 21:29

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