Best Ways to Charge Laptop in a Car

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Laptops are meant to be used on the go to help busy professionals get work done on the move. Their portability is a big part of their value to most customers. This is why it is important to be able to charge one in a car. There are a lot of techniques that you can use to keep your laptop charged while driving around.

We will be discussing a few laptop charging techniques that can be used in cars below. They cover a wide range of possibilities so that you can obtain maximum convenience.

See Also: How To Tune A Car With A Laptop

Use a Car Laptop Charger

Every car comes with a power outlet. It used to be used as a cigarette lighter but smoking indoors is now considered very rude. So most people use this outlet to keep their belongings charged.

A laptop charger designed for cars will have a plug on the other end that is designed to fit into a car power outlet. The other end of the charger usually has a USB Type-C jack. This is the latest type of USB. It helps charge your devices a lot faster. But if you don’t have a laptop that’s compatible with USB Type-C, you might want to get something else.

Here’s a helpful illustration that shows you the different types of usb ports:

types of usbs for laptops and smartphones

Getting an adapter can be useful. Because it allows you to convert the USB type to your specifications. Older laptops don’t use USB charging ports at all. It is important to take this into consideration, otherwise it would be difficult to power your laptop up in a vehicle.

Some cars have USB ports nowadays this makes the old cigarette lighter power outlet obsolete. Because you can just plug your charger into the USB port as long as one end of the charger is USB compatible. There are special laptop chargers that are built like this so try looking for one because it can be a real lifesaver for you.

You might not have to worry about USB type at all because you can just get a clover cable that has a car jack on the other end. Just plug it in and charge away.

Try a Power Inverter

laptop power inverter for car

Plugging your charger directly into the car can be a bit of a problem for some because car power outlets usually only offer about 12 volts. What’s more, is that it only provides a direct current. You will need an alternating current if you want to charge your laptop since most laptops are only compatible with AC and trying to use DC might damage your machine.

A power inverter can solve a lot of these problems, it converts DC into AC. Which allows you to charge your laptop with ease. Pay attention to the wattage specified on the inverter as your laptop can only tolerate a narrow wattage range. Anything lower than the specified wattage wouldn’t charge your laptop. Luckily, most power inverters offer at least 150 watts of power and laptop chargers normally only need around a hundred watts or so.

The great thing about power inverters is that they are all you need.

  • You can plug any laptop charger into the inverter.
  • The jack fits into the cigarette lighter power outlet most cars have.
  • The power socket in the power inverter can support a normal 3 pin plug.
  • Good quality power inverters also have USB sockets in them so you will be covered no matter what type of charger you own.

Get a Power Bank

power bank connected to dell laptop

The solutions we have given above can definitely come in handy. But they also have a major flaw which is that they need the car to be running. This can be quite wasteful because it would use up a lot of gas from your tank

This can also be inconvenient as you would not want to leave your car running at all times.

A power bank can be perfect for you here. It will give you enough juice to keep your laptop charged without the car being a factor. You will need a really powerful power bank to charge your laptop with it.

Pay attention to the wattage of the power bank. Something that offers a minimum of 150 watts should be purchased. Opting for around 45,000 milliamp hours can be useful too since this number corresponds to the right amount of wattage for your laptop. It also gives you a good idea of how many charges the power bank can provide.

The great thing about power banks is that they really fit into the laptop frame of mind. You need to be mobile and portable and having a power bank makes that possible. It helps you to be independent of the power grid for long periods of time.

The only downside is that eventually, your power bank would run out of juice. This can be a problem if you don’t plan ahead and it can be quite anxiety-inducing to have a deadline to meet when your power bank is running low.

Take Advantage of Solar Power

huge solar power panels outside in grass fields

Solar power can be seen in a lot of different areas these days so it makes sense to use it to charge your laptop. Solar power can give you the best of both worlds. You can try buying a laptop case with a built-in solar panel. Just leave the case in the sunlight and your laptop will keep charging.

You don’t have to worry about losing power with a solar-powered charging solution and you won’t be tied to a running car either. This is great for people that tend to spend a lot of time in the car but don’t want to leave the engine on at all times.

Another advantage is that you aren’t dependent on any kind of bulky hardware such as a power inverter or car charger. This can help you pack lightly for a trip which is important given how weight can negatively impact your ability to stay mobile.


Why Do I Need to Charge My Laptop in a Car?

You can’t always rely on a power supply, especially if you are frequently on the move. Being far away from a source of power means that you will have to make do with your car’s battery, and knowing how to charge your laptop in your vehicle can be helpful in these situations.

Why Do I Need a Power Inverter?

Your car needs a direct current or DC from the battery, but consumer electronics cannot handle DC. They need alternating current or AC to operate appropriately, and a power inverter can switch DC to AC, thereby allowing you to charge your laptop in your car.

What Situations Are Car Chargers Useful In?

Sometimes you might want to get away from the city and camp out under the stars. That’s all well and good, but you need to be connected to the world in some manner or the other just in case somebody needs you. Charging your laptop in your car gives you that connectivity but also allows you to roam freely.

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