Choosing a Power Adapter That Keeps You Working.

No one wants to be in the middle of a project and lose power. When the battery dies on your laptop, it's time to plug in and keep on working. It isn't uncommon for the power supply to stop working. When this happens, it's time to look at getting a replacement to keep your laptop working. Not all chargers are created equal, so it's essential that you know what charger specifications your laptop requires.

What Are the Various Types of Power Adapters?

  • AC/Standard - A 12V charger takes the AC power coming from the wall outlet and converts it into the DC power a computer needs to run.
  • DC/In-Car - Although a laptop uses DC power, there are times when you need a DC adapter in order to take the DC power and convert it to a higher voltage. Long road trips are more enjoyable when you plug in your computer with a 12V DC car charger and turn on a movie. You can also use the time to work on projects, get your work finished before you reach your destination, or just enjoy your time away from home. Another use for a DC car charger is to keep the kids entertained while you drive.
  • Universal - One adapter with many different size tips means that you can use it on multiple devices. One of the features of a universal charger is the ability to adapt to any power source and voltage. In theory, a universal charger can work on any laptop which is ideal for those that do a lot of traveling.

How Do You Choose a Compatible Laptop Charger?

  • Laptop Make and Model - Look on the bottom or side of your laptop to find the make and model number. Once you have this information, it's easier to find a compatible 12V HP charger.
  • Voltage Requirements - The reason voltage is so important is that if you have the wrong volt charger, it will not work with your laptop. If it is too low, the battery will not charge but if it is too high, it will short out the laptop by overloading the computer's circuits.
  • Protection - To keep from destroying your battery, it's essential that you look at chargers that offer short circuit and over-voltage protection. Don't let a power surge sideline your computer.
  • Tip Size - HP laptops use a couple different size tips. For example, a few models use a 4.8 mm by 1.7 mm tip while other models use a 7.4 mm by 5.0 mm tip.
  • Cord Length - It might not seem like a big issue, but the length of the 12-volt power adapter cord is highly important. You want it long enough that you can plug in and continue using your laptop but not so long that you trip over it.