Laptop ChargersEach laptop computer requires a unique voltage, current and connector. AC to DC adapters are designed specifically to match accordingly. Your first step in finding the correct laptop charger is to select the brand of your notebook computer and the model number through Battery Select Technology™ search tool. This tool will guide you to find an exact match for your laptop computer to the correct laptop power adapter.
Laptop Charger Guides & Videos
Laptop Power Supply: Linear versus Switch-Mode
|For years and years, linear power ruled the world of power conversion. However, when switch-mode power became commercially available in the late 1970s, it began to render linear power obsolete. Why is that? And what is the difference between the two? Let us examine both power conversion types and discuss what has made switch-mode the preferred power supply for laptops. » More|
Laptop Adapter Safety Mark
|Have you ever wondered what all the symbols, logo schemes and fine print intricacies on the back of a laptop adapter actually indicate? Perhaps you’ve never noticed the hieroglyphics that cover the underside of these power packs, much less understand what they mean. » More|
How To Test Laptop Adapter
|While the majority of us typically trust that the laptop adapters for our laptops are functioning properly, that’s just not always the case. Laptop adapter, otherwise known as AC adapters or power bricks, converts Alternating Current (AC) into Direct Current (DC) which your computer can then use as a power source. They are an absolutely vital piece of your laptop. If they’re not functioning properly, neither will your laptop. » More|
What does AC INPUT and DC OUTPUT mean on laptop adapters?
Range of Alternating Current (AC) consisting of Volts and Amp.
Direct Current (DC) consisting of Volts and Amp.
Have you ever wondered if you could take your laptop to different countries; countries that use different plugs and different voltage? The answer to that question can actually be found on your laptop adapter label.
Located on every laptop adapter is the INPUT and OUTPUT information. This is absolutely important to find and know! In the United States we use 110V. However, most other countries use 220V. So what to do? How can you be sure that your laptop or its adapter will not get fried as you go about your travels or anywhere else?
Here are a few tips:
1. Know Where to Look and What to Look For-
As we mentioned earlier, located on every AC adapter of and every laptop is a label that contains very important information. One of the key bits of information you will find is the INPUT and OUTPUT range. Find it, know it, and never forget it.
2. Ask or Search-
If for some reason you're not able to find INPUT and OUTPUT information, or if you ever have doubts about an electrical outlet that you are thinking about plugging into, ask someone who might know or do a quick search engine inquiry. If there's any doubt at all, it's better to err on the side of caution and be sure.
3. Match Your Volts & Amps-
You always wants to match the Voltage and Amperage of your current laptop AC adapter. If you have higher amperage with matching voltage, you can still use it. The general rule of thumb, however, is to not use any adapter with over 2x the amperage.
- I have a 60W AC adapter and want to use a 90W adapter? YES
- I have a 60W AC adapter and want to use a 150W adapter? NO (not recommended)
Using the wrong type of adapter, or plugging into an electrical outlet not suited for your laptop can have damaging consequences. In the worst cases, it can damage your laptop motherboard, overheat your AC adapter, and even permanently damage your laptop battery. Know your equipment, know what you're plugging into, or Contact Us if you ever have doubts or questions.
Laptop Power Supply: Linear versus Switch-Mode
|For years and years, linear power ruled the world of power conversion. However, when switch-mode power became commercially available in the late 1970s, it began to render linear power obsolete. Why is that? And what is the difference between the two? Let us examine both power conversion types and discuss what has made switch-mode the preferred power supply for laptops. |
Linear power converters have bulky steel or iron laminated transformers. They provide safety barriers between high voltage AC input and lower voltage DC output. The transformers reduce the AC input from 155V or 230VAC to lower voltage such as 30VAC. The lower AC voltage converts to DC when passed through electrolytic capacitors. That low voltage DC converts into the correct output voltage via a transistor or IC.
Switch-mode power converters take 115V or 230VAC and convert it to high voltage DC. That DC converts to low voltage using small ferrite transformers, FETs or transistors. That voltage converts into the correct DC output voltage by another set of diodes, capacitors and inductors.
When comparing linear and switch-mode power converters, it becomes clear just why laptop manufacturers choose switch-mode converters to charge their laptop batteries. A 50W switch-mode power converter averages a size reduction of 80% compared to linear converters. A 50W linear power supply weighs four pounds, whereas switch-mode converters weigh slightly more than half a pound.
