My Point. Exactly
Hi All – The power inverter for Laptop GPS is a pretty important component of the system and I thought the subject deserved its own thread (hope you agree).
I travel via airplane allot – so equipment with a small/light footprint is important to me, as I typically carry on my bags. I also have to rely on the car auxiliary power port/cig lighter. Choosing a power inverter can be confusing. Here’s a primer I made up to help my customers (mobile sales reps) choose the best device.
When choosing an inverter, make sure it s properly rated for your laptop. Check your laptop s power requirement specification in the manual and then choose a model that has a continuous power rating that exceeds your computer’s requirement. A good rule of thumb is to choose one that exceeds the requirement by about 20%.
For example: If your laptop uses 60 watts of power, then you should look for a power supply that provides 20% more or a minimum of 72 watts of continuous power.
Make sure the supply is rated for Continuous power some models will highlight their unit s surge capacity on the front of the package, and bury continuous power supplied in the specifications on the back. Inverters will only operate at their surge capacity for a limited amount of time and then will shut down to reset (often after getting very hot), and that s not what you want. Generally, most laptops in use by the mobile sales rep will do fine with an inverter that provides at least 90 watts of continuous power.
Consider what other devices you ll want to power and charge while you re on the road your MP3 player or your cell phone perhaps. Some inverter units incorporate additional USB sockets to power additional equipment.
If you do plan to power additional devices off your inverter, add the wattage of all devices again, add at least 20%, and size the inverter accordingly.
If you travel in rental cars, I suggest getting an inverter that plugs into the cigarette lighter or accessory socket with a cable. In some vehicles, space can be tight around the socket, and an inverter with a fixed plug can be difficult to insert at times. Choosing a model with a cable allows you to more easily position it in tight spaces.
Finally make sure your inverter has low battery and overload shut-off protection so you don t kill the car battery if you leave your equipment running too long with the engine off or damage the inverter if you overload it.
If the link doesn’t work, go to www.canadiantire.ca and put 11-1869-2 into the Quick Search box.
It’s really nice and slim. It has a USB connector so you can charge things that only charge from a USB connection. I had occasion to use mine quite a bit on our recent three week trip. My car charger for our cell phones started to act up part way through and we could not depend on it to keep our cell phones charged. So I plugged in the inverter, plugged the 120VAC cell phone charger into the inverter and we were back in business.
It has an on/off switch on it. If your 12V outlet is switched by the ignition, it will turn off automatically whenever you turn off the ignition. It will not turn back on automatically when the ignition is switched back on, so you have to remember to turn it on. This is a good safety feature so I didn’t mind.
It has both a cigar lighter cable and alligator clips in the box. You can connect either cable to the unit, depending on how you want to mount and use it.
The inverter runs a little hot, especially if you manage to cover it up so the air can’t flow through it properly. I love the size of it and it’s really cheap (Cdn$39.99) for such a well thought out item. If 175W is enough for you, this is a very nice unit.
I just purchased the one that Ken gave the link to (from Canadian Tire) and this week it’s on sale for $23.99 i’ll test it out tomorrow and i’ll let you guys know how it went.
On my laptop power adapter it says 120W output and the power inverter is rated 130W of continues power, but i know that my laptop only takes 120W when it’s booting up and normally when it runs it’s in the 60 to 90W range.
The inverter worked great. even when i discharged the battery in the laptop and then plugged it in, it was running at 120W for about 45 minutes straight without shutting down or resetting (although it did get pretty hot so be careful where you put it or when you grab it, they do mention this part in the manual) and the small size is great for traveling, i would recommend this for anyone that is picky about size.