Connector Tips for a Laptop Charger

Written by daniel r. mueller
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Connector Tips for a Laptop Charger
For best results, use a charger specifically engineered for your laptop. (laptop image by Du...¡an Zidar from

There are two main choices when it comes to picking a connector tip for a laptop-powered charger. The obvious and usually best choices are purpose-built chargers specifically for the model of laptop; however, as products age, obtaining replacement parts can become increasingly difficult. The second option is a universal electronic AC to DC output power supply that makes use of a myriad of end connector adaptors to support a wide variety of devices.

Universal Adapter Chargers

Universal adaptors are a good choice if a user has multiple electronic devices that each requires its own DC adaptor, in which case transporting all of the adaptors could become a tedious task. They are also a good choice in the event that a custom-built charger adaptor is out of production or is prohibitively expensive. The term "universal" is sometimes misleading, since AC to DC adaptors are frequently sold in voltage and amperage ranges, meaning that each individual supposedly universal adaptor can really only serve a segment within its lowest to maximum power capacity. When buying a universal adaptor charger, make sure that it encompasses the primary device it will power.

Specialised Device Chargers

Specialised chargers purpose-built for the laptop that needs charging are a user's best bet for a perfect connector fit. Nobody knows the needs of a specific laptop better than the company that engineered the laptop in the first place. In addition to having a perfectly sized connector tip, the power supply voltage and amperage of the charger are perfectly tuned to provide neither too little nor too much power to the laptop. With too much power, a laptop runs the risk of overheating, short circuiting or having a battery leak. With too little power, the laptop may eventually shut down, charge too slowly or run in an under-volt state, which can damage internal components.

Common Connector Kit Technical Problems

There are three common technical problems that occur with laptop charger connector kits. The most common, and simplest to resolve technical problem, is a loose cable connection somewhere in the charger's power chain. The power chain in a laptop charger has three key points where cabling can come loose: the wall outlet, the point where the AC power cord plugs into the inverter unit and the DC power connector tip that plugs into the laptop itself. Kits that use universal connector tip adaptors also tend to come loose between the DC power supply cable and the end connecter tip itself. The second most common connector kit problem is a damaged connector tip receiver port on the laptop. This type of damage can occur if the laptop is pulled too hard or dropped while plugged in, damaging the internal electric connections. A damaged power port is a repair that requires the attention of a computer repair professional, due to the fact that soldering and special part orders are usually involved. The third and final problem encountered with laptop charger kits relates to an underpowered connection where all physical cable connections seem sturdily attached. In this particular situation, check the charger kit's power light: if it is out, this indicates an internal inverter fault. An internal fault with a laptop power supply usually requires total replacement, since power supplies are not user serviceable for safety reasons.

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