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- Using the laptop on ling road trips.
April 2, 2006, 3:50 am
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I am sure these have been asked b4 but here goes:
What is the best way to power/recharge a laptop as a passenger while out on
the Interstates. Will using one of those lighter adapters to my computer
damage either my laptop or my car's systems? Do I need to order one from the
manufacturer? Or will the cheap ones I see on ebay work just as well?
What about those things that plug into your car lighter and generate
AC....Would plugging my computer into one of those offer any advantage over
the straight DC lighter>computer adaptor?
Also, will using my computer when the car engine is turned off drain my car
battery quickly? How long would it take?
Will my laptop battery recharge off the car lighter just like it would an AC
Re: Using the laptop on long road trips
Over and over.
There's some debate over it. Frankly, however, I don't think a
name-brand manufacturer would sell an OEM accessory they knew or even
had reason to suspect would damage their products. Not only would they
have to cover the cost of warranty repairs this would generate, but the
reputation of their brand would irreparably suffer. Therefore, if
whoever makes your laptop sells a DC adapter for it, you can probably
buy and use it with confidence.
If you're determined to go the DC adapter route, I'd suggest you *only*
buy one from your manufacturer, if they offer one. I'd be leery of any
aftermarket "universal" DC adapter, whether new or secondhand, from
eBay or anywhere else.
Yes-you'd be using it to power your laptop with the AC adapter the
manufacturer supplied for it, and thus you'd be sure of giving it
exactly what it's designed to get. An AC inverter (that's what these
devices are called) would also almost certainly be cheaper than an OEM
DC adapter, and these days you can buy them just about anywhere. In
addition, you won't have to trash it and buy another one when you put
your current laptop out to pasture, and you can use it with practically
anything else that runs off AC. Just make sure to get one with a high
enough wattage rating to handle the most powerful device you plan to
plug into it.
Probably not quickly enough to be a problem. Exactly how quickly would
depend on how much power your laptop draws. I'd say if your car's
battery and charging system were both in good shape, you'd be able to
fully charge your laptop's battery and still be able to start the car
By the way, most inverters on the market today have a safety circuit
that shuts them off if your battery voltage drops below a certain level
just to prevent you from killing the battery and stranding yourself.
With a properly sized AC inverter , there's no reason it wouldn't.
Re: Using the laptop on ling road trips.
As long as they meet the laptops requirments and are within ratings,
they should be fine. SOME inverters (devices that produce AC wall power
from a car's 12 volt DC electrical system) produce square wave output
and won't work with some AC power supplies.
Yes, of course it will drain your car battery if the engine is not
running. However, it's not a particularly fast drain, an hour won't be
a problem (overnight probably would be).
Assuming that the laptop is working fine, it doesn't know or care where
the juice is coming from.