How to Buy Replacement Laptop Power Chargers

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How to Buy Replacement Laptop Power Chargers

Rechargeable batteries make laptops perfect for taking anywhere, because they do not require a socket when out and about. However, the batteries should be recharged every now and then because they do drain eventually. Laptop batteries are charged with laptop power chargers that are plugged into the sockets. If the power charger breaks or is lost, a new one must be purchased soon, because otherwise the laptop cannot be charged again. Fortunately, many high street electronics shops, as well as online auction sites such as eBay, offer replacement laptop power chargers.

When buying a laptop power charger, one should choose carefully, because not all chargers are compatible with all laptop brands and models. The quality of a power charger should also be weighed. Moreover, if the power charger is manufactured in another country, it may not be compatible with the voltage of the country where the laptop is used. When the features and types of laptop power chargers are studied, it is possible to make an informed decision and get the best product.

Matching the Laptop Make and Model

In order to find a compatible laptop power charger, it is important to know the make and model of the laptop with which the charger is to be used. The exact make and model are generally written on the bottom of the laptop. In fact, in most cases, the manufacturing number is included at the back of a laptop. This number can easily be researched online if the make and model are not known. Some replacement laptop power chargers are compatible only with laptops in the same series or of the same brand, while more universal models may be suitable for use with many different types of laptops. In any case, it should be determined what kind of chargers fit the specific laptop. Finding the correct power charger is necessary, because otherwise battery problems or physical damage may occur, as well as more serious issues.

Replacement Laptop Power Charger Specifications

Replacement laptop power chargers are manufactured in many different countries. Quite often the replacement chargers are bought online, and in this case it is extremely important to pay attention to the charger specifications in order to ensure that it works. In fact, the wrong specifications may be quite dangerous or inconvenient. Plugging in a charger that has the wrong voltage may cause loss of power to the entire building.

Laptop Power Charger Voltage

The voltage expresses the potential difference, or the electromotive force, of the laptop. It is measured in volts that represent how much force is needed for one ampere of current against one ohm of resistance. Matching the power charger's output voltage with the laptop is one of the most important things to do before making a purchase. The output voltage the laptop requires is usually written under the laptop. The voltage does not have to be matched one-on-one, as there is some room for error. The following chart lists the laptop output voltages and the charger voltages that can be used.

Laptop Output Voltage (V)

Power Charger Voltage Range (V)

15

15-16

19

19-20

As the chart shows, the replacement power charger's voltage range can vary a bit. However, if the laptop has been purchased in another country, it may need a transformer that converts the voltage to the desired value. For instance, the mains in the UK work with a voltage of 230 volts, but laptops bought in the USA may be best used in mains that have a voltage of 110 volts. If the laptop input voltage has a range, for example, of 110-240 volts, then it works with both mains without any transformer being needed.

Laptop Power Charger Current

The laptop power charger current represents the amount of electricity a laptop needs to acquire from the charger. The current is measured in amperes. The current determines how quickly the charger can fully recharge the laptop. Generally, the higher the current, the more quickly the power charger can recharge the battery. The current value of a power charger should be no more than 2 amperes over the charger's output value. For instance, if the laptop requires a current of 5A, the charger should not have output that is less than 3A.

Laptop Power Charger Pin Size

The replacement laptop power charger needs to be connected to the laptop. Therefore, it needs to have compatible pins. The pin sizes and shapes may vary by manufacturer, although some pin sizes are universal. The pin size is represented with two numbers, a larger number for external and a smaller number for internal diameter, respectively. The following chart lists the most common pin sizes and the laptop models on which they can be used.

Pin Size (mm)

Voltage (V)

Compatible Laptop Models

5.5x2.5

19-20

Advent, Medion, Toshiba, Compaq Acer; most popular size

5.5x1.7

19-20

Acer, older Compaq models

5.5x2.5

19

Toshiba, older HP models

4.8x1.7

19

Models from 2005-2010

7.4x5

19

Dell, HP; comes with a unique middle pin used for identification

7.9x5

20

Lenovo, IBM

5.5x2.5

16

IBM

5.5x3

19

Samsung

6.5x4.4

19.5

Sony

6.5x4.4

16

Smaller laptops and netbooks

6.3x3

15

Toshiba

The table also lists the voltage values for different chargers. Although some pins have the same size, the power charger outputs different voltage value. When buying a replacement power charger, all these values should be considered in order to find a compatible charger model.

Additional Features of Replacement Laptop Power Chargers

Advanced replacement laptop power chargers not only charge the laptop, but other devices as well. They come equipped with one or more USB ports that allow the user to connect additional devices, such as MP3 players, mobile phones, and PDAs. A USB cable is required for the connection, but most laptop users already have one at home, so there is usually no need to buy one separately.

Replacement Laptop Power Chargers for Different Places

While laptop power chargers are generally used at home or in the office, there also exist special power chargers for car use. An AC adapter that is used for alternating current is the standard replacement laptop power charger type. A DC adapter for direct current is used in cars, and it comes equipped with a special plug that can be inserted into the cigarette lighter inside the car. Some replacement laptop power chargers are suitable for both locations. These are known as AC/DC adapters.

Ensuring a Replacement Laptop Power Charger is Needed

In some cases, it may not be the power charger that is faulty, because there may instead be problems inside the laptop. Before setting out to buy a new charger, it is worth checking to make sure exactly where the problem lies. If the laptop power charger gives no output reading when connected with a voltmeter, the problem is with the power charger. Another indicator of a faulty power charger is that the green LED light does not come on when the power charger is plugged in and connected to the laptop.

Buying Replacement Laptop Power Chargers on eBay

Start your search for replacement laptop power chargers by using the search box that you can find at the top of any eBay page. If you simply look for "replacement laptop power charger", you get a very long list of results. You should probably specify your search by adding the laptop model or at least the make. Once you receive the initial search results, you can sort them by auction time or price.

In order to ensure that the power charger is compatible with your laptop, always read the detailed item listing. Look for the pin size and compare it to the charger you have at home. Usually these specifications are written somewhere on the charger. Should you have any doubts about the compatibility or other features of the charger, feel free to contact the seller and ask. You may also enquire about refunds and exchanges, should the power charger not be compatible with your laptop. It is always better to find out about the conditions before you make a purchase.

Conclusion

Thanks to rechargeable batteries, modern laptops can be used virtually anywhere. However, the batteries need occasional recharging. In case the laptop power charger breaks or is lost, a new one is required, because otherwise the laptop soon becomes useless. When buying a replacement laptop power charger there are several things to consider in order to acquire a charger that is compatible with the laptop.

Some power chargers are universal and work with many models and even across brands. However, it is always important to search for a charger that is compatible with both the make and model of the laptop. In addition, the specifications of the power charger should also be matched with the laptop in order to avoid any physical damage to the laptop or battery problems. The output voltage, charger current, and pin size are some of the specifications that should be studied before buying a power charger. It is also possible to find chargers with additional features, such as USB ports that allow users to charge many devices at once. The place of use can also be chosen, as some chargers also work in cars.

Before setting out to buy a replacement laptop power charger, it is worth checking to make sure that the problem really lies with the charger. If the green LED light on the charger does not come on, or if the charger gives no reading on a voltmeter, then it is probable that the charger is faulty and needs to be replaced.

 
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