Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Power Cords for Laptops - Are they all the same?

If you’re like me, you rely heavily on some sort of a computer for work and/or play.  For me, my “computer” comes in the form of a laptop, iPad, and iPhone.  You could say I have at least one of these devices on me at all times.  Of course, I use my laptop for the heavy lifting – it’s portable and convenient.  One of the most important laptop accessories is a power cord.  There’s nothing more frustrating to me than to run low on battery power and not have my power cord.

Believe it or not many users have more than one power cord.  Power cords are pretty lightweight and easily fit in small spaces.  So having one at home and another at work or in the car or in your briefcase or luggage is very sensible.  That way you are sure to have one whenever you need it.
These days, a fully charged laptop battery will last approximately two to five hours.  Odds are, sooner or later you will need to rely on more sustainable power.  Not only can a power cord keep your laptop up and running at peak performance, it can also protect it in case of a power surge.  And of course it enables you to charge your battery. 

Just as not all laptops are made equal, power adapters have varying voltage outputs.  Using the wrong laptop adapter can damage your computer.  Even though a Dell power cord may fit in your HP laptop, it doesn’t mean it will work properly.  Different laptop models have different power requirements.  

If you are going to buy a power supply, getting the right one is crucial.  If you like to “live on the edge” and save some money, you can shop around to find one that will fit your needs.  What you need to know is that power adapters are rated for voltage and current.  You might see a power supply rating such as 15.6 V/8A.  Basically, you need to make sure the voltage output is the same and the current is the same or above the power requirements.  For example, if your current power supply has a rating of 15.6 V/5 A, then a 15.6V/8 A is a suitable.  That is, as long as the connector is the same as well – meaning it’s the same size and polarity and doesn’t wiggle when it’s connected. 

Although purchasing a power cord from the original manufacturer can be more expensive, they are usually made of higher quality and better materials.  And some even come with a short warranty to ensure that they work properly.  Find the model number on your current power adapter or use your laptop’s model number to find the correct power supply from the manufacturer.

All power cords are not the same so take time to find which one will work best with your device. Sometimes power cords do seem overpriced, but for many people who are always on the go, the price is small compared to productivity.  

If you are in the market for a new or replacement power cord and would like some help, give Kardon Tech a call.

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