3 easy ways to charge a laptop in your car when you're working on the go

  • You can charge a laptop in your car in several different ways, although laptops are typically charged from a wall outlet. 
  • Most laptops charge using either a power inverter or a laptop charger, and both options are relatively inexpensive. 
  • If you have a new laptop that uses a USB-C port to charge, you can charge it in your car with a USB-C-enabled Power Delivery power bank.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

With today's ubiquity of phones and tablets, you might not rely on your laptop as much as you used to, but there are still times when it's essential to be able to charge it while on the go. 

Whether you've got to finish a presentation on the way into work or just want to watch some Netflix while on a road trip, it is possible to charge a laptop while in the car. 

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How to charge a laptop in your car

You'll need to get some accessories, such as a power inverter, laptop charger, or power bank to charge your laptop in your car. Here's how to use all three accessories to charge your laptop. 

Use a power inverter

A power inverter is generally a universal solution – it'll work in any car and with any laptop. As a bonus, most power inverters are relatively inexpensive. 

A model like the Betek 300 watt power inverter plugs into the car's outlet and includes two ordinary three-prong plugs and a pair of USB ports to plug your laptop's power adapter directly into the inverter. You'll also have a couple of USB ports for your other portable gear). 

There are some disadvantages to power inverters, though. For example, they can be bulky, and inexpensive models don't generate pure sine waves, which could damage sensitive electronics.  

Use a laptop charger

Another approach is to use a laptop car charger, which, rather than having a three-prong outlet, is made specifically for a particular model laptop. You can find laptop chargers online for most laptop models, and they're generally quite affordable. Plug the charger into your car's outlet, connect the other end to your laptop, and start charging. 

Use a power bank

If you have a new laptop with a USB-C or Thunderbolt charging port, you can charge your computer in the car without involving the car at all. All you'll need is a Power Delivery (PD) power bank. Power Delivery power banks can deliver enough power to charge a laptop via a USB-C port. Unfortunately, this solution isn't an option if your laptop uses a proprietary charging port. 

ZMI's Power Delivery power bank is an excellent example of a unit with enough power to charge compatible laptops.  

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • 7 ways to charge your iPhone if you can't or don't want to use the typical wall charger

  • 'Why won't my iPhone charge?': How to diagnose and fix common iPhone charging problems

  • 'Why won't my Samsung Galaxy S10 charge?': 7 ways to fix your Galaxy S10 if it isn't charging properly

  • The best ways to charge your MacBook Pro if you want a faster, lasting charge

  • Here's why your phone is taking so long to charge, and how to speed up its charging time

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