Targus Universal Power Adapters – Beware!

28Jan, 2010

A few people coming in for laptop power jack repairs have also brought in the universal power adapters they use as a replacement for the original AC adapter that came with the laptop, which they lost.

From what we’ve seen Targus dominates the universal power adapter market with this. From what we’ve seen the adapters themselves work alright (though there are reports of overheating around the internet). The main problem we’ve seen is that there are a wide variety of tips available, and several tips may work to power one laptop model even if they don’t fit properly.

It usually goes like this: the user buys a new universal power adapter, which comes with 7-10 tips for various laptop models. He sits down with his laptop and tries to jam each of the tips into the laptop power jack one by one until he finds one that goes in. Then he stops looking and starts using this tip. The problem is even if it goes in, it may not be the right tip, and an ill-fitting tip will damage the laptop power jack over time as it bends the contacts out of place.

To find the tip that fits, use Targus’s Tip Configurator. Simply enter the make and model of your laptop and it will tell you the correct tip to use. Keep in mind that many tips are not included with the universal adapter and must be ordered separately. They’re around $10 each, but if you already have the universal adapter it’s probably worth it, as it may save you an expensive laptop power jack repair necessitated by prolonged use of an ill-fitting tip.

Another option is to just buy the power adapter made for your laptop by the manufacturer and not bother with Targus’s crap. This is what I would do.

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