Laptop + car use..

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Jul 30, 2006
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We're taking a major road trip in a few weeks, and I want the kids to be able to use the laptop in the car for games/movies. I would like to buy a power inverter that plugs into my power ports, but I am unsure of what size would be sufficient for use with my laptop (newish MBP 15"). I know that the plug for the computer is the 85W version, so I'm guessing anything more than that would be sufficient, but would like to know for sure.
 
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I used to use a power plug that went right from the auto port to the 'puter port. Google it... you'll find something I'm sure. OH, just came back to me... it's a charger that goes from auto to laptop. They work fine.... You can run the laptop all day long, and still have a charged battery at the end of the day.
 
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I used to use a power plug that went right from the auto port to the 'puter port. Google it... you'll find something I'm sure. OH, just came back to me... it's a charger that goes from auto to laptop. They work fine.... You can run the laptop all day long, and still have a charged battery at the end of the day.

Ultimately, I would prefer a power inverter, because I want to use it for more than just the laptop... lots of camping uses, plus charging my cell phone, have a USB port, etc.
 

Butlerkid

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I bought an inverter in 2005 ago for charging batteries and using the computer during long road trips. I simply googled for info and reviews. I just looked for it and can't find it. But it worked great...
 
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Yes a power inverter is the way to go. I have a large one in my SUV because I use it for other things but a small 200 watt unit would be more than sufficient and quite inexpensive. I did have a 12 volt power supply for one of my laptops but it would toggle on and off when the car was not running and also it was specific to that laptop.
Pete
 
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I bought an inverter in 2005 ago for charging batteries and using the computer during long road trips. I simply googled for info and reviews. I just looked for it and can't find it. But it worked great...

Thank you Karen. I did Google this topic, and found mixed results, some people saying it's fine, some people saying that a power inverter didn't have enough juice for the laptop, which I frankly find suspicious, but I'm no electrical expert...

Yes a power inverter is the way to go. I have a large one in my SUV because I use it for other things but a small 200 watt unit would be more than sufficient and quite inexpensive. I did have a 12 volt power supply for one of my laptops but it would toggle on and off when the car was not running and also it was specific to that laptop.
Pete

Thanks Pete, that's what I'm looking for. I actually have my eye on a 300W continuous/600W peak power inverter from Walmart, very inexpensive at around $40-50. Like I said, I will use this for much much more than just the laptop. We camp all the time and it comes in handy for spots with no electrical hookups.

I did have a 12 volt power supply for one of my laptops but it would toggle on and off when the car was not running and also it was specific to that laptop.
Pete

This is probably dependent on your vehicle. My F-150 has continuous power to the port/lighter outlet, but my Pilot (which we will be using) does not, the power shuts off when the key is removed from the ignition.
 
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Shaun, I've used a 200W inverter for years in my vehicles. It's plenty for the laptop unless I am doing large number of NEF>Tiff conversions, then the laptop doesn't charge until it finishes the large computations. Othewise, it will be charging when the laptop is in use. I also use it to charge camera batteries, etc.
 
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You should be able to find an inverter in any auto supply store. Our Advance Auto store has 'em in various sizes. I've also used one for years for the laptop and for charging AAs for my handheld GPS, SB-600 flash, etc.
 
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New Mexico
I gave 'em out as Christmas presents last year :eek: 400 watt w/cooling fan, 2 outlets
and USB port. My kids love 'em, has auto shut-off so the vehicle will always start.
They just came back from a road trip keepin' laptops and smartphones charged up.
Scored them on a Woot or Groupon for ~$25 a piece (bought 4) Shop around! :wink:
 
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Cornpatch
A word of warning: Some electronics don't like the Modified Sine Wave many low-end inverters produce. At worst, you could take out something. At best, it may simply refuse to work.

Also, some batteries will have their lives shorted when charged by a MSW inverter.

I'd recommend getting s Pure Sine Wave inverter, or check with the manufacturer for a 12VDC power adapter. Most laptops have one available.
 
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Thanks, all! I will go ahead and order the one I had my eye on: http://www.walmart.com/ip/XOvision-XO650-600W-DC-to-AC-Power-Inverter/15779978#Specifications

I have had this one for some time now and it's worked very well.

Thanks for the link!

I'm happy with a power inverter I purchased from Lowes's (Stanley 500Watt Power inverter, $39.95). It has access for two plugs an also a plug for USB devices.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_328618-8960...=1&currentURL=?Ntt=power+inverters&facetInfo=

I can actually get this one cheaper than that by about $4 at Walmart. :smile:
 

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