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I'm going to travel in a car this summer. It would be very nice if I could charge my laptop using the cigarette lighter.

Because my computer is from Apple, there's no way to directly connect the two, therefore I need an inverter that provides 120V alternating current.

There are many different models, ranging from very cheap to really expensive. The wave forms are (from most expensive to cheapest);

  • sine
  • modified sine
  • trapezoid
  • square

Can I use just any inverter or does it have to be a sine inverter? If so, what happens to my computer in case I use the wrong one.

The laptop is a MacBook which needs 60W.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Non-sinusoidal waveforms can introduce harmonics into the system which can cause anything from an annoying buzz from the speakers to disruptions in less-tolerant electronic components. Try to go for at least "modified sine".

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Preferably just (pure) sine over the others ;) –  BloodPhilia Jun 4 '10 at 10:51
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I've charged/used my MacBook Pro off of a cheap $30 charger from RadioShack - I think you'll find that they're designed to work with most consumer electronics and that they'll be quite sufficient as long as you have enough wattage.

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