Before we delve into the main categories of replacements offered by sellers online (including ourselves!), lets run through the key steps of finding what charger you need.
How to find a compatible replacement laptop adapter
To see what kind of replacements are on offer online for your laptop, you'll need some extra information on the model of the machine. Laptop manufacturers use all kinds of connections for charging laptops, and each vary in terms of wattage.
Identify your laptop's model number
The easiest way to find your laptop model number is by taking a look at the sticker usually placed on the underside of your laptop. Among information such as serial number, warranty, towards the top of the label should be the full model number or identifier. This might look like one of these:
It's always important to look for the main model number rather than the 'range' listed around the keyboard as this isn't always enough detail to find the right charger for your device.
If you can't locate the sticker or it's difficult to read, you could take a look at the original invoice/receipt or check the manual that came with your laptop. If the laptop hasn't discharged completely, you can also find the model number on the powered on machine.
Find your laptops wattage
When using our site, this isn't essential as we list replacement power supplies based on their precise model number, and they're guaranteed to work for your device. However, it's always good practice to understand the power requirements for your laptop.
The main element you'll want to look for is the output voltage for the charger (sometimes referred to as DC voltage). Check in your laptop manual for the voltage requirements or look at the original power supply if you still have it. It will often be something like this:
- OUTPUT: 19VDC 3.42A
By multiplying the output voltage and amps you can calculate the total wattage of your machine, in this case 65W after rounding up.
Take a note of the voltage, amperage and wattage so you can match up those listed for the replacement charger with your own laptop's requirements.
The types of replacement laptop chargers available
Now you're armed with the information to be able to source a replacement charger, let's run through the most common 'types' of laptop power supplies available online:
OEM Laptop Chargers (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
When you first bought your laptop, the charger you received with the laptop was an OEM power supply. Usually this charger will have been manufactured by a third party power supply manufacturer on behalf of the company. Common OEM brands include Delta, ACBel and LiteOn. With leading laptop manufacturers such as HP, Samsung and Lenovo, the charger is usually branded with their logo.
Advantages of buying an OEM laptop charger
- It's exactly the same in function to your original charger, so you can expect the same performance
- Providing you buy the correct charger, it's guaranteed to work with your laptop.
Disadvantages of buying an OEM laptop charger
- OEM chargers can be difficult to source, particularly for older models of laptop; the OEM manufacturer may no longer produce the charger for your laptop.
- They can be expensive, depending on availability.
- There are an abundance of fake or counterfeit OEM chargers sold by private sellers across marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon which are potentially dangerous. These can be incredibly difficult to identify, even when comparing the original with the counterfeit in person. Fake chargers often lack various features that make chargers safe, such as temperature control and short circuit protections.
If you're planing to buy an OEM power supply for your laptop, do make sure that its from a reputable company who can provide assurances on their chargers.
Universal Laptop Chargers
Universal chargers are commonly available as replacements for many of the leading laptop brands. Some even span multiple brands and are packaged with multiple sets of 'tips' or 'pins', the part of the charger that connects directly to your laptop. As we covered in our help guide on power supply pin sizes, measuring the pin size required for your laptop can be a real challenge and impossible if you no longer have the original charger to hand.
Universal laptop power adaptors are always produced by third party brands, and the same power supply is often re-branded by different companies across popular marketplaces.
Advantages of buying a Universal Laptop Charger
- They are usually affordable
- If you have multiple laptops that the universal charger is compatible with, you can use the charger on each laptop
Disadvantages of buying a Universal Laptop Chargers
- You'll need to research the pin size required for your laptop before purchasing. A quick browse of several popular universal laptop PSU's on Amazon shows many negative reviews from customers who found the supplied tips didn't fit their laptop. Attempting to fit the wrong pin in your laptop can be downright dangerous and permanently damage your laptop.
- There are no guarantees on quality. Many of the universal chargers we looked at on eBay and Amazon came with no mention at all on warranty either.
