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Laptop power supplies, does current matter?

I'm in Colombia, South America and the power adapter on my HP Pavilion DV4-1125nr laptop died. The adapter is rated at 65W input 1.6A & output 18.5V 3.5A. A friend found me a Dell adapter rated at 65W input 1.5A & output 19.5V 3.34A. Both have center + polarities. Seems very stable and not having unusual heat problems. Do you think it is safe to use this adapter without harming my laptop?

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marked as duplicate by random Jun 6 '12 at 16:34

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this may help you: superuser.com/questions/247312/… –  Sean Cheshire Jun 6 '12 at 16:17

1 Answer 1

It depends. Your laptop most probably has a voltage regulator, which will have to drop an extra 1V (maximum at 3.5A). That's an extra 3.5W dissipated as heat. Whether this would be a problem depends on your laptop construction, components used, etc. Most modern voltage regulators have a thermal shutdown, e.g. it will stop working (and your laptop will stop charging) if overheating, but will work ok again when temperature drops down.

Regarding 3.5A vs 3.34A maximum current: I don't think this will be a problem, especially if you don't let your battery drain completely. Usually there is a certain margin of safety, laptops are not built to consume an absolute maximum their power bricks can produce.

So

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