How to Buy Compatible Laptop Power Adapters for Your Laptop

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How to Buy Compatible Laptop Power Adapters for Your Laptop

Although most laptops come with an appropriate compatible laptop power adapter, it is not uncommon for consumers to lose, break, or seek an extra compatible laptop power adapter. After all, the power adapter is one of the most important accessories to a functioning laptop. The power adapter works by converting electric current from a wall outlet to the specific current needed by the laptop to run. Without a laptop power adapter, a laptop is only as good as the length of its battery life.

For consumers in the market for a compatible laptop power adapter for whatever reason, these products are typically available at computer part stores, electronics stores, or online. Although laptop power adapters are not overly complex components, there are still a few things consumers should educate themselves about to ensure they are purchasing a compatible laptop power adapter for their own laptop. Consumers should familiarise themselves with how laptop power adapters work, how to match up compatible laptop power adapters, and what types of compatible laptop power adapters are available for purchase.

How Laptop Power Adapters Work

Laptop power adapters work by converting alternating current from a power source, such as a wall outlet to a lower alternating current, useable by an electronic device, such as a laptop. Unlike direct current, which is produced and present in batteries, alternating current flows forward and backward. The inside of an alternating current adapter consists of two wire windings that wrap around an iron core. The first wire receives the alternating current delivered by the electrical outlet and creates an electric field in the iron core. The second wire then turns the electric field into a smaller alternating electric current. As a result, electric power is transferred to the electronic device attached to the power adapter, such as a laptop.

Matching Up Compatible Laptop Power Adapters with Your Laptop

Whether replacing a laptop power adapter, or simply purchasing a spare, consumers should understand a couple of things before shopping for a compatible laptop power adapter. Understanding these electric specifications help ensure that buyers are purchasing a laptop power adapter that is compatible with their own laptop.

Laptop Model Number

One of the first things a consumer should do before shopping for a compatible laptop power adapter is determine what the model number is for their laptop. This number is typically located on a sticker that is placed on either the bottom or side of the computer. If the laptop number is not available on the external surface of the laptop, this number can usually also be found in the user manual or within the laptop system's properties application. It is important that the new power adapter is compatible with a consumer's specific laptop model number.

Voltage Requirements

In addition to determining the laptop model number, a consumer also needs to figure out what the voltage requirements are for the laptop power adapter. Laptop power adapters have various voltage outputs, and using one that is not compatible with a consumer's laptop can damage the computer. Consumers should look in the laptop's user manual for the "output voltage" or the "DC voltage". To ensure compatibility, the laptop power adapter should match the laptop's voltage requirement.

Port Attachments

Another item for consumers to examine is what port connector is required on the compatible laptop power adapter. The port connector is the piece of the laptop power adapter that connects directly to the laptop. While a compatible port connector is an essential piece of a compatible laptop power adapter, it should not make or break a consumer's decision to purchase a certain power adapter. Even if the port connector does not match the port, certain laptop models have accessories available that adapt a connector to a specific laptop port.

Current Capacity

A compatible laptop power adapter also must provide the same current or have a higher current capacity than is required by a consumer's laptop. Unlike the port and voltage, a device will only expel as much current as is necessary to power a device. Consumers should refrain from purchasing a laptop power adapter which is rated at a lower current capacity.

Wattage Rating

The wattage rating describes the maximum wattage that a power adapter provides to an electronic device, such as a laptop. In order for a laptop power adapter to be compatible, it must provide a higher wattage than the peak wattage required by the laptop. If this requirement is not met, the laptop faces the possibility of being damaged by a power surge.

Types of Compatible Laptop Power Adapters for Your Laptop

There are several things that need to match up between a laptop power adapter and a consumer's personal laptop to make them compatible. There are two basic types of compatible laptop power adapters available to buyers.

Original Manufacturer Laptop Power Adapters

One way for buyers to ensure compatibility is to gather the information listed above, including the laptop model number, the voltage requirements, port connector, current capacity, and wattage rating, and return this to the original manufacturer. The original manufacturer can often provide a laptop power adapter that meets each exact specification, making it perfectly compatible with a consumer's specific laptop. For example, for buyers owning a MacBook Pro computer model, the buyer can seek to purchase a compatible laptop power adapter manufactured by Apple..

Universal Laptop Power Adapters

There are many different kinds of universal laptop power adapters available on the market as well. While universal laptop power adapters typically will not meet each required specification exactly, they can still act as compatible adapters. Consumers interested in purchasing a universal laptop power adapter should look for one that has a matching or adaptable port connector, matching voltage, and the ability to supply the minimum required current.

Universal power adapters also offer several features that can help consumers customise adapters to their specific needs. For example, some universal laptop power adapters come with a car adapter for charging on the go. Some universal power adapters offer interchangeable port connectors, for consumers who want to use the same laptop power adapter for multiple electronic devices or additional laptops. There are several quality available universal power adapters available that offer these features and more.







Nine different port connectors

100 to 240 voltage

Certified and energy-star rated

Short circuit protection



90 Watt

115 watts of peak power

Seven port connectors

100 to 230 voltage




100 Watt

100 to 240 voltage

Overheat, overcurrent, and short circuit protection

Nine port connectors

Portable and lightweight


Cooler Master


Nine port connectors

LED indicator

Up to 90 percent energy efficient


These are just a few of the different brands and models of universal power adapters available. Buyers should not substitute this chart for their own individual research into what laptop power adapter is compatible with their specific laptop.

How to Buy Compatible Laptop Power Adapters on eBay

Whether as a replacement or a backup, a compatible laptop power adapter is an important laptop accessory to have on hand. eBay has many makes and models of compatible laptop power adapters available for purchase, ranging from universal adapters to adapters made specifically by manufacturers. If you are looking for a universal laptop power adapter, such as one made by Targus, there is any easy way to locate what eBay has to offer matching that description. Simply navigate to the eBay home page and type Targus universal laptop power adapter in the keyword search box. After you click the search button, a list of options matching that description is populated for you. However, do not forget to check the electric specifications to ensure that the laptop power adapter is compatible with your device.

eBay also offers a variety of features to help you ensure that you are buying the exact product you desire from reliable sellers. Before purchasing a compatible laptop power adapter, be sure to check out buyer feedback for each seller. eBay provides a forum for buyers to leave feedback about sellers of all types of products, including compatible laptop power adapters. This is just one way that eBay strives to make the buying process easy and worry-free.


It is not a far reach to say that the power adapter is one of the most important accessories for a laptop. Without a power adapter, laptops are only as good as their battery life. As laptops increase in age, the battery life decreases, and the laptop power adapter becomes even more essential. As a result, many people find themselves in the market for a replacement or backup compatible laptop power adapter.

While expertise about laptop power adapters is not required to find a compatible adapter, it is important to have some working knowledge about how laptop power adapters function. Buyers should familiarise themselves with their laptop's model number, voltage requirements, current capacity, port attachments, and wattage rating. Understanding where a laptop fits in all of these categories assists a buyer in choosing a laptop power adapter that is in fact compatible. Once a buyer understands the electric specifications required by their laptop, they can choose to purchase either a universal compatible laptop power adapter or a laptop power adapter from the original manufacturer.

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