The universal or parallel battery charger is a more affordable option for those who need to change their laptop charger. The accessory is very important since the use of an unsuitable model on the laptop can lead to battery problems or even on the hardware. Therefore, the purchase requires attention to the technical specifications of the computer and the product. In addition to the connector, which can also give a headache if not compatible.
Check out the following five tips on what to look for when buying a new universal charger for your laptop.
First of all, it is important to keep in mind that low-quality chargers can compromise laptop performance as well as battery life. This is because often products of this type offer an electricity supply that does not meet the technical specifications of the computer. In extreme cases, the use of an improper charger can cause the notebook to overheat and even cause fires and explosions.
Therefore, in case of doubt, resort to a specialized technician and only buy the charger when you are sure about its compatibility with the laptop.
1. Attention to Electrical Specifications
The main thing when buying a new notebook power supply is to be aware of the specifications regarding the power output of the charger. This data is usually printed on the accessory body and is easy to read.
The values you will look for are the charger output data, usually marked as “output”. They refer to the voltage, current strength, and power that the charger sends to the notebook. If possible, write down the data of the original source to search for an option that has the same technical specifications.
If you do not have access to the original source or the information is unreadable for some reason, you can discover it by consulting manuals and official computer data sheets in the manufacturer’s online documentation.
In the above image, the charger has 19 Volts and 4.74 amps output. Multiplying these two values, we found that this source has 90 Watts of power. It is rare, but the source may bring only the voltage value (in Volts) and power. In this case, just do the opposite way and divide the power by the voltage to discover the intensity in amperes: 90 Watts divided by 19 Volts results in 4.74 amps, for example.
In this case, if you use a source with more than 19 Volts, there is a risk of damaging the computer’s circuitry and battery, while a unit with less than that may be insufficient to charge the battery on time and keep the notebook running at the same time. Also, using a notebook this way can shorten battery life.
In terms of amperage, a source that may offer more than the 4.74 amps of our example can be used in the notebook, while a unit with less than this amperage will mean an insufficient current to power the system.
In extreme situations and without battery use, as is common with old laptops, usage in this way can yield even the blue screen of death frequently. In short, you should always look for a charger that offers the same technical specifications as the original.
2. Check the Connector Type
Some types of universal chargers are sold with several different connectors to meet the standards of various notebook brands and models. For these cases, make sure that the brand of your model is included among the connectors offered.
Other charger options are those without replaceable plugs. In these cases, be careful to choose a model that uses the same connector pattern as your laptop as the volts and amperes may not be the same.
3. Adapter Format
Another difference concerns the format of the charger. Some models repeat the design of Apple and Asus, being connected directly to the outlet. Others, the most common, use one cable to connect the source to the power network and another to connect to the computer.
Here, the choice varies according to compatibility and even personal preferences, but it is good to consider that options connected directly to the outlet need to be “hung” all the time. In some cases, this may not be feasible because of the combination of the weight of the charger and even the height of the outlets you use.
4. Compatible Models and USB-C
If the uncertainties regarding the power, voltage, and current specifications of the charger, a solution, and search for data regarding the desired product. This is because, in many cases, manufacturers already advance the level of compatibility of a charge with several lines of laptops on the market.
If your notebook is newer and uses USB-C charging, the trend is that everything becomes easier. Power using this type of port has more universal specifications, something that can make it easier to search for a new charger. But it’s worth remembering: the power supply is still very important, and a simple cell phone charger won’t have enough capacity to power a notebook.
5. Reconsider Using the Original Charger
Using generic, universal, or parallel models of chargers for laptops is a viable option to save. In other situations, it may be a way to put older laptops to work, as their original charger may be harder to find.
However, if possible, it is worth reconsidering the original model by the manufacturer. Laptop chargers are not technologically sophisticated products, but the brand’s original units will have filters and a tested design to meet exactly the profile and demands of your computer. You can pay more, but you will have a guarantee of good performance, without problems.
Another important observation is the old maxim that says “cheap comes out expensive”: generic sources of unknown brands can put out output values that, in practice, either are not enough or fluctuates a lot in real use. In any of these scenarios, you can expose your computer to greater than normal exhaustion, which can even lead to potential danger.