Picking the best AC adapter can be tricky. Not only does it have to be dependable and safe, it also has to meet the exact specifications of your device. Thankfully, many of the best AC adapters feature versatile connection options. You can power or charge a variety of electronics using a single adapter. In this article, we’ll reveal our top picks and explain how to choose the best AC adapter for your needs.
Choosing the Best AC Adapter
AC adapters condition power from one source to work with a specific device. Most convert AC to DC, though we’ve included an AC/AC adapter on our list as well. All factors must be correct in order for this conversion to properly power your device. Here are the three important factors to remember when choosing the best AC adapter:
- Voltage (V). An AC adapter has input and output voltages. Input voltages are almost always compatible with standard 120 to 240V outlets. The output voltage is the most important when matching an adapter with a device. The adapter’s output should be the same as the device’s input. For instance, if a laptop needs 12V input, you will need a 12V output adapter.
- Current (A). The electrical current of an AC adapter is measured in amps. The amperage of an AC adapter should match or exceed the amperage of your device. Even the best AC adapter models will overheat if you try to use one with a lower amperage than the device’s input requirements.
- Polarity. DC requires positive and negative poles to work. AC adapters may be positive or negative. The best AC adapter should be able to even switch between negative and positive output. Match your adapter’s polarity with the polarity of your device. A positive adapter should be used with a positive device.
Polarity can be determined by reading the label or instruction manual of the AC adapter. It is represented in symbols as a black dot with a C around it, with + and – signs on either side. The line which touches the center dot leads to that device’s polarity.
You will also need the right sized connector for your device. Many of the top rated AC adapters are universal and come with a variety of tips to match a large range of devices. Some devices, however, have unique connectors and require special adapters. Be sure your device accepts standard sized connectors.
It is critical to match these variables exactly to the needs of your device. A change in any variable may result in damage to your device or the adapter itself.
AC Adapter Top 8 Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated AC Adapters
Many devices require a positive adapter, but when you need negative polarity, choose the SoulBay Universal Charger. This adapter is extremely versatile and comes with 6 interchangeable tips. They’re designed to fit most small electronics like phones, cameras, tablets, effect pedals, and much more. Tip sizes include: 2.5×0.7mm, 3.0×1.1mm, 3.5×1.35mm, 4.0×1.7mm, 5.0×2.1mm, and 5.5×2.5mm.
It supports multiple voltages between 3 to 12V, too. Again, most small electronics fall under this spectrum. It also features a convenient USB port, rated at 5V 2.1A. Charge multiple devices at once with this one simple adapter.
The cord is a bit thin but stretches a full 45”. This comes in handy especially when charging two devices. The adapter itself is very light and small at 3oz., but feels solid and well made. When you look at its versatility, durability, and price, the Soulbay Universal Charger is a no brainer.
Laptops often outlive their adapters, and buying from the manufacturer can get expensive. The alternative is to purchase a universal laptop charger like this model. It features an incredible selection of 12 interchangeable tips that fit most modern laptops. Each is clearly labeled and rated for specific voltages and currents depending on the laptop model.
The vast majority of laptops have positive polarity, as were all those we tested against with this AC adapter. It worked exceptionally with the laptops we tested, with each tip fitting snuggly into the port. We did not test with negative polarity, though, so be sure your laptop is on the accepted list to avoid damaging your electronics. It ranges from 12 to 24V 6A depending on which tip you use.
This reliable AC adapter also features 2 USB ports, so you can connect up to three devices at once. Additionally, this adapter is perfect for homes with multiple laptops that each require different adapters. It’s also great for those who like to charge multiple devices at once.
Some electronics require AC input, in which case you may need the Amigo AM-121200A. This small AC adapter isn’t as versatile as some of the others on our list, but it’s just as dependable and accurate. It outputs 12V AC at 1.2A. Since AC alternates polarity, it will work universally with all devices which require that output.
As you would expect, the connector comes at a convenient right angle. It measures 5.5×2.1mm, so be sure it fits your device before you purchase. If you’re in a bind and need a different size, adapters are available. For instance, you could purchase a 5.5×2.1mm to 2.5×0.7mm tip adapter.
For the best AC/AC adapter, this should be your first choice. It’s built to last for years with a flawless molding and a strong cord. It is also sized and designed to fit a large variety of devices despite having only one tip.
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