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AC Adapters and Power Supply


The AC adapter is an integral part of any laptop. While laptops are able to run on battery power, without the AC adapter, there would be no way to recharge the battery. Laptop AC adapters provide power to the laptop and the battery by converting the electricity coming from an outlet, which is AC (alternating current), into DC (direct current) power and outputting it at the correct voltage. Older laptops often had the convertor or transformer included in the laptop itself, but this added unnecessary weight.

The laptop AC power adapter usually has two main parts. The first is the "brick" or the largest part of the adapter, which is the transformer that does the conversion from AC to DC current and connects to the laptop through a cable. Manufacturers specifically differentiate the tip sizes of this cable to ensure that users don't plug an incompatible adapter into the wrong laptop, which could cause damage to the laptop or laptop AC adapter. The transformer is often significantly larger for more powerful laptops. This is due to the fact that a more powerful laptop requires more wattage. For example, a small netbook, designed for power efficiency and better battery life, may only draw a maximum of 40W of power. A desktop replacement laptop, with more power-hungry components, may draw 185W or more during heavy use. Therefore, it also usually requires a more powerful transformer, which translates to a larger "brick".

The second part of the laptop power adapter is the power cord, which connects from the brick to the wall outlet and delivers electrical power to the transformer. The power cord normally comes in a couple different varieties depending on the specifications of the AC adapter. With some laptop AC adapters, this cord is permanently attached instead of being removable.

When shopping for a replacement for your laptop AC adapter, it is important to find one that is compatible with your specific model. Use a parts locator tool online to find the laptop AC adapters that are compatible with your model. This ensures that they provide the correct voltage, and that they have the correct tip to be used with your laptop or notebook. As mentioned, using an incorrect laptop or notebook AC adapter could cause damage.

The main choice to make when buying a replacement laptop AC adapter is whether to buy an OEM model, which is one made directly by the manufacturer, or a third-party compatible model. Buying a third-party adapter from a trusted reseller can often save money, and many reputable sellers offer a warranty and a satisfaction guaranteed, which will give you the peace of mind that your replacement AC adapter is a quality product.

Can't find the right part?   Our expert technical sales staff can help you identify the part that you need.  We are available via toll-free number at 1-877-253-8898 or online part request form.
Place an order before 2:30PM EST and your order usually ships the same day.

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