Linear power converters have a limited input range and require a change to the transformer taps when used in a different country. When the input voltage drops more than 10%, the DC voltage becomes too low and the power supply cannot deliver the required output voltage. In comparison, switch-mode converters operate anywhere in the world (85 to 264VAC) without any adjustment. Switch-mode converters also compensate for small losses of AC power in the range of 10-20 milliseconds without affecting the output.
Linear power converters also normally operate at 60% efficiency for 24V outputs, whereas switch-mode operates at 80% or higher. This equates to an energy savings of 20%. If a 100W laptop battery is charged for 24 hours in a day, the reduction in energy loss could be 367kW hours. At an average cost of $0.10 per kW hour, you could save $92.50 due to the switch-mode converter.
When comparing linear and switch-mode power converters, the differences between the two are clear and it's easy to see why switch-mode power converters are the preferred power supply for laptops throughout the world.
Laptop Adapter Safety Mark
Have you ever wondered what all the symbols, logo schemes and fine print intricacies on the back of a laptop adapter actually indicate? Perhaps you’ve never noticed the hieroglyphics that cover the underside of these power packs, much less understand what they mean.
The following glossary should clear up any confusion and satisfy the stunning curiosity you may have harnessed when coincidentally faced with the underside of your laptop power adaptor. Basically, the symbols are indications that the device and its inner contents are in accordance with various environmental policy, international trade requirements, and quality standards. There are a lot of pictures because there are a lot of regulations. Many of these need not apply, nor interest the average laptop user. Others, however, might be worth inspecting. Either way, we have cracked the code and aren’t keeping the secret to ourselves.
Underwriters Laboratories® is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing standards for safety for more than a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually with 20 billion UL Marks appearing on 66,000 manufacturers' products each year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 68 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 102 countries. The UL Listing Mark is one of the most common UL Marks. If a laptop power adapter carries this Mark, it means UL found that representative laptop adapter samples met UL's safety requirements. These requirements are primarily based on UL's own published standards for safety.
TUV Rheinland of North America's US certification mark is recognized and accepted by state, city and county regulators (building officials, fire marshals and electrical inspectors) throughout the US as an equivalent alternative to the UL mark for laptop adapters.
RoHS is an acronym for Restriction on the use of certain Hazardous Substances. The concept behind California’s RoHS Law is to limit the amounts of certain hazardous heavy metals in specific waste electronic devices (laptop power adaptors) so that those metals never find their way into landfills or elsewhere, where they can eventually be released into the environment. California's Legislature modeled the California RoHS Law after the European Union's (EU's) Directive 2002/95/EC which bans certain hazardous substances from electrical and electronic equipment sold in the EU. The California RoHS law required DTSC to adopt regulations prohibiting ac dc power adapters from being sold or offered for sale in California if that adapter is prohibited from being sold or offered for sale in the EU due to the presence of lead, mercury, cadmium, or hexavalent chromium above certain maximum concentration values (MCVs). DTSC's California RoHS regulations took effect January 1, 2007.
The CCC (China Compulsory Certification) Mark is a mandatory safety and quality mark for electrical, electronic and many other products sold in China. The manufacturers are not allowed to self-declare to the requirements of the CCC Mark and products must be tested in China, and a CQC auditor must conduct the initial factory inspection. All the laptop adapters listed in Compulsory Certification Catalogue (19 species, 132 products, 9 industries) should bear the CCC mark issued by the specified certification organization and be pasted the CCC label before leaving factory for distribution, importing or using in the business activities.
The China Commission for Conformity Certification of Electrical Equipment issues the CCEE Mark, also known as the Great Wall Mark. CCEE is a non-profit impartial organization established in 1984, to provide safety certification for electrical products. The organization is made up of experts and representatives from various governmental agencies in China. CCEE is authorized by the China State Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision as the Chinese National Certification Body (NCB) and is the Chinese representative in the CB Scheme.
