Do All Dell Chargers Work on All Dell Computers?

by Dan Stone

Not all Dell laptop chargers will work on all Dell laptops, because the individual models vary in power source requirements. The chargers, while paired with compatible models, are designed to work with all laptops that use the same type of connection and require the same power output. For example, some Dell laptops may only require 35 Watts to operate, whereas others may need over 100W. A Dell charger may work with a laptop that it wasn't intended to work with, but the difference in power output may damage the laptop.

By Wattage, Not Brand

Laptop chargers output a specific wattage, which ensures compatibility with laptops; the brand name tied to the charger model is just an assurance that the device will work. For example, if you have two Dell laptops with compatible Dell chargers running at 75W and 90W, respectively, you may get an error or damage the computer when switching the adapters. However, if you replace the chargers with another brand of charger, like Targus, Sony or Asus, that shares the same connection and wattage, the charger will likely work with the Dell laptop.

Voltage and Amp Complication

Even if the charger and laptop wattage are the same, and the two devices work together, the charger may damage the laptop because of power source differences. Wattage is calculated by dividing voltage by amperage. The alternative charger voltage and amperage should match the factory charger ratings if possible. A manufacturer replacement charger from Dell will not risk laptop damage.

About the Author

Dan Stone started writing professionally in 2006, specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television. Stone received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in communication studies from Northern Illinois University.

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