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How can I tell if an AC adapter is compatible with my laptop?

Would it be possible for me to use another brand laptops charger with my laptop?

Mine:

Toshiba Model PA-1750-04 charger
Input: 100-240V ~50-60hz 1.5A
Output: 19 V 3.95A

Other:

Gateway Liteon Model PA-1650-01
Input: 100-240V 1.6A 50-60hz
Output: 19V 3.42A

Starving College Kid not wanting to pay 80+ for a new charger...

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 31 '11 at 22:40

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, dmckee, 8088, DMA57361 Nov 1 '11 at 10:16

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I ran a Compaq off the transformer from a much older model (like 10 years) from the same manufacturer for almost two years. Output voltage and current matched so away we went. –  dmckee Nov 1 '11 at 0:14

3 Answers 3

There are three things to check:

  • Output voltage
  • Output current
  • Connector polarity

As long as the voltage and polarity match, it wont hurt your laptop. If the current is lower, either it will charge your laptop slower, or not at all. Possibly it might damage the charger, but I don't think so.

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If you don't want to pay 80+, you do not mention currency, but, you can probably get a duplicate on eBay for a lot less.

Anyway, that aside - the "other" charger has a lower output than what your laptop requires. If it fits, you will probably not do any damage - it may either not work or charge slower.

That being said, I would never advise using any adapter that was not an identical match. It just isn't worth the risk of damage. If 80+ is expensive, think how much a repair/new laptop would be!

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As I understand it (explained to me by an electrical engineer), using a lower output charger will never damage your battery; it will just take longer to charge (providing its still a laptop charger with a cutout circuit etc etc). Be careful using a higher output charger though. Sounds like your other charger will be ok as its outputting 0.53 amps less than the Toshiba charger

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2  
The voltage has to match, that's the one that causes problems if it doesn't. The current is just a maximum rating, using a higher rated current wont hurt anything, it simply means the adapter is capable of supplying more power than the laptop needs. –  davr Oct 31 '11 at 22:52
    
An AC adapter with a high amp or watt rating will only supply as many amps as required by the connected equipment. You can connect a 120W adapter to a laptop that normally uses a 90W adapter without any problems, as long as they have the same voltage and polarity. –  DragonLord Oct 31 '11 at 22:57
2  
@pully6: That explanation is dangerously incorrect. If the charger cannot supply the required current at the rated voltage, the result may be that the output voltage of the charger drops. This can cause the laptop to draw more current than it was designed to draw for a given power level, leading to the charge circuit in the laptop (or its battery) overheating. It's not likely for a small difference, but it is absolutely flat out incorrect to say a lower output charger will never damage the battery. –  David Schwartz Nov 1 '11 at 0:08
    
Thankyou David for clearing that up, I'll be sure and remember that. :) –  pully6 Dec 3 '11 at 17:59