Your Guide to Buying a Universal Laptop Adapter

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Your Guide to Buying a Universal Laptop Adapter

The majority of the public use laptops on a daily basis, and often for extended periods of time. As a result we need to charge the device to stop the battery from running out, but what do we do when the power adapter breaks? Most people buy an exact replacement, but it is advised that buyers instead purchase a universal laptop adapter. This guide will examine what factors buyers should consider when searching for a universal laptop adapter model, and how to locate a suitable model on eBay.

Universal Laptop Adapters

Universal laptop adapters are an inexpensive alternative to buying the same model when replacing a laptop power adapter. However, it's important that buyers choose a suitable adapter as some will not be compatible with their laptop and could end up damaging both the battery and the device.

The first thing buyers need to do is find out the power requirements of their laptop. The adapter must be the same or higher in terms of wattage to the required amount e.g. with a 90w laptop a90w or 120w adapter can be used. If the adapter is lower in wattage than the laptop's requirements then it will not power the device. The required wattage amount can be found on the original adapter for the laptop, on the power label on the underside of the device or in the instruction manual. It can also be found on the manufacturer's website.

The next thing buyers should do is check the voltage compatibility of the adapter they are considering buying. If the voltage is too high then it can damage the laptop, although most modern devices have some form of in-built protection to prevent this from occurring. Again, a reminder to buyers is that if the voltage is too low then it will not be able to power the device and the laptop will simply not turn on.

Buyers will also need to check that the adapter comes with the correct tip for their laptop. Most laptops that run on Microsoft operating systems use the same type of tip, but Macs use a completely different type of adapter. Buyers looking for a replacement adapter for their Mac will not be able to use most universal models, and instead should search for Apple adapters only.

· Cylindrical tips are the most common type of adapter tip, and are also known as barrel tips. Cylindrical tips are insulated, hollow, and as the name implies cylindrical in design.

  • Molex tips consist of several insulated electrical wires encased in a plastic rectangular case that has three, four or six terminals.

· Snap and lock tips are used with Apple products and a small number of laptops manufactured by other companies. These are also known as Kycon 3-pin and 4-pin DC power plugs.

Buying Considerations

As well as the compatibility of the adapter, buyers should also consider the price and portability of any product they are interested in buying.

· Most people buy universal adapters as a replacement because they cost less than those made by the laptop's manufacturer. There's not really any point in buying a universal laptop adapter that costs more than the original model, unless of course the adapter is bought for use with more than one laptop.

· Buyers should also consider the portability of the adapter. Some of the less costly models are quite heavy and the adapter component can be very large. This isn't suitable for owners that need to transport the device on a daily basis, so check the description box on the item page of a listing for measurements of the product.

· Buyers who need a very small laptop adapter will probably be better of buying a travel adapter rather than a universal model. Travel adapters are small and lightweight devices ideal for people on the move and can charge a laptop even when the user is not near a socket.

Buying Universal Laptop Adapters on eBay

eBay is an excellent place to shop for electronic products, and the site has a large selection of new and used universal laptop adapters for sale at very reasonable prices. To start a search for a suitable model, head to and take the following straightforward steps.

· Once the homepage has loaded up, bring the cursor over the Electronics heading found on the left hand side of the page. This will open up a small drop down menu, and from here click on the Computers & Tablets link.

· Buyers can use the Condition filter to list used universal adapters only. If doing so then remember to check the description box on the item page of the listing for information regarding the condition of the adapter.

· Buyers may find a reduced universal laptop adapter for sale on eBay Deals, which is a section of the website dedicated to items sold at lower prices. Buyers looking for the relevant page should click on the Deals link found at the top of every page followed by the Computers link within the Electronics tab.


Universal laptop adapters are very handy products to have, but buyers need to ensure that the model they choose is suitable for their device. Remember to check the required wattage of the laptop as well as the voltage of the adapter and the type of tip used by the device. Always check eBay Deals when searching for an adapter as this section of the site contains lots of stock for sale at reduced prices, and check the description box of a listing for the dimensions and weight of the product.

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