Can I Safely Charge My Laptop With A Lower Voltage Cord?

Zintel51

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Jul 15, 2017
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So I'm on vacation. The car ride is very long, and like watching downloaded movies on my Chromebook to pass time. It has excellent battery life and can last the full nine-hour car trip, but I want to able to charge it in case I want to start streaming. I know they sell car charger to wall outlet converters so I plug in my stock charger, but I really don't want a string of dongles that I have to manage. I've found USB to 5.5mm cords on Amazon but I can't find any that output the 19V that I need.

So my question... Can I safely charge my laptop using a cord that outputs less voltage than what is normally used to charge my laptop? I'm not looking to be able to charge it as fast, or even faster than I'm using it. I'm just wondering if it will add a couple hours of use to my laptop, or damage it.

Laptop: TOSHIBA Chromebook CB30-C/CB35-C.
Charger: 100-240V~1.2A (input) ---> 19V=2.37A (output)

Cord: USB to 5.5 mm/2.1 mm 5V Barrel Jack
 

Someone Somewhere

Dignified
Moderator
Needs to be close to 19V. 18-20V likely fine. You might get away with 15V. 5V is very unlikely to work.

You won't get one fed from USB; there just isn't enough power. You should be able to find one fed directly from a 12V cigarette lighter plug, though.
 

Someone Somewhere

Dignified
Moderator
Needs to be close to 19V. 18-20V likely fine. You might get away with 15V. 5V is very unlikely to work.

You won't get one fed from USB; there just isn't enough power. You should be able to find one fed directly from a 12V cigarette lighter plug, though.
 

Zintel51

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Jul 15, 2017
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So using a 5V will damage the laptop? Would it charge at all? Even really slowly? Good idea on the cigarette lighter though, I feel dumb for not thinking of that :p Would this one work?

https://www.amazon.com/Satellite-PA3922U-1ARA-PA5072U-1ACA-PA5072A-1AC3-PA5192U-1ACA/dp/B005HFF65C
 

thx1138v2

Distinguished
Jun 18, 2011
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You can think of voltage as pressure. You need 19. Anything below that won't be sufficient to reach the pressure to pump anything into the battery. Most car systems are 12 volts. So one way or another you need to electrically step that 12V up to 19V.

USB provides 5V electricity and it can't supply the power you'll need to step it up to what you need.

The device you plug into a car to power a typical wall outlet is called an inverter. It converts the 12V DC car electricity into 120V AC electricity. You can then used your regular wall outlet charger to change that 120V AC electricity to 19V DC electricity to charge the laptop.

Edit: Just saw your Amazon post. Yes, that will do it also. It's made for the purpose.
 

Zintel51

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Jul 15, 2017
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Thanks! I ordered it! I like your analogy for voltage btw.
 
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