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A significant portion of work has been digitalized in the contemporary era, and laptops have emerged instrumental in the process. Speaking of which, laptops run on a battery. Is there a minimum wattage needed to charge a laptop? We’ll know by the end of this article.
Mobile devices such as laptops use less electricity when plugged into the wall than an external display. Think of it like you communicating with a person directly and, on the other hand, using a mediator to convey your communication or “energy” in this case. Generally, laptops use much less energy than desktops since they operate using a battery and are hence designed to be more power-efficient.
How many watts are required to charge a laptop?
A standard laptop uses an estimated 50 watts of electricity and a safe range for a wall adapter power supply ranges between 45 to 96 watts. Usually, a wall adapter has to output at least 29 to 31 watts to enable a laptop’s smooth functioning.
If you’re looking for an even more simplified answer, one can find out the battery charging voltage and capacity values for their laptop by looking at the charger that came with it. Multiply the voltage by amperage to calculate power consumption (for instance, 19.5V ~4.62A; 90watts). The wattage written on the charger adapter is usually the maximum potential amount the adapter can supply.
However, these are estimates provided by different users based on their unique experiences and there is no one perfect answer to this since it depends on various factors, preferences, and circumstances.
Concisely, the standards mentioned above are an average output and do not necessarily go for every device or situation. For instance, if you have a larger laptop, a 30-watt wall adapter might not be able to charge your laptop as fast as you are draining it; not every USB C wall adapter is capable of delivering enough juice to charge your laptop.
Factors on Which the Power Consumption Depends:
Power consumption varies in every laptop and also depends on usage i.e. when not in use a laptop consumes minimal energy. Similarly, external factors influence power usage like the internet would require more energy.
Ideally, to resolve your individual dilemma, it is suggested to briefly go through the following elements or factors that determine or influence the power exhausted in charging a laptop to arrive at a plausible conclusion.
Screen Size plays a role in determining the watts used in charging a laptop. The bigger the size of the screen, the more power it exhausts, just like big car engines take up more fuel than smaller car engines for running. To exemplify, a 14-15’’ screen will consume say, an average of 60 watts when plugged in for 6 hours; a 17’’ screen may use 70 watts, an 11-13 ‘’ 50 watts, and so on.
Size plays a crucial part in Laptop Adapters too. The more the surface area of adapters, the more power they take up just like new Samsung super-fast charging bigger model chargers are getting launched these years that consume more power to enable the super-fast charging to your mobile phones.
The plug on a 15-inch laptop charger uses, say, a 65-watt power supply whereas, a 17-inch laptop charger uses a 90-watt power supply. Also, a bigger battery takes a long time to recharge than a smaller one.
Similarly, CPU– extra load on CPU requires more power.
More Power = More Watts
A larger/advanced laptop consumes more power for hassle-free running. Dell Inspiron E531, when plugged in and running, but performing no particular task, the system consumes 110 watts, according to the watt meter whereas, ThinkpadW510 in idleness, uses 28 watts of power and at the highest level gives a reading of 88 watts.
Quite apparent isn’t it, a high resolution, more advanced, costlier, and bigger technology demands more maintenance similar to a piece of new advanced machinery that demands higher outlay.
Other factors affecting this are internal components like graphic cards that use more power. The magnitude of external components is also directly proportional to the power consumption. These additional components like keyboard, mouse, etc influence the power requirements.
Likewise, the more the operations running on the laptop like multiple software, constant wireless connections, Bluetooth connectivity, peripheral devices like USB drives, pen drives, the more time and power it takes to charge.
To simplify, it works the same with mobile phones as well, the more applications you have running in the background the more time and ultimately more watts it takes to charge your phone.
Lastly, it also depends on the Battery Life and maintenance in some circumstances. The way you have taken care of your laptop, its battery life, and quality by good uninterrupted charging habits influence the quality of life of a laptop and its running.
How to Optimize your laptop for Power Consumption
If you have made it here that means you must have identified your individual requirement and looking for more. Let’s explore some ways to optimize the energy consumed by laptops since it must obviously be a concern of many that give rise to queries of this nature.
You need not be tech-savvy or painstakingly technically adequate to minimize your laptop’s power utilization, it just requires one to be meticulous and responsible regarding laptop usage, making small adjustments in daily routine.
For starters, I’d share a common mistake we all make while handling our laptops so that you get acquainted with what we’re gonna go through next.
How many of you forget to shut down your systems after use and directly shut the screens down without even unplugging? Or take a 1 to 2-hour break from your boring presentation leaving the system on including the applications, connections, and external devices also on? I’m sure many. Following approaches are going to be briefly discussed that elaborate on the above-mentioned mishandling and ways to avoid it.
The first and foremost step that is too basic to inculcate easily is to reduce the brightness of your laptop screen since it leads to a huge battery drain, I’m sure phone users would relate. Moreover, it’s also better for the eyes to work in less brightness mode so it’s a win-win situation.
Do not forget to disconnect external devices connecting to your system like sound systems, USB devices, webcams, and so on after their use. The peripherals not in use should be unplugged to save power.
A little research hurts nobody, so surf through various sources and find a power-efficient browser since many unnecessary tabs running on your browser can consume your internet and CPU resources, causing significant power exhaustion. One should prefer closing these futile tabs to save power and use a power-efficient browser. The best recommendation on google is Microsoft Edge and Opera.
The next noteworthy method is to adjust power settings, put your laptop in sleep mode when not in use. If you are a frequent user and put your laptop aside during breaks then it is really advisable to rather put it to sleep rather than shut it down since it keeps the laptop from consuming any power in this mode and also saves the power required to turn on your system and then shut it down.
Going on with the self-awareness techniques, you should invest in a laptop that is Energy star compliant. Energy Star is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s symbol for energy efficiency. Every product that earns the Energy Star symbol is guaranteed to deliver quality performance and energy savings. Don’t you look for recognized and accredited symbols in almost everything? For instance, a hallmark while buying jewelry.
Last but not the least, one should be updated in this modern era and refrain from going on with obsolete technology. In this case, resorting to the latest hardware and technology that are more power efficient than older ones will help. To exemplify, if you are not into gaming, but have a high-performing graphics card, you should instead go for the onboard graphics card.
If you become diligent enough to be thorough with these, you wouldn’t need to bother about the power consumption or watts required to charge your laptop. If nothing, turning on the power saver mode is always an option.
In a nutshell, if you are a layman and are unable to grasp all the tech details, you can simply check your laptop’s underside and check the specs, find input and output, multiply the voltage by amperage to determine the power required, and then do the same with your charger and find the output section to multiply the voltage by amperage and calculate the power in watts and make a relevant comparison.
Notably, it is necessary to provide the power consumption at full power, but slightly higher power consumption can be expected. Owing to this, the system uses up to 70% of the network bandwidth, and 30% is released as heat into the atmosphere.
Some of the laptops with the best battery life that I can recommend are Dell Inspiron 3542 and 3521, Apple Macbook Air, Lenovo Think Pad X260, Lenovo Yoga 920, and you can go for HP Chromebook for an affordable option as well.