HolidayBuyer's Guide

Laptops forum

General discussion

Powering a laptop in a car

by cp33 / February 16, 2008 1:13 AM PST

Is it possible to purchase an adaptor that will run your laptop much like your cell phone charger, that plugs into the same type of car outlet that your cell phone charger does?

We are traveling and my wireless service is wonderful but the battery lasts only so long on the laptop.

Is there anything on the market that will help?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Powering a laptop in a car
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Powering a laptop in a car
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
check Wal*Mart
by RichGJones / February 16, 2008 1:38 AM PST

I found an adapter at Walmart ($15?) that lets you plug any household item into a cig lighter. I've used it for laptops, DVD players, phone chargers, even my PS2.

Collapse -
by RichGJones / February 16, 2008 1:55 AM PST
In reply to: check Wal*Mart
Collapse -
Yes there are such.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2008 1:45 AM PST

And widely available. Just match the unit to your laptop brand and model. Since you declined to tell what it was, I have to stop here.


Collapse -
Yes there are such
by cp33 / February 16, 2008 2:27 AM PST
In reply to: Yes there are such.

Sorry Bob, I didn't know that would matter. I have an HP Pavilion dv9548 that runs Vista.

Collapse -
The Targus for example
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2008 2:45 AM PST
In reply to: Yes there are such
Collapse -
How about an inverter. . .
by Coryphaeus / February 16, 2008 8:16 PM PST
Collapse -
Powering a laptop in a car
by skipreb / February 22, 2008 11:31 PM PST

I have used a cell phone sized 250 watt inverter in my car, boat and motorcycle for 10 years and it works for the laptop and other components, as well.

Collapse -
Don't Overload Your Inverter
by chastom2 / February 23, 2008 2:21 PM PST

Be careful not plug to much into your inverter if it is connected through your car's cigarette lighter plug, as it can overload your car's wiring and cause electrical problems with your car. If all you are going to plug into it is your laptop computer, you should be fine. Some of the inverters that are rated for 400 watts and up recommend that you wire them directly to your car's battery. If you get one that is rated for 250 watts or less, you should be fine. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

Collapse -
by cp33 / February 24, 2008 8:12 AM PST

Thanks for the heads up. I am hoping to find one locally. I am going to try to stay with the 175-250 watts. I am only looking for it to letting me use my laptop while we travel.

Collapse -
4 inverters and counting
by yeahyeahright / March 10, 2008 2:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

I use my Acer Aspire 5720 15.4' for a business that I run out of my car.. I decided to purcahse an inverter so that I can use the notebook longer. I've purchased 4 inverters and none seem to work properly... I went from 90w- 400w looking for a solution.. The inverters seem to be working fine but after 45 minutes they've all made a beeping sound then shutdown... They also beep then shut down when the car is set to only run the radio and the engine is off... I would truly appreciate any help... It seems like ive tried everything to no avail.. PLEASE HELP!!!!

Collapse -
See also
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 10, 2008 9:58 PM PDT
Collapse -
Use a lower wattage inverter and keep your car running
by chastom2 / March 11, 2008 4:09 AM PDT

What is probably happening is that your inverter probably has a feature that can tell when the charge on your car's battery is getting to low. It is shutting down to keep from running the charge on your battery down to the point where you can't start your car. I would suggest that you go with the lowest wattage inverter that will power everything that you need. The higher the wattage, the faster it will use up your car's battery. Also, the wiring in your cigarette lighter is not rated to carry the amount of current to run a 400 watts inverter at full load. My suggestion is use an inverter rated for 100 watts and keep your car's engine running if you are going to use your computer for long periods of time while plugged into your inverter.

Collapse -
about laptop in car
by loveme_ook / March 18, 2008 1:17 AM PDT

you have add suitable circuit between input power supply b/w car to laptop because from car there is not much electric supply which fullfil proper current, it will affect your laptop charger so there must be condenser or circuit b/w car and charger with give proper supply to laptop...!

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Cameras that make great holiday gifts

Let them start the new year with a step up in photo and video quality from a phone.