Using other laptop chargers to charge your laptop is not advisable for different reasons, such as damaging the laptop battery. If you've ever had your laptop battery dying while stranded without a charger, consider borrowing one similar to your own charger. While the charger port might fit, it doesn't necessarily mean it's okay. Despite the charger working, it could eventually damage your laptop battery.
To avoid finding yourself in situations where you have a laptop without a charger, you can invest in a power bank to avoid using different chargers. Power banks are relatively affordable, and you can purchase one that suits your needs and can provide enough power to your laptop. Another benefit of having a power bank is that you can use a USB connector to the laptop for charging. Moreover, having a power bank saves you from the hustle of also carrying a power cord for the laptop charger.
Using a different charger to charge your laptop can also slowly damage the battery making it lose power or get completely damaged. The chances of your battery being affected get higher with how expensive and powerful the laptop is. In addition, using an incompatible charger can become costly for you if it damages your laptop and you have to buy a new battery or even a laptop. With that said, here are a few things to note on whether you can use any laptop charger for your laptop:
Are There Universal Chargers for Laptops?
Manufacturers make many different charging cables in size, voltage, and wattage. This makes it common for laptops made by the same company to have different specifications. Laptops are more complicated devices than phones across all brands. While a phone with a USB C port can be charged using any USB type c charger, the case is different for a laptop. However, it's less possible to find a charger that can charge multiple laptops.
Finding a universal charger for a laptop is difficult, but you could be lucky and find one. Nonetheless, if you find a universal charger, ascertain that you check whether it's compatible and can work properly. In some cases, you might find a non-OEM or a universal charger from a different brand that can't be recognized or work with your laptop.
When looking for universal chargers, it's best to consider laptops within the same price range because they often have similar components. Most laptops within the same price range have identical stipulations, especially the charging port and the connector.
Sometimes, you can use USB cables with custom connectors that fit into the laptop charging port. For example, you can use the aviator connector, which has three or four pins to connect a USB charger and charge a laptop. This product can also be compatible with connectors such as USB and USB C, which can be used with laptops, computers, and power banks.
The advantage of using a USB charging device is that they can work with most laptops as long as they have a USB port or USB C ports. These are not complex to use; all you have to do is connect to a power supply and use it. Another benefit of the USB and USB C cable is that they can support certain laptops similarly to a mobile phone. In addition, the signal clarity in USB and USB C charging cables is consistent and can give you a good experience during use.
Reasons Not to Use Any Laptop Chargers
There are several reasons why it's not advisable to use any laptop chargers for your laptop, and here are some:
Every manufacturer makes their products different from others with unique components and designs; your laptop isn't an exception. This means that laptop chargers, power banks, and laptops are special depending on the model. Every laptop is manufactured uniquely, and though the charging port might be similar, the chargers are meant to be kept from interchanged.
Despite the chargers supplying the same amount of power to the computer, they can still damage the laptop battery. Moreover, it would even be worse if you used a charger from a different brand to charge your laptop. For example, you can't use a hp charger to charge your laptop if it's from another brand and model. The same case applies if you want to use a power bank.
In addition, every power adapter is designed to be compatible with a specific AC input to convert power into the correct DC output to charge devices. These details are usually indicated on the adapter; you can check the specifications to determine if it's right for your laptop. You can also check if the manufacturer has provided details on the voltage and current of the charger.
If the charger details are provided, it can be easier to determine if the charger is suitable for your laptop. However, the first thing to do when considering another laptop charger is to check the connector. Most brands have similar connectors for their devices. However, some laptop brands, such as Apple, have proprietary connectors, making it impossible to use other chargers.
Different Power specifications
As discussed earlier, laptop chargers are specifically made for a particular laptop's specifications. This means that its components are specific to that laptop, including the power transmitted to it. For instance, some laptops use more energy than others, such as gaming laptops.
In an ideal setting, a laptop usually consumes between 50 W and 100 W per hour, depending on the work done and the laptop model. Therefore, it's likely that an alternative charger has inadequate or excessive charging capabilities that can be fatal for your laptop.
