Can a MBA charge a phone via usb when it is off?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by theoretician, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. theoretician macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    Am looking into the new MBA. Some laptops (eg toshiba) have a powered USB port which can charge external devices even when the laptop is off.
    Can the new macbook air do this?
    Can it do it in sleep mode?
    Can it do it with either usb port?
    Also do you know what the maximum current draw on the USB ports is - my phone needs more than 500mA to charge when switched on.
  2. SashaFierce Guest


    Aug 18, 2009
    Unfortunately it will not charge anything while asleep. I had my iPhone 4 plugged in and as soon as I shut the screen it stopped charging.
  3. theoretician thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    That is bad news. So I'd have to take another power supply with me when travelling....
    How do you mac users cope with all the extras you need to carry around?
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The ports are not energized when the laptop is asleep or off, so you'll not be able to charge anything while in that state.
  5. LinkMx macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2007
    The same way PC owners do since most laptops won't charge any usb device when they're sleep or turned off.
  6. jamone13 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2010
    Simple, just hit the screen brightness key to turn off the backlighting, and leave the Air running. Why carry extra stuff with you?
  7. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2007
    Even if it could, I wouldn't do it. Constantly using a USB port on your laptop for charging devices is asking for trouble. Burning out a port is a possibility and then you are talking about a very expensive fix.
  8. astrorider macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2008
    Are you sure this happens even when the macbook air is plugged in? My previous experience with apple laptops was:
    if plugged in and alseep, usb ports provide power
    if not plugged in and asleep, usb ports do not provide power

    The macbook air might be different, though.
  9. theoretician thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    Not true in my experience. My last two laptops (sony vaio and lenovo) will charge in sleep mode and the lenovo will when switched off as well. Toshiba's will also charge when switched off.

    Seems unlikely on the above machines which have this as a design feature. Have never owned a Mac so perhaps they can't handle charging through the usb.

    Would make sense not to power the usb when there is no external power - so I'd be interested if someone can really confirm that the new macbook air cannot do this when plugged in.
  10. wingnut8 macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2007
    I charged my phone via USB while the computer was asleep and plugged in the other night.
  11. freitas macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Ohio, USA
    Yes it can.

    Just confirmed with 11.6 MBA with both the iphone and ipad. 11.6 behave like the MBP and will charge the devices when supplied power by the AC adaptor. Albeit charging the ipad may take a while.
  12. koobcamuk macrumors 68040


    Oct 23, 2006
    My MBP charges my phone when it's asleep and plugged into the mains.

    Curious about the air...
  13. theoretician thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
  14. iag48 macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2008

    Does your macbook air 11.6 charge the iphone if plugged from the right hand side USB port?

    Just asking because my air is not recognizing, nor charging, my iphone while being plugged into the right side USB port.
  15. telemark948 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    MBA 13"

    Charges my Phone 'Nokia E72' from both ports while plugged in and lid closed asleep. It does not charge while on battery with the lid closed, It stops charging approximately 5 seconds after the lid is closed. As soon as you plug the power lead back in keeping the lid closed it continues the charge. Thats as far as I tested..

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