Laptop charger swapping

By | December 27, 2011

Basic rule of thumb for power supplies:
The voltage has to be right
the amperage just has to be high enough.

Your laptop will draw differing amounts of power depending on what it is doing.

The power supply can provide electricity at the specs given. Assuming the connectors are the same polarity and the supplies have the same voltage, they are interchangeable in a pinch. The difference in current has to do with how fast it can charge the battery. Higher capacity batteries take longer to charge, and a beefier power supply can supply more current to the battery to charge it faster.

The thing about charging a battery is that the charge/discharge cycle wears the battery out. The faster you charge it, the faster the wear. Over time this makes the battery lose its capacity. Slower charging is better (less bad, really) for the battery. Also, Lithium-Ion batteries don’t like to be completely discharged or topped off.

That’s probably more than you needed to know. The difference in the power supplies boils down to one being designed to provide more power to charge the battery faster. If the voltage and connector are the same, you can swap them without significantly damaging anything.