Standards group wants one charger for all laptops

By Scorpus
Dec 18, 2013
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  1. One of the most annoying things about owning a laptop is the process of charging it. If you happen to run out of juice and don't have the charger for it on-hand, you can't simply borrow a friend's charger as...

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  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,803   +1,431

    I do to!

    Make it one charger for all phones as well.
    wastedkill likes this.
  3. Panda218

    Panda218 Newcomer, in training Posts: 95   +13

    Good luck getting Apple to switch to Micro USB.
    wastedkill, m4a4 and St1ckM4n like this.
  4. I have two laptops - the 17"needs 60W (home use) and the 12" uses 30W, (travel) and they have their own appropriately sized psu so I'm not sure how having one standard would work or be a benefit. Maybe there are power bands, with a connector for each band ?

    MicroUSB is the standard for phones and that works because mico USB already has a power spec exceeding all phones'requirements.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,879   +347

    Looking forward to seeing this standard widely used.
    wastedkill likes this.
  6. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,427   +618

    Isn't USB 3.x planned revision in the works, with up to 100W capacity? Bam, make USB the standard for mobiles/tablets/notebooks.
    Capaill likes this.
  7. Dukenukemx

    Dukenukemx Newcomer, in training Posts: 64   +14

    The reason why power adapters suck for laptops isn't just the power rating and physical connector, but companies went out of their way to require a special signal for it to work.

    You know what else sucks about lapops? They have a whitelist for certain parts, so that even if it is physically and electrical compatible, the bios has a list of approved products. So if you want to put a newer and better wifi adapter in your laptop, tough tits it won't work. Though a bios hack can fix that, but newer laptops are now locked in the bios to even prevent that.

    Why in the hell isn't there standards for building your owning laptop, like there is for desktop PCs?
  8. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,879   +347

    Pretty valid point especially these days.
  9. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 427   +19

    This is what companies should try to fix that would be innovation although 10 years in the making.
  10. insect

    insect TechSpot Booster Posts: 190   +48

    Would be nice, but Apple will never conform. They make too much money selling proprietary chargers and ****. All part of the "Apple Tax".
  11. wastedkill

    wastedkill TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,095   +222

    If the charger gave a benefit like faster charging then ye I can understand doing that but if not then whats wrong with using a universal charger? Seems like a massive waste of time to be honest and a massive pain for the customer.
     
  12. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TechSpot Booster Posts: 325   +46

    Usually if you stick with the same brands you can reuse your adapters (dell has used the same adapter for 10 years now, and Acer is almost to 10 as well). But a single adapter amongst all manufacturers will never, I repeat, never happen. If its a huge deal universal chargers are actually pretty cheap, $40-$65 in stores depending on wattage, bit cheaper online for a good brand.
  13. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 148   +39

    'I have two laptops - the 17"needs 60W (home use) and the 12" uses 30W, (travel) and they have their
    own appropriately sized psu so I'm not sure how having one standard would work or be a benefit.'

    Exactly! I am glad someone realized the flaw in this standard power AC unit for laptops. You can have a gaming laptop that needs a 150W PSU and an Ultrabook that uses just 45W. Now you end up with a huge power brick of a PSU for that small Ultrabook you bought. Additionally, this will increase costs for laptops that do not need the more expensive 150W PSU.
  14. VitalyT

    VitalyT TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,652   +507

    I don't see Apple following this standard. They always seem to have their own opinion about every computer gadget they make. They will ground the idea on being aesthetically unsatisfying to their customers.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,803   +1,431

    Thats not a flaw, it is a slight limitation to standardization! Standardization of which does not currently exist. Having 4 different power rating standards, would still better than having 1000 different proprietary power supplies.

    May I also mention power supplies have the same function, therefor having multiple variations are extreme overkill. And to add to the confusion, they all look very much the same. So if all 90W power supplies have the same function and look the same, why would the connector be different? It's all part of planed obsolescence and job security, which keeps consumers spending unnecessary money.
  16. Not a flaw. A standardized connector can deliver varying amounts of power as needed for the device or possible for the charger. Need proof? The microUSB chargers in use use varying wattages. My dumb phone can charge at 500mA. My smart phone does 1.5A. My tablet does 2A. The Vita charges at 2A as well. If you plug in a device with higher power requirements than can be provided, it can still receive power; it just won't charge as quickly or have a net increase in battery charge (though overall on-time would still be increased).

    If my G73jh was plugged in to a 40w charger, I'd still be able to last longer and, if I put it in hibernation, even charge up its battery.
  17. Capaill

    Capaill Newcomer, in training Posts: 82   +13

    It's only the connector that needs to be standardised. Given how long it will take to release it I also think the upcoming USB standard is the way to go. Then you can have power bricks of different power capacities to cater for travel or gaming laptops. As long as the connections are all universal, that's the important part.

    These days almost all Android phones and tablets charge over microUSB. I don't know about Windows devices. Who cares what Apple do -- their goal in life is to lock their customers into the most restrictive ecosystem possible so that they own you and all your future purchases.

    Let's get everyone else charging devices with USB. Some heavy load systems might take 2 USB cables initially until the standard catches up (that used to be common on external hard drives).
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  18. Puiu

    Puiu TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,035   +91

    I'm pretty sure they will still differentiate them by notebooks/ultraportables. Not only do the chargers need to change, but also the laptops themselves. Let's just see the details. This won't probably come out on new laptops until somewhere around 2015.
  19. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TechSpot Booster Posts: 267   +47

    I think the best approach would be to do a standard charger for different ranges of power delivery. I'm pretty sure people wouldn't like to carry a 150W charger for a 30W or less laptop.
  20. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 155   +22

    Having an easily replaceable DC jack makes more sense for a cause to get behind, than this which would case quite a few house fires
  21. Laptops may need 35 to 125 Watts of more power depending on the hardware inside, If IFC recommends a single universal PS, largest power rating will have to be considered and this will again cause a waste. I have three laptops at home and the 125W supply is almost three times bigger than the smallest one and weighs about four times as much. Also, some laptops with CPU benchmark 10,000 or more computing power and powerful GPU's need around 250 Watts of extended power and more for short periods, Gaming laptops with twin CPU's and are obviously out of the scope here. A universal PS is obviously viable for the low to middle range laptops or at least three or four sizes should be considered.


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