Tag Archives: maplin

Why bother on a high capacity laptop battery when you can get a car inverter?

My laptop is fantastic – it’s dual core with 2GB of RAM and is powerful enough for most of the tasks I need it for. There’s only one downside – the battery. It won’t last more than about 1.5 hours even on a good day. Hopeless – even for watching a short film.

So I was thinking whether I should buy a higher capacity battery. They aren’t exactly cheap. And then there’s the thought that in a worryingly short amount of time, it will be worn out and will need replacing again. But then I thought where is the place I use the battery the most? After a good brainstorm, I discovered that the place I use my laptop most is in the car.

I’d heard about car inverters before, but had been told they were quite expensive and weren’t capable of producing very much power. Well when I was wondering around the Maplin electronics store, I suddenly bumped into one. It claimed it was capable of producing 150 watts constant and a 450 watt surge. In addition, it was just £20 to include the inverter, plus a spare fuse just incase it blew. So I thought it’s always worth a try and bought it. Then I went straight back to the car and plugged in the laptop. Worked straight out of the box.

I’ve discovered that laptop chargers generally only need between 35 and 75 watts of electricity to run, so a 150 watt inverter was easily enough to get it going. Plus there are a number of things you can run with that amount of electricity – phone chargers, camera chargers, fans, even small TVs. You can even attach a double socket and power your phone and laptop charger at the same time. So it could be perfect if you are on a camping trip and you need a bit of juice for your gadgets and gizmos. My inverter even came with a low battery warning to make sure you don’t run your car battery flat, plus it has an overheat/overload monitor.

I think it’s a great idea. It saves having to get car chargers and high capacity batteries. And it just plugs into any car cigarette lighter socket. For only £20, it’s hardly worth missing. Mine came with a year’s warranty, so you can’t go wrong. It’s ideal to keep the kids happy in the back as it can charge games consoles and the likes, or charge up your essentials on the way to work.

I’d really recommend one. They are available online and I just got mine from a Maplin store in town. You just plug it into the cigarette lighter and away you go.