Why Universal Laptop Chargers?
- Auto-voltage detection prevents malfunction
- Built-in electrical insulation prevents power surges and protects laptop
- Meets and exceeds European safety and RoHS specifications
Universal Laptop Charger Promise
- Fast delivery – dispatched next working day
- Full year guarantee and 24/7 e-mail support
- Read about the ULC Guarantee
Something Almost All Of Us Take For Granted
It's not unreasonable to say that we take our computer chargers for granted. After all, we (usually) get one that comes with our notebook when we first get it, and then we simply use it day-to-day and never think about it again.
That is, until we leave it at home and bring our machine to work. Or when we go on holiday and you've remembered your phone charger but not the one for your netbook. Don't you hate when that happens? Nearly as common is when for whatever reason the unit just decides to stop functioning and breaks. Sometimes the light on it will just go out, occasionally we hear stories about how people even smell smoke. Until things like this happen, we don't really stop to think what we would do if our laptop's AC adapter disappeared.
Why Manufacturing Quality Is Important
The thing is that this (the adapter breaking) isn't really that unexpected. Imagine you're a laptop manufacturer and you're shipping out tens of thousands of units on a daily basis. The peripherals that aren't physically inside the computer will ideally be made as cheaply as possible - yes, they do meet some form of standard of course and for the most part they're not made so shoddily they'll give up the ghost in a few months or anything like that - but at the same time, they're certainly not made to last. They are there to do the minimum required job asked of them, and nothing more - so it's no wonder that when something small goes wrong, they die.
So, this is why if you need to get a new power supply for your portable computer for any of the reasons above, it's quite important that you pick up a good one. While manufacturer's models aren't terrible, they are rather average and extremely expensive to replace. Attempting to replace what you had before with a budget model is usually a bad idea. These are the kinds of devices where there actually is no quality control and you may genuinely get something that shorts a circuit or only works for a short while before breaking.
This is why we're here. Read some more about why it's difficult to source a really good quality charger and how we're changing that on our charger product page.
Why It's Hard To Find A Good Charger
The biggest issue to sourcing a really good charger unit is, surprisingly, cost. It sounds like the kind of device where you should be able to get them by the bucketload on the cheap - and this is the case for some of the throwaway/inexpensive product that can be found on auction websites or similar. But we found out it's not actually like that.
Let's say you wanted to design a product that comes fully compliant with European RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances) requirements. This can be done but bumps up the cost a little. Then we consider that it makes no sense to have to use a screwdriver to move a button to choose the right voltage for a notebook - that just sounds like trouble and it's easy to accidentally set a wrong setting which can cause a charger (or worse, a computer!) to malfunction. Automatic voltage switching can be built in, but of course this makes things a little more expensive.
Add in the cost of having an LCD screen to display the voltage so that you know the unit is functioning correctly, a built-in USB port with some really cool phone chargers as well so that the one charger can basically charge two devices at once (something we wanted to do so that people didn't need to bring two chargers to work or on holiday, we think this is supremely useful!), and custom-designing 30 different laptop heads to try and ensure almost every popular computer on the planet can be catered for. Finally, also making sure the charger supports up to 120W (most support only up to 90W which excludes more powerful computers such as gaming laptops) to expand the range that it can support.
All of this adds up - which means that the actual wholesale price of what we have on this website is already higher than the retail for a lot of the cheaper stuff! Common business sense would tell us not to actually sellt his kind of thing and to be happy supplying the lower-quality but higher-margin product - but that isn't what we were after, and to be honest we're kind of glad we went about things this way. Aren't you?