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Laptops in the US

Discussion in 'Travel Insider Tips' started by mbeder, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. mbeder

    mbeder Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    189
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    Sydney
    I'll be in the US later in the year and am considering lugging the laptop, partly for work, and also for entertainmnet (DVDs, music, etc). How do I get around the battery life issue seeing that their outlets are 110V, ie how do I retain battery charge?
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  2. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    All laptops that I have used in the past 10 years have had auto-sensing power supplies that will operate from 110-250 volts and 50-60Hz.

    Look at the power supply of your laptop and read the rated input voltage that will be printed on it. A Power Supply from an IBM Thinkpad I have head reads:

    INPUT: 100-240V ~ 1.2A-0.5A 50/60Hz

    If your power supply reads a similar input voltage range, it is ok to use in the USA and all you need is a plug adapter to match the USA physical socket. These can be purchased from mpost electronic stores (eg Tandy, Dick Smith), electrical appliance stores (eg Harvey Norman) or at the airport.

    My IBM ThinkPad power supply has a removable mains power cord, and I now carry two cords, one with Aussie 3-pin connector and one with USA connector. I also carry a bag full of different adapters so I can make one of my power cords fit any power socket I have found in the countries I visit.
     


  3. mbeder

    mbeder Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    189
    14
    Sydney
    Thanks Nelly, another one of thise situations where reading the fine print would have been useful!
     
  4. danielh

    danielh Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    352
    0
    I usually bring in an australian powerboard that can handle 110-240 and a single power plug converter to that country.

    I then just plug in my power compatible Australian adapters into the powerboard.

    I do this primarily with 220-240 compatible countries like Hong Kong but the this should work with 110-120 USA as well depending on the powerboard.

    Regards
    Daniel
     
  5. arun

    arun Member

    Sep 5, 2002
    311
    0
    Sydney
    Most of the gadgets that you will buy in Australia or Asia (laptops, phones, palm, video cameras) now come with "variable voltage" power supplies or chargers. (Of course make sure that you check that - it will be written in the power plug - but I am quite certain major brands do come with that). So all you need is a $10 adopter that NM suggested.

    However, I found that the gadgets sold in US are 110V. The stuff (portable dvd, video camera) is very cheap in New York, but I did not buy as they said I need to buy and carry a Voltage Converter for another $50.00. Money was not a problem, but the thought carrying extra stuff for these "portable" devices always got me to decide against buying any electrical stuff.

    Regards
    Arun
     


  6. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Not always with phones! I bought a new Nokia phone, being sure to buy a tri-band phone specifically because I want to use it in the USA. It comes with a 220-240V plug pack only. Nokia then sell a "universal" power supply for an additional $50 or so!

    Its a good thing that my old Nokia charger is the Universal type and save DC supply specs. So I now have a 220-240V charger left at my desk, and the universal charge lives in my brief case so I have it with me wherever I go (along with my bag of adapters - those business class amenities bags come in handy for some things).

    Of course the biggest problem, as I explain it so my US colleagues before they come to Australia, is that with our electricity supply being double their voltage, they need to ensure they bring a supply of batteries for their gadgets (cameras, MP3, walkman, gameboys etc). If they buy a AA battery in Australia, it may damage their device since we have 3V AA batteries and they use 1.5V batteries. And don't lick the terminals of our 9V batteries because they are really 18V down here :lol: . Its amazing how many of them bite - almost as many as bite on my metric time explanation of my theory of darkness :shock: .
     
  7. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    :shock: Goodness, NM, you had me going what tha ...? for a bit!

    Too early in the day for that sort of stuff :?

    :D
     
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