- By nature of a universal charger, many of its parts are removable (such as the pin section). These can be wobbly or poorly fitting and will degrade over time.
- Finally, many universal laptop chargers have a switch to manually select the required voltage. Plugging the charger into your laptop with the wrong voltage selected can cause irreversible damage to your laptop.
In summary for universal laptop power adaptors, we can't recommend them as there are too many factors that can risk causing damage to your laptop.
Compatible or Third Party Laptop Chargers
Compatible laptop chargers are produced by non-OEM manufacturers and designed to be an exact replacement for specific laptops. All of the laptop chargers sold on The Power Supply Shop are within this category and are produced by Classic Service Parts, a German manufacturer that has developed parts and accessories for consumer electronics since 2000.
Based on this, you might think we're somewhat biased in this area, but we have several good reasons why a compatible laptop power supply presents a great choice as a replacement:
Advantages of buying a third party manufactured Laptop Charger (from The Power Supply Shop)
- Availability - We supply UK replacement laptop chargers for over 48,000 models of laptops. That's a huge selection and spans laptops produced from 2000 to the present year, many of which would be practically impossible to source an OEM replacement for.
- Quality - Our laptop chargers are produced to be of equivalent or greater quality than the original OEM charger and take great strides to ensure this throughout the manufacturing process. All of our laptop chargers are equipped with built in protections and safety features, alongside a 12 month warranty and on-going support.
- Compatibility - Over the years we've built up a large database of products that are both tested and matched to specific devices. By using our smart search and buying a power supply from us, you can expect a product that's guaranteed to work with your device. In the unlikely event it doesn't, we'll do everything we can to resolve it and provide the correct power supply for your laptop.
- Affordability - Despite the high quality of our laptop chargers, we're competitive on pricing and are often cheaper than an OEM replacement.
Disadvantages of buying a third party laptop charger
With the above advantages of buying a replacement with us in mind, naturally we need to discuss other third party manufacturers of laptop chargers. A quick browse on Amazon of a popular (and quite old - circa 2005) laptop model such as the HP DV1000 shows at least 5 third party chargers available. Here are our main potential disadvantages to keep in mind when buying a third party replacement:
- Some third party manufacturers may not provide their products with a suitable warranty or quality certification. Look for factors such as RoHS certification to ensure they are safe and appropriate for home or office use.
- Check for compatibility, and then double check! Many third party charger manufacturers don't have the same kind of database we use for compatibility, so there's no guarantees they will work for your device. Some will use long 'fit lists' of compatible laptop models which aren't always accurate.
- Some third party laptop chargers can be of poor quality. Take a look at the product images and try to find any mention of the actual charger manufacturer and search for them online, as some sellers will 'rebrand' their products as their own. If the product arrives and looks different from the original product image or has a different label, we'd recommend returning it.
- A number of '.co.uk' websites are listed as UK businesses, when in fact their products are supplied directly from China. This can mean a long wait to receive your charger and potentially poor support if you run into any problems. We'd recommend giving the company a quick call to check them out if you're unsure.
In summary, check reviews and search for the company before you go ahead with buying a third party laptop charger.
Across the marketplaces we sell our products on, we've gained over 18,000 reviews and feedback ratings who can attest to the quality of our products and service. We've been supplying power supplies and laptop chargers to customers for over a decade, so please do get in touch if you're unsure on what laptop adapter is right for your device.
With so many options when buying a replacement laptop charger online, it can be a challenge to make the right choice. That's why we've put so much effort into making things as simple as possible with our model search and help guides.
Ultimately you need to weigh up the options on these three factors:
- Will it work? Choose an adapter that's expressly listed as being compatible with your exact model.
- Is it safe? Look for a replacement that comes with a warranty and all of the necessary safety certifications.
- Is it affordable? Price is an important factor in just about any purchase. At the same time, if it's 'too cheap' there might be a catch in terms of quality.
If you have any questions relating to laptop chargers, do get in touch with our support team. We're a helpful bunch and we can point you in the right direction.