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How Do I Choose the Best Laptop Car Charger?

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  • Written By: C.B. Fox
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 13 March 2014
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Choosing the best laptop car charger is a matter of examining a few simple options and selecting the one that best suits a person’s needs. Some chargers are made for a specific brand of computer and plug directly from the car’s cigarette lighter into the back of the machine. Power adapters that convert the 12-volt direct current (DC) coming out of the cigarette lighter into 110-volt alternating current (AC) are also available. Two- or three-pronged plugs can be plugged directly into these adapters.

One option for a laptop car charger is to purchase a power cord that plugs directly from the cigarette lighter of the car into the laptop computer. Each brand of computer uses a power cord with different specifications, so it is important to select an adapter that is made to be used with the computer. This type of laptop car charger it a good option for a person looking to charge one computer or a couple computers of the same brand. These chargers will only supply one computer with power at a time.

Universal adapters that come with a set of attachments that accommodate most brands of computers are also available. Though they can charge many types of computers, they can still only power one computer at a time. A universal laptop car charger or a brand-specific laptop car charger are both relatively inexpensive options.

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A power adapter is another way to charge a laptop from a car’s cigarette lighter. These devises are designed to convert 12-volt DC power into 110-volt AC power. The computer’s usual charger can then be plugged directly into the adapter, eliminating the need for a laptop car charger. This is a good choice for someone who wishes to charge more than one type of electronic device from the road.

Some power adapters are made to accommodate one or more plugs at the same time. Charging two computers at once or a computer and a phone at the same time will require an adapter with at least two plugs. Computers, phones, cameras and other electronics can all be charged from a power adapter.

There are power adapters with a variety of different output levels. Reading the power requirements of the laptop is the first step in choosing the right charger. It is very important that the output of the adapter fall within the computer’s acceptable range because a lower or higher output could damage the computer. The price for power adapters ranges significantly. While price is not always indicative of quality, it’s a good idea to check product reviews to determine if a bargain adapter is worth the initial savings.

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