Can I run my Laptop from my car's 12V DC ?

In summary, the DELL adapter is a cable that plugs into a car's DC outlet that can be used to power a laptop. It is not necessary to buy a separate DC to AC converter, as the adapter can be used to power the laptop from a car's DC outlet.
  • #1
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Ok,
I know DELL sells these really expensive DC to DC 'adapters' that can run my laptop. I can also run it from a DC to AC converter and plug my charger into that.
But obviously, wouldn't it be simply a matter of having the right cable ?
I'm just wondering what that DELL cable really does.

Does anyone know ?


Thanks.
 
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  • #2
Depends how many DC volts your laptop needs.
If it's more than 12V you need a DC:DC converter to up the car's output to what the laptop needs. Or you can use a 110V inverter and your regular laptop power supply.
 
  • #3
Your car's 12V DC is not a clean source.
If the engine is running, it will be 14V or more. In addition, there will be high voltage spikes, and you will need more than just a cable, even if your computer is 12V.
 
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  • #4
Kensington makes a line of laptop adapters (60 to 125 W) that have tips (most included; rarer ones available by mailing away) that step down the output voltage to the one appropriate for your laptop--some take in wall voltage, car voltage, airplane voltage or all of the above (obviously, the more bells and whistles, the more expensive):
http://us.kensington.com/html/16414.html [Broken]

How's this work? There's actually very few laptop AC adapter makers out there (come to think of it, there's actually very few actual laptop manufacturers--most companies just spec parts, slap a badge on somewhere, and maybe modify the case).

EDIT: No affiliation with Kensington. Thought Belkin made something similar, but couldn't find it when I looked quickly.
 
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  • #5
If you go the adapter route, the Targus Adapaters are awesome, I've been using those for about 5 years. One came with my laptop but ended up burning a hole through the cord after being set against a heater during winter (completely my fault).

So, I went a bought another one and use it all of the time, not just in the car.
 
  • #6
Tanner65 said:
If you go the adapter route, the Targus Adapaters are awesome, I've been using those for about 5 years. One came with my laptop but ended up burning a hole through the cord after being set against a heater during winter (completely my fault).

So, I went a bought another one and use it all of the time, not just in the car.

Ah yes! Those were the ones I was thinking of!

To the OP, if you get sticker shock out of this, the other alternative would be to buy a 100W(ish) car inverter (DC to AC converter) which you'd then plug your laptop into. Not terribly efficient, but handy when you need to plug something else in. Also, may run down your car battery (when the alternator isn't running).
 
  • #7
MATLABdude said:
Kensington makes a line of laptop adapters (60 to 125 W) that have tips (most included; rarer ones available by mailing away) that step down the output voltage to the one appropriate for your laptop--some take in wall voltage, car voltage, airplane voltage or all of the above (obviously, the more bells and whistles, the more expensive):

How's this work? There's actually very few http://www.uxsight.com/category/31512/for-dell.html" makers out there (come to think of it, there's actually very few actual laptop manufacturers--most companies just spec parts, slap a badge on somewhere, and maybe modify the case).

EDIT: No affiliation with Kensington. Thought Belkin made something similar, but couldn't find it when I looked quickly.

I bought this one from a website store not long ago, you can have a look.
 
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  • #8
sakura881220 said:
I bought this one from a website store not long ago, you can have a look.

I think it is better
 
  • #9
If you go the adapter route, the http://www.laptopz.com/dell-ac-adapters-c-11_30.html" [Broken] are awesome, I've been using those for about 5 years. One came with my laptop but ended up burning a hole through the cord after being set against a heater during winter (completely my fault).

So, I went a bought another one and use it all of the time, not just in the car.
I will soon have a used dell laptop screen. It is interesting to see how much can be packed inside a case so small these days. thank you very much.
 
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1. Can I run my laptop from my car's 12V DC outlet?

Yes, you can run your laptop from your car's 12V DC outlet with the help of a special adapter called a car inverter. This device converts the 12V DC power from your car's outlet into the standard 120V AC power that your laptop needs to operate.

2. Is it safe to run my laptop from my car's 12V DC?

Yes, it is generally safe to run your laptop from your car's 12V DC outlet. However, it is important to make sure that you are using a high-quality car inverter that is compatible with your laptop's power requirements. Also, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for using the inverter safely.

3. How long can I run my laptop from my car's 12V DC?

The amount of time you can run your laptop from your car's 12V DC outlet depends on several factors, such as the capacity of your car's battery, the power consumption of your laptop, and the efficiency of your car inverter. On average, you can expect to run your laptop for about 1-2 hours using a standard car inverter.

4. Can I charge my laptop battery using my car's 12V DC?

Yes, you can charge your laptop battery using your car's 12V DC outlet with the help of a car charger. This device plugs into your car's outlet and connects to your laptop's charging port, allowing you to charge your laptop while on the go.

5. Can I run any laptop from my car's 12V DC?

In general, yes, you can run any laptop from your car's 12V DC outlet as long as you have the appropriate car inverter for your laptop's power requirements. However, it is always best to check with your laptop's manufacturer to ensure compatibility and avoid any potential damage to your device.

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