Laptop Charger Buyers Guide

Laptops are mobile gadgets that use rechargeable batteries as their power supply. If the laptop has not been plugged in for a while, the batteries will have to be recharged using a charger which is plugged into an electrical outlet. There are hundreds of different laptops models in the market, each one uses its own kind of adapter. Adapters come in different power output and connectors. Using an adapter with different technical specification may not work with laptop. Buying a correct replacement Laptop Charger require some technical information of existing faulty (original) charger. Replacing a laptop adapter or buying a spare adapter require doing some homework before making the final purchase. First need to look at laptop model, voltage and amperage of laptop required replacement power adapter.

With this info on hand finding a correct replacement laptop chapter from website will be easier. Adapter voltage and connector type must match with original (faulty) adapter, but it is ok if the amperage is same or little above the amperage of the original (faulty) adapter. A universal power adapter is a great option as most new universal adapter can adjust their power settings automatically to match the laptop and they also come with a variety of connector tips.


Types of Laptops Adapters

The two main kinds of power adapters for laptops are AC adapters and DC adapters. Adapters often called chargers, are used to convert the electricity from the outlet into power that the laptop can use.

AC Adapter

AC adapters transform the AC power from electrical outlets into DC power that is used by small appliances like computers, cell phones, laptops and DVD players. Laptop batteries provide DC power when the laptop isn’t connected to the outlet.

DC Adapter

It might not seem necessary to use a DC adapter when plugging the adapter into a DC electrical outlet, but the voltage supplied by most DC outlets is not high enough to meet the requirements of a laptop. That is why a DC power adapter is needed to boost the voltage so that it can be safely used to charge a laptop. Cars, outlets on planes, batteries and solar power panel all supply DC power.

Universal Laptop Adapters

The universal power adapter is another power option for laptop owners. These adapters usually cost more, however, they are able to adapt to any voltage and power source. In theory, universal adapters can power any kind of laptop, which makes them very useful for those who travel often and don’t know what kind of power source they might run into. Universal adapters come with different connectors tips that fit a variety of laptops. Some laptops use unique tips so it might be challenging to find a universal adapter for those unique connections.


Laptops Use DC Power

All laptops are powered by Direct Current (DC), which is the flow of electricity in only one direction. The majority of electrical outlets use Alternating Current (AC), but laptops cannot operate on this constantly varying electric current and this is why an adapter is required to convert the AC into DC.

The adapters, which are those small weighty black boxes that are connected to the laptop and the electrical outlet, allow the laptop to use AC power directly from the electrical outlet. There are also special DC adapters for electrical outlets that only output DC power.


About Voltage

Electrical energy is pulled into the laptop using voltage. Picture the wheels on a paddle boat, which are used to steer and propel the paddle board across the water. The paddle boat in this situation represents electrons. If the laptop and adapter voltages were different, the proper charge won't be produced and not enough electrical energy will be pulled into the laptop. It is also important to get the correct voltage or the laptop might short out. If the voltage is too high, it could overload the circuits on the laptop. Either high or low voltages can seriously damage the laptop, so it is important that the adapter and the laptop voltages match exactly.


About Amperage

Amperage is the power that the laptop needs to operate and is sometimes called current. It is how much electrical energy that is flowing into the laptop at any given instant. For laptops to function properly, they need a constant amount of the right energy flowing to all its circuits. Voltage is the measure of the amount of potential energy that a laptop is able to use. Laptop power adapters must have amperage that is equal to or exceeds the amperage that is needed by the laptop.


Types of Connectors

Laptop adapters come in different types of connector tips. If you are looking to replace a laptop adapter, you have to closely look at the connector going into the power port of the laptop. Although all laptops are powered by DC connectors, some of them have different shapes.


How to Find the Right Type of Laptop Charger

You need to know the exact type of adapter that your laptop notebook require before you buy. There are many different types of adapters available. They may have same power voltage and amperage but different connector tip or same connector tip but different power. Thus, they are incompatible with each other. Most of the laptop adapters are only compatible with specific laptop brand and model. The laptop model number, power requirements of the adapter and connector type of adapter are required in order to find compatible replacement adapter.

●  Look for laptop model number, which is often on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop or back side of the laptop.

●  Find the laptop's power requirements, which are also usually printed on a sticker at the back side of the laptop. Sometimes it might be printed on the power port of the laptop. Take note of the voltage and amperage required.

●  See which charger is compatible by checking out the Laptop model number from website by searching with laptop model. It is important that the voltage and amperage of the replacement charger must match written on the the laptop or match with faulty (original) adapter.

●  Also, make sure that the charger connector tip matches the connection port on the laptop; otherwise, the adapter won't work if it cannot connect to the laptop even if specification else is ok.


Although laptops are meant to be mobile, their batteries do have to be charged using adapters ever so often. The 2 main kinds of adapters for laptops are AC & DC power adapters. They both convert power from an electrical source into a form that can be used to power the laptop. For the adapters to work properly, the amperage, voltage and connector type all have to match the requirements on the laptop. Otherwise, the laptop will not charge properly. Only one kind of connector will work on any given laptop, so it is important to get the right connector.


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