The AC adapters for my 2 dell laptops wore out very quickly.
One supplies power but won't charge the battery (it's about 3 years old, the other is a bit newer).
Both have worn through to the shielding around the notebook connector and look like they'll be unusable soon.
Checking user reviews of the replacement adapter on Dell's own website, it appears they usually fail this fast. Apparently Dell does this deliberately to make money (their adapters sell for about 10-15 times what they cost to make). Same with replacement batteries.
I can see there are plenty of much cheaper ($50, not $150) compatible AC adapters on eBay. Does anyone have experience with these? Naturally I'm nervous a crappy knock-off could fry my notebook, but has this ever actually happened to anyone recently? Has anyone had a good experience? Can anyone recommend a good online seller (who doesn't charge nonsensical shipping costs to Australia, preferably?)
For anyone who's interested, I eventually went ahead and bought one on eBay from China that was claimed to be a genuine original Dell. It's likely a factory second or very good counterfeit, but it looks genuine and worked fine - charged the battery etc - but only for a year. I've since bought 2 more on ebay because, while one of the three failed in the first year, it's still cheaper to buy 10 of these than to buy one from Dell (and the dell one, I now know, won't last either). Further details here: Dell 1720 laptop replacement battery and power adapter if anyone is interested.