Thus, the power transmitted by a charger is suitable for that laptop and less or more energy would damage the battery. Therefore, using a different charger might supply more or less power to the laptop, which would be detrimental to the battery and other laptop hardware.
Avoid Cheap Knock-offs
If you've found yourself with a low laptop battery without a charger, you might have considered buying a cheap knock-off to charge your laptop. Using an off-brand cheap knock-off charger is terrible because there needs to be a quality guarantee or power specifications. Moreover, since it's off-brand, there needs to be a way of qualifying its specifications. Hence, your attempt to save money could be costly, and you might eventually have to buy a new laptop.
Exception to the Rule
While you can't use another charger to charge your laptop, the case is different if you're a MacBook owner. All you have to ensure is that the power specifications in the ac adapter are similar when using apple laptop chargers. However, while using other apple chargers to charge your laptop is okay, a knock-off or different brand charger might fry the battery. Moreover, you can use the warranty if the MacBook is affected by utilizing another apple charger.
Factors to Consider When Using Another Laptop Charger
If you can't find your charger and consider using another laptop's charger, several factors can determine whether it's compatible. Consider the following before utilizing another charger:
When you find yourself with your laptop without a charger and considering using another one, you must ensure that the port fits. You can start by finding a USB or USB C cable similar to the laptop port or any other laptop charger specifically designed for your laptop model. Even though the port perfectly fits, there's no guarantee that the charger will work like the original charger.
If the laptop has a USB C port, you can try using USB type c cables. You'll also realize that USB type c chargers can only fit into USB C ports and not into USB ports. Hence, it's essential to ascertain that the cable fits into the port. In some cases, the barrel plug can have the port side of the laptop.
Electronic devices use current to charge when connected to a power source using cables. It'd help if you ascertained that the USB C charging cables' Amperage is similar to or higher than your original charger. If the USB C charging cable has enough power, the chances of the battery getting damaged are low.
Ideally, Amperage regulates the amount of power getting into the laptop. When the power is less, the laptop won't switch on, and the battery will be fried if the power is too much. This means that if your charger is indicated 3.50 A, the replacement should be the same or more.
Voltage and Polarity
The problem with using a different cable for laptop charging is that the voltage might differ. Ensure that the universal adapters you're considering are compatible with your laptop model and that the voltage is similar or slightly lower. You can also check the power brick for details on voltage and polarity.
Additionally, the polarity of the universal adapter should also be similar to your laptop computer charger. For example, if the polarity of your charger is negative, consider buying a USB C charging feature with negative polarity. The details should be on the USB C adapter.
While using an alternative charger might not be completely safe, you can find one that's likely to work and have fewer issues by checking the voltage and polarity. For example, if you use a USB type c charger to charge your laptop with 18.0 V, ensure that the alternative charger you try using has the same voltage or at least 17.5 V.
The downside to using a USB C charger to supply power that's low is that the laptop won't work, and if the supply is higher, the USB C adapter, battery, and the laptop computer can be damaged or, worse, catch fire.
Another factor to consider when using a different USB C charger for charging is the wattage, which should be similar to or higher than your regular charger. The wattage should also be considered when buying a power bank. Ideally, a laptop needs different amounts of power for various functions. For example, tasks that require higher speeds consume more power than when it's in sleep mode.
If you need help determining the amount of wattage for your charger, find the product of the voltage and Amperage of the adapter. For example, if the voltage is 18.0 V and the Amperage is 3.50, then 18.0 (V) X 3.50 (A) = 63.0W.
Therefore, as long as the voltage of the charger is fine, the wattage can be more than 63.0 W because the laptop uses the necessary power for the activity. However, a charger that produces less than 63.0 W will only be sufficient for some of the functions, even if the USB C charging cable is connected to a power source during use. Thus, a laptop requires enough wattage to function.
Using a different charger for your laptop is not a good idea because it can cause issues with the battery or the charging system. If you often find yourself with a laptop without a charger, invest in power banks specifically designed for your laptop. A laptop power bank functions similarly to the one used for a mobile phone, except that they store more power. Moreover, you can use a USB or USB C cable to connect a power bank to your laptop for charging. If you were unsure whether you could use a different charger for your laptop, we hope you found this article helpful.