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How do I Choose the Best Solar Laptop Charger?

P.M. Willers
P.M. Willers

Purchasing a solar laptop charger is an excellent way to run laptops for less money. A solar battery charger can also serve as a back-up or emergency power supply, or can allow you to power a laptop in a place where there are no electrical outlets. As the technology of solar chargers improves, efficiency and capabilities increase as well. Solar chargers on the market change constantly, so it is very important that you refer to the most recent technology guides for the most updated product information.

The main criterion for your solar laptop charger is the type of computer you have. Many solar laptop chargers are made for specific laptop models and will not be compatible with other styles. Due to the limited number of solar chargers on the market, it may be optimal to consult your laptop manufacturer for information on compatible solar laptop chargers.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Most solar laptop chargers have an output between nine and 22 watts, depending on the model and size that you choose. Some chargers may take up to a day to fully charge. Depending on your needs, consider solar chargers that are able to serve as a power station for other electronic devices such as cell phones and mp3 players.

There are several basic styles of solar laptop chargers. Many solar chargers double as a laptop bag for your computer. These chargers could be seen as the most practical option, and are often used by those who travel frequently or work in remote locations. Although they have added bulk, they are also a bag and do not require any additional large parts.

Another style of solar laptop charger is a solar roll. Solar rolls come in several different sizes, depending on your desired power output, and are stored in a compact and portable tube. Many solar rolls can power a laptop for up to ten hours. An additional benefit of the solar roll is that they can be linked together to provide more power. Solar rolls are relatively light and are very portable.

A blanket or fold-out solar charger functions like a solar roll. Blankets come in a variety of sizes, and although they fold or roll up to become quite compact, they can require a large space when in use. Larger fold-out solar blanket chargers can be as long as 57 inches (145 centimeters).

Another style of solar charger is the size of a small laptop, and folds open to reveal the solar panels. While these solar chargers can be quite bulky, they have been known to be the most inexpensive option for solar power. A similar design compares in size to an external hard drive. These solar chargers are generally compact and light, but may not be able to provide power for as long as devices with larger solar panels.

When purchasing a solar laptop charger, be sure to examine the parts that are included in the price. Some chargers are self-contained and include the solar panel and all parts required for usage, and others will require the purchase of a separate power bank or other additional accessories. Most solar panels will list the life expectancy of the product. This may include a limited or lifetime warranty.

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