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  1. #1
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    Laptop AC adapter

    I have lost the AC adapter for my Dell Inspiron 14z Ultrabook. I have found 2 OEM models compatible with this PC. The 1st is a 65 watt and appears to be an older model. The other newer updated model is a 90 watt. Both have the same output voltages. The 90 watt model has a higher output amperage. This is the one that comes up for my model on Dell's website, but the older model also lists my PC as being compatible. The older one looks more like the one I lost (rectangular). The newer one is slimmer and somewhat rounded on the edges.

    Is there an advantage to getting the more powerful model (I always run off of AC power). When I was running my previous model, one of my USB ports would not run my external cooling fans at full speed, but would run a thumb drive. The other port had no trouble. Not sure this has anything to do with the AC output power or not. Of course the 90 watt model is more expensive.

    Thanks for any input

  2. #2
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    It is unlikely that the more powerful model will have any effect on your external cooling fans; that's entirely dependent on how much power the USB ports deliver, and their output is controlled by circuitry inside the laptop - you may actually need a USB cable that draws power from 2 ports (if you have one to spare). Even the 65w model is likely to have more output than you need. After all, it can already both charge your battery and run the laptop at full tilt at the same time.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
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  4. #3
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    It looks like the Dell Inspiron 14z was available as Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7. I'm going to guess that yours is a Core i5 as it originally came with a 90W (4.62A) PSU instead of a lesser-rated 65W (3.34A) or higher-rated 6.7A (130W) PSU.

    Whilst a 90W PSU is compatible with the lower-rated 65W (it just means the 90W PSU will supply your laptop's needs with capacity to spare), IMO it's not a good idea to try the other way around as a lower-rated PSU struggling to supply a laptop may end up having its working life shortened due to possible over-heating. That's if it works at all... in my experience newer Dell laptops will detect the PSUs ampeage and will just not work with an under-specced PSU, instead showing it as a fault in the UEFI's onboard diagnostics.

    Hope this helps...

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  6. #4
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    The CPU installed is an I5. I did not think to include that, but I can see how it might be relevant.

  7. #5
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    Sounds like Rick has zeroed in on it for you, but just FYI, there are a couple other ways to check.

    You should be able to look on the underside of your laptop, where one of the stickers should specify the minimum required voltage and current. Voltage should be the same across all variations of that laptop, but current may vary from one sub-variation to another. As long as the power adapter you get meets or exceeds the minimum current spec on the sticker, you should be good.

    You could also check support.dell.com. Enter your Service Tag number and look up the "Original configuration". That's a list of what was shipped with the laptop, and you'll probably find a line item with the rating of the power adapter it shipped with.

  8. #6
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    A lower rated PSU will allow you to charge a sleeping laptop or run a laptop, but not charge a running laptop. Get the 90w.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #7
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Search for "Universal Laptop Charger" (with the quotes). You should choose a 90w charger, NOT a 65w charger.

    Have many times assisted customers whose laptop charger had failed - in each case was able to source a 3rd party charger that did the job for considerably less than the price demanded by the OEM.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    Confuscius said: "no use running harder if you're on the wrong road" and "any problem once correctly understood is already half-solved".

  10. #8
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    Relevant recent experience. I found an HP charger and noticed it was close in specs to the one my Dell uses.

    I tried it and the Dell refused to use it as an input power source. It knew that it was plugged in and declined to charge off of it.

    Dell power adapter:

    65 Watts
    19.5 Volts
    3.34 Amps

    HP power adapter:

    90 Watts
    19 Volts
    4.74 Amps

    All values are adapter outputs, not inputs.

  11. #9
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    Maybe it was faulty?
    The power supply only has 2 pins to connect to the lappy so there should be no way to tell whether the PSU is from HP, Dell or anyone else.

    cheers, Paul

  12. #10
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    ...The power supply only has 2 pins to connect to the lappy so there should be no way to tell whether the PSU is from HP, Dell or anyone else...
    2 Pins? R U Sure?
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  13. #11
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    I found a 90W charger on Ebay for $15, this was about the same price s a universal. I could have got one for around $10 but was unsure of the quality. Thanks for all of the help.

  14. #12
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coochin
    2 Pins? R U Sure?
    Paul T is referring to the adapter's power tip, i.e. the end inserted into the laptop body. That has a chromed outer casing acting as the first electrical contact topped by an insulating plastic ferrule whilst inside the power tip is the second electrical contact.

    My own Dell laptop power tip:

    power-tip.png

    Hope this helps...

  15. #13
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    I have different brands of Notebooks and most have a third center 'pin' in the tip that is hard to see and those have a 3-wire wall-socket to power unit cable. I have a couple older ones that do use only a 2-wire wall-socket to power unit cable.

  16. #14
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    It seems some have a 3rd centre pin - my Acer doesn't.

    cheers, Paul

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