AC charger : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary


AC charger

aka AC (Alternating Current) adapter, is a small transformer that plugs into a AC wall socket and converts the mains power to lower voltage to power or charge a laptop or some other electronic device such as a cellphone, portable CD player, eBook reader, GPS (Global Positioning System) unit, dry cell battery charger, game, electric bicycle, router, cable modem, Mp3 player, portable radio, digital camera… Most people have drawers full of these things and soon forget which one belongs with which device. The makers of electrical equipment keep devising ever new unique incompatible connectors. They do this for two reasons:

  1. To prevent you from using some incompatible charger and destroying your laptop.
  2. Making you buy a replacement charger at inflated prices from a sole source.


  1. Does the probe fit snugly into the laptop’s socket? You can safely check if you turn all the power off first.
  2. Does the voltage match? A voltage too low will not have sufficient oomph. A voltage too high will fry you laptop. Voltage should bang on match.
  3. Does the polarity match? Usually the probe tip is positive and the probe barrel is negative.. A picture like this on both adapter and laptop confirms that: polarity
  4. Does the power in watts match. It is ok of the adapter has more reserve power than needed, but not less. Using one way overpowered is like hooking you laptop up to an arc welder. A short will be more spectacular.


Take your laptop into the shop so you can test compatibility. Take whatever information you can about your laptop model and adapter specs and, if possible, the old broken adapter. If you buy over the Internet, consider a universal adapter with variable voltage and a selection of tips. You can then later repurpose it.

electronic product image recommend electronic⇒GTMax AC Adapterto electronic home
asin B003323BOO
This universal AC Power Adapter suitable for most laptop computers including Alienware, ASUS, Canon, Clevo,DTK, E-Machines, Hitachi, Multimedia Notebook, Notebook Computer, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp. Input: 100-240V, Output: 16V/18V/19V/20V 4A, 90 watts. Includes: 8 different tips to suit the most of laptop computers.
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