Are the usb ports on tablets usually wired to supply power?

I have been told that mini and micro ports on tablets are not powered is this true?

meenzal11 months ago
Yes, they follow the USB standard and offer 5 volts. However, the available current is limited and draws from the tablet making it possible to interfere with its operation or even damage it. The USB ports are offered to provide serial connectivity and charging to the tablet, so while you can get power from it, it is not a good idea.
ronarosa (author)  meenzal11 months ago
Hi meenzal,
Thanks for the reply, question is then, what order of current would a USB bluetooth dongle draw? or is it possible to get a USB bluetooth dongle that allows external power supply connection.
Regards, ronchase
meenzal ronarosa11 months ago
For USB 2.0 and 3.0, I believe the max is 500ma but in truth it can vary depending on the device and the circumstances. The dongle itself would define whether or not an external power source can be applied. Many external disk drives have separate power sources, for instance, because the drive motors pull too much current, especially at startup.
verence11 months ago
Depends if they are OTG (On The Go) or even full master ports. If they are not, the tablet is just an external device you can connect to a master device like a PC or laptop.

If they are master or OTG ports, the tablet can be the master device and be connected to stuff like USB flash drives, hard drives, your Bluetooth dongle etc.  In that case they will have to provide power for the external device. A 2.0 USB port can (according to the USB spec.) deliver up to 500mA.
mpilchfamily11 months ago
This is true. They are meant to provide power to the tablet as well as a connection to a PC. They are not for trying to connect a thumb drive or power any USB devices from. Tablets have very limited battery life to start with. The manufactured don't want to have anything else sucking power.

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?


PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!