Choosing Power Adapters and Chargers for Laptops

Choosing the right power supply tools for your laptop should never be a gamble. It may seem harmless to plug the nearest charger into your laptop to test whether it works. What you may not know is there is a possibility of causing harm to your laptop or your house with this one-minute action.

What types of chargers are on the market?

Laptops use two kinds of adapters to transform power into the energy they need. These are:

  • AC adapter - This adapter converts power from an outlet on the wall into direct current (DC). This is what most small electronics use. Your laptop battery uses this energy to keep your laptop running even when it is not connected to the wall.
  • DC adapter - Your battery can run on alternating current (AC) but once it runs out, you will need to recharge it. This is where the DC comes in. With it, you can charge your batteries while you use your machine. You will notice that all desktops use DC and that is why they power off immediately you switch them off.

What the different types of chargers available?

In reference to laptops, whether yours is an Aspire adapter or Acer charger, they all refer to the same thing. Also known as a power brick, this electronic device provides charging and power supply to your laptop. They may all perform similar functions, but chargers do come in different forms. Some of them are:

  • Wall charger - To draw power, this laptop charger requires a direct connection of your adapter to a wall outlet. Though the plug design may vary, the functions remain the same. For instance, a UK AC adapter for your Aspire Switch SW5-014 features a three-pin plug, while a US and European version Aspire charger has a two-pin plug.
  • Portable adapter - This type of battery charger is a good option if you are on the go. For it to work, you need to connect it to your power supply using output and input cables. While there are wall outlets almost everywhere you go, it's hard to determine the amount of voltage transmitted. This exposes your device to possible damage.
  • USB chargers - These chargers will not charge your machine. However, you can use the USB ports on your to charge other devices like your phone. There are some unique USB chargers that are used for charging Aspire CF batteries for e-cigarettes. A good example of these is the Aspire eGo.

Are there universal chargers for laptops?

Sometimes, you may find it difficult to keep replacing your adapters. It could get worse if you need to replace more than one adapter too. Here, a universal comes in handy.

You can get a universal charger in both portable and wall adapters serving most 65-Watt laptops. These come in form of a USB charger that branches out to several tips. One of these should work as well as your cable charger.