|CE (European) |
The CE Marking is a mandatory (legally required) mark for any product that falls within the scope of a European Directive, and is intended for sale in the European Market. This covers an estimated 70% of all products sold today in the EU. The rules for CE Marking are valid for any manufacturer of such goods, whether resident within the EU, or of foreign origin. The main catalyst behind the CE Marking of products is to allow the entry and free movement of goods within the European Union and some partnering nations. To accomplish this, European Directives (or laws) were introduced, which contain the essential requirements that a product must meet to be sold in the EU. These directives are supported by European standards, which specify the essential health and safety requirements of the Directive. Essentially, these Directives specify the minimum level of safety for laptop adapters sold within the European Union (EU). Compliance is thereby demonstrated with the manufacturer affixing the CE Marking to their laptop adapter, indicating that their product conforms to any and all applicable directives. It is important to note that the CE Marking is not a certification, approval or quality mark, but merely a manufacturer’s declaration that the laptop power adaptor meets the essential requirements of the respective directives - no more. CE Marking is the manufacturer's claim that the laptop adapter meets these essential requirements. Additionally, a product may not bear the CE Marking unless a directive that specifies the use of the CE Marking requires it.
|NOM NYCE (Mexico)|
NYCE (Spanish acronym for Electronics Standardization and Certification), is a non-profit civil association created in November of 1994 by a group of leading companies from the Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technologies sectors in Mexico. NOM safety approval in Mexico requires in-country testing in order to create an appropriate safety report accepted by the Mexican safety agency NYCE
IRAM (Instituto Argentino de Normalización y Certificación) is Argentina Institute of Standardization and Certification. IRAM is the main certification body in Argentina is a not-for-profit private association founded in 1935. It is the national standardization body, and it operates certification activities under an independent management.
|EK Mark (Korea)|
Established in 1970, the Korea Electric Testing Institute (KETI) is the National Official Professional Testing Research Institute, which is a well-known reputation organization in Korea in performing testing. It is also a Certification Body which can issue KC or EK Mark Certification for products importing into Korea
|PSE JET Mark (Japan)|
The PSE Mark (Product Safety Electric Appliance and Materials) is designed to signify that a the laptop adapter complies with the law according to a new set of standards for electric devices. The PSE Mark is a mandatory mark for Japan according to the Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law (DENAN). The DENAN law is meant to essentially prohibit the sale of all electric appliances and materials that do not comply with the new standards.
The Canadian Standards Association is a not-for-profit membership-based association serving business, industry, government and consumers in Canada and the global marketplace. CSA Marks appear on over one billion products worldwide. Each mark tells you that an authorized testing laboratory has evaluated a sample of the laptop ac dc adapter product to determine that it meets applicable national standards.
So there you have it. Basically everything that has ever been scribbled on your laptop adapter now has a bit of meaning behind it. The presence of hieroglyphics on your power pack is probably a good thing, as it suggests your product is legitimate and abides by code. The lack of these symbols is probably more of a concern. Hopefully this glossary has been helpful, and please let us knows if we have missed any.
How To Test Laptop Adapter
So how do you know if your laptop adapter is working the way it should be? First and foremost, most laptop adapters have an LED light that illuminates when power is available. They’re not always 100% though, so sometimes it’s good to run a test and make sure your adapter is working like it should be.
|While the majority of us typically trust that the laptop adapters for our laptops are functioning properly, that’s just not always the case. Laptop adapter, otherwise known as AC adapters or power bricks, converts Alternating Current (AC) into Direct Current (DC) which your computer can then use as a power source. They are an absolutely vital piece of your laptop. If they’re not functioning properly, neither will your laptop.|
Testing laptop adapters is actually easier than you think. Below we have the very simple steps you need to take to ensure your laptop is receiving the power that it needs.
You will need Volt Meter or Multi Meter to test your laptop adapter.
|Plug the adapter into the outlet. Make sure everything is plugged in securely and properly. |
|Turn you laptop adapter over and locate the voltage output. Voltage ratings are typically found on the bottom of the laptop adapter.|
|Grab the Volt / Multi Meter and insert the red wire into the slot marked with a + sign (positive). Plug the black wire into the slot marked with a – sign (negative). Make sure to plug the ends in without the plastic handles. |
|Set the Volt / Multi Meter to DCV (Direct Current Voltage). Make sure it’s set to a number higher than the voltage listed on the adapter. Usually you will set the Volt / Multi meter to the number 50. |
|Place the tip of the red conductor inside the adapter and the tip of the black conductor on the outside edge of the adapter.|
|To know if the correct amount of power is being supplied, look at the needle reading. It should land on the voltage marking near the voltage listed on the back of the adapter. If it doesn’t, it may be time to purchase a new one.|
The A/C adapter is a crucial piece of your laptop. Be sure to test it every now and again to make sure your laptop is getting the power that it needs.
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