How to Charge Your Laptop in the Car?

How to Charge Your Laptop in the Car

Here I show you how to charge your laptop at the 12V port in the car. Running the notebook in the car on the way or recharging the laptop battery in the car is easy if you know what you need to buy. The laptop is my faithful companion on my camper voyages; without him, nothing works. In my mobile office, there are only 12V and rarely 230V. So I went in search of. First on Google: “car charger for laptop” seemed to me to be a suitable search term or “universal laptop power adapter 12V”. Finally, I wanted to recharge my laptop with a car battery (living space battery).

Why not charge the notebook with the inverter

The laptop usually requires 18 volts – the car battery (or Best AGM Battery in the camper) has 12V voltage. So why bitteschön from 12V DC first make 230V AC and then again 19V DC? Every voltage change is associated with losses. The higher the difference, the more losses there are – in simple terms. That’s why it’s better if you want to charge your laptop in the car, not to go over a 230V inverter, but rather load the Notebook directly to the 12V battery.

Charge laptop in the car

If you want to charge your computer in the car, you need a notebook car charger, or better a first car notebook power supply. You can quickly load your notebook with 12V. The laptop charger for the car is plugged into the cigarette lighter and then provides your notebook with power, as at home too.

Only which is the best 12V charger for, eg, Samsung or Acer laptops? I bought a Hama car notebook power supply for my Lenovo laptop seven years ago, back then in Media Markt. The notebook power supply I would have today if I had not tried it without the 12V plug to connect directly to my motorhome board network. And I would not have confused Plus and Minus. Unfortunately, it has gone up in smoke because of the reverse polarity. Without further ado, I ordered the next 12v car adapter for my laptop at Amazon, which I still have today.

Notebook 12 Volt power supply – a brief overview of the advantages

  • Operate the notebook with the 12V battery
  • No 230V inverter required
  • No installation work because over 12V outlet
  • Significant power savings with a 12V notebook power supply possible

Review 12V notebook power supply

Whether in the motorhome, car or truck – When we charge the notebook in the car is taken 12V battery power. The more active the power supply, the longer the battery will last. I also looked at the processing and tested the service life.

I came to the following test result:

  • It gets lukewarm even under load
  • Standby power consumption is pleasingly low at 0.05A (0.62W)
  • Processing first class
  • The plugs are well coded; a wrong insertion is therefore not possible
  • The life: after seven years of continuous operation, it is still not broken !!
  • Excellent service from HAMA – free adapter delivery
  • The price is fair for the performance offered

My test conclusion:

I have not regretted the purchase of the Hama 12V Universal Notebook Power Supply 120W and can recommend it to anyone with a clear conscience.

Practical – HAMA car notebook power supply with ten adapters

Ten adapters are included

You do not know for sure if the car notebook power supply is also suitable for your laptop? The probability is high – because there are ten adapters for the most popular notebooks included. If the adapter ideal for your computer should not be there, do not worry, Hama will send you a suitable one for free.

An excellent service – I think!

70 watts 90 watts or 120 watts – Which universal laptop power supply do I need?

When buying a 12V Universal notebook power supply, you should first have a look at the original 230V notebook power supply because there is usually the performance on it. Or at least the output voltage and the maximum current. If there is no performance, you have to calculate shortly. Voltage (V) x Current (A) gives the power that the notebook power supply has. With this basis, it can now go to the purchase of a universal power supply for 12V. If your laptop power supply has a maximum power of 80 watts, then you need the next more abundant unlimited power supply. So the 90W. If you are not sure, then buy the 120W Universal Power Supply 12V. With that, you are definitely on the safe side.

Do not worry the notebook will not work if the power adapter has too much power. The value indicates only how much the power supply CAN perform at maximum. In general, the real power is anyway far below the specified on the power supply. The laptop gets the energy it needs – so it will not be overloaded with overcurrent.

Specifications / Hama car charger for notebooks

Hama Laptop Universal Power Supply 12V 120 Watt
USB portNO
Number of adapter plugs10
External dimensions width5.8 cm
Outside dimension height3 cm
External dimension length11 cm
Input voltage range12V
Max. Output power120 W
Max. Output current15-20V 6A | 22-24V 5A
output voltages15,16,19,20,22,24 V.
e-marking for motor vehiclesYES

Plug service from Hama

The HAMA promise: if the adapter that fits your notebook should not be there, Hama will send it to you for free within a few days. That’s what I call an unbeatable service that I’ve never found anywhere else. Just go to the page of Hama (link is on the box) and order the right plug.

This is how the plug service from HAMA works

There you enter now the number of your universal notebook adapter at the top. Then you fill out the form, with laptop manufacturer and exact type designation. Then enter your contact details and your address, send the form. HAMA will then send you the right connector.

Notebook Power Supply 90W for 24V – for trucks

HAMA also offers the universal power supply 12V / 24V especially for 24V vehicle systems


  • Universal laptop power adapter
  • Car adapter 12/24 V for power supply in car, truck and camper
  • LED function display provides information about the device status
  • USB power socket provides power to additional USB devices
  • Universal notebook power supply in a compact, flat design
  • automatic switching of the output voltage via a choice of adapter tip
  • Ten additional adapters for different models of common manufacturers
  • Operation via the cigarette lighter
  • Output voltage: 15 – 19V
  • Output power: 90W

Alternative manufacturer to Hama 12V notebook power supply

Cheaper is it at Sunydeal 3 in 1 – Universal laptop power supply 90Watt 12V-24V 230V

Sunydeal offers a 3 in 1 device at an unbeatable price. The universal laptop power supply can be operated with 230, 12V and 24V. It also has a USB 2A output for charging from the phone. A great device with a few weaknesses. The slide switch for the voltage setting is located on the side and can, therefore, be adjusted easily by mistake. Unfortunately, I can not say what the life expectancy of a power supply of this price class is.

MacBook Pro MacBook Air in the car

Of course, Apple wants to have another fresh sausage, and the universal car chargers do not fit Apple devices. But here it can be helped. Amazon offers a suitable 12V car charger for every Apple device.

Car Charger for MacBook Air with MagSafe

This, identical to the original charger, car power supply for the MacBook Air can be used to charge and work at the same time. It is suitable for conventional cigarette lighter with an output power of 16.5V and 3.65A.

Macbook in the car and truck loading

Also for the Apple MacBook 13 “there is a suitable 12V adapter to load the MacBook in the car. The 60-watt car charger for Apple MacBook can be operated both with 12V and 24V in the truck. It has an output of 16.5V (3.65A) and 1.2 meters of cable.


With a notebook power supply for 12V can save significant energy. Such a laptop power supply is also a lot cheaper than a new inverter in the motorhome. It is worthwhile in any case, to operate the laptop with 12V instead of 230V.