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How to find the right laptop charger

You’d think that purchasing a new laptop charger should be a relatively simple process, but that’s sadly not the case, as a fair amount of research is required. 

Purchase the wrong charger, and it may not deliver enough power to charge up the laptop at a sufficient speed. It’s also possible that your charger won’t even fit into your chosen laptop, making it a pointless purchase.

To help ensure you avoid these potential problems, we’ve created this guide to help you find the right laptop charger. We may even help you save some money, as sometimes a universal charger can be cheaper than the default option bundled with your PC. 

So if you’re looking to buy a new laptop charger, make sure to keep on reading so you maximise value for money. 

Check the connection 

The very first thing you need to consider when buying a laptop charger is whether it uses the right connection – otherwise, your charger won’t even be able to plug into the laptop. 

USB-C is gradually becoming the default charging connector for laptops, and looks like an oval. It’s the same connector used on modern smartphones, which makes it handy for using one universal charger for multiple devices.

What is USB C?

Not every laptop uses USB-C though, as many still use the pin design, which can vary in design and size depending on the manufacturer. This connection will likely look like a symmetrical circle, and is often used by power-hungry portables such as gaming laptops. 

If your laptop uses a pin, then it’s probably best to be on the safe side and purchase the charger directly from the manufacturer. In order to find out the specific laptop model you own, you can find your laptop’s serial number on the underside of the chassis.

If you’re keen to get a third-party charger, as it most likely will be cheaper, then make sure to visit your laptop manufacturer’s website to check the exact specification of the pin. 

MacBook Air M3 magsafe port
Magsafe – Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

And then there are also a number of proprietary chargers from select manufacturers. For example, Apple now uses MagSafe chargers for its latest MacBook laptops, while Microsoft continues to use Surface Connect. 

Determine the wattage of your laptop 

The second step is to make sure that your charger is powerful enough to meet the wattage requirements of your laptop. If the charger wattage is too low, it may still power the laptop, but at a slower rate – maybe to such an extent that you won’t be able to use the laptop as it charges. 

This means that smartphone chargers are usually not powerful enough for your laptop, which is a shame when they’re both using the same USB-C connection. 

The wattage of a laptop should be printed in small text on the charger that was bundled in the box. For example, when inspecting the text on our Samsung laptop, we can see that it says 140W. 

Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra laptop on wooden table.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

If you’ve lost or misplaced your laptop charger and are seeking a replacement, then you’ll need to visit the manufacturer’s website instead. In our case, Samsung listed the wattage on the official specs of the laptop, but this won’t always be the case. You may need to find a manal or visit customer services instead. 

If you can’t find the exact wattage, then it’s better to go higher than lower. A higher wattage won’t cause any damage to your laptop, although the charging speed won’t get an extra boost than what the default charger provides. That said, a higher wattage will likely be reflected in the price, so don’t expect it to be cheap. 


When purchasing a laptop charger, you have two main options: pick the official charger from the same manufacturer as your laptop, or opt for a third-party option. 

The official charger will likely cost a lot of money, but you’ll be safe knowing that it will work without issue. Purchasing a third-party charger can often be cheaper, but you’ll need to do your own research on the connection and wattage to make sure it works correctly with your laptop. There’s less risk going for a USB-C laptop charger than one with a pin design. 

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