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Dicky Dicky is offline
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Smile Charging notebook on the road - 08-25-2010, 02:42 AM

I am looking for a device that will charge my notebook while I am on the road. A friend of mine told me to get an inverter and I find 2 units which are 200W and 400W at Newegg. Both unit has good review.

The 400W cost only $20 after $18 promo code discount and $12 instant rebate. The price is even lower than 200W.

But the adapter of my notebook only need 90W. Should I go for 400W or 200W?

Any advises are welcome.
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rrfranczak3 rrfranczak3 is offline
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Default 08-25-2010, 02:49 AM

it depends....are there other devices you want to run off this or just the mini, personally if the 400w is cheaper go for that

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Fox Mulder Fox Mulder is offline
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Default 08-27-2010, 12:29 PM

Using an inverter in the car is very inefficient, as you are converting the vehicle 12V to 110AC and then back to the 19VDC (assuming you are referring to a Dell) required for the notebook. It's also cumbersome as you have to plug in two devices, the inverter and your original AC adapter. And, some of the higher-power inverters can cause problems when plugged into a lighter socket because of the high current draw, such as overheating and damage to the socket or wiring. The lighter/power socket in most vehicles is only rated for up to 10A, which is 120W at 12V. Since the inverter is far from 100% efficient, it will have to draw a lot more than that to produce that much wattage on its AC output. Therefore these are usually best connected directly to the vehicle battery rather than through the socket.
Unless you have more than one AC-operated device that you want to run in a vehicle and you are willing to wire an inverter to the battery, your best bet would be a DC-DC converter which will plug into the lighter and power the notebook directly. These are readily available in 19V applications and they are much more efficient than an inverter.
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Dicky Dicky is offline
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Default 09-11-2010, 07:14 PM

Thank you for your great advise. I am lucky that the fuse for my cigarette light is 15A. So I have 180W output. I got the 400W unit and their Tech support told me that I should be ok if I do not connect any device that require power more that 180W.

Your are right, I am using it to charge my Dell notebook (need 0nly 90W) and i-phone (5V, 1A=5W) without any problem.
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Lightning Blue Lightning Blue is offline
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Default 09-17-2010, 03:48 AM

Actually, even a 15 amp fuse won't let you pull 180 watts out of it constantly, eventually the fuse will pop.

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