We’ve all been in this situation: you get to your desk at work, pull out your laptop, and dig your hand to the bottom of your bag only to find nothing. You forgot your charger at home. Again.
There’s really no worse way to start the day than realizing you have to schlep your way back home to get your charger. But this headache could be avoided if you had a universal laptop charger in your work bag or at your work desk all the time.
There are a bunch of universal laptop chargers under generic brand names out there, but the good ones can fit a wide selection of laptops, offer faster charging times, or have quality-of-life upgrades beyond the basics. Just be sure the universal laptop charger’s wattage is higher than the wattage required for your laptop, otherwise, you risk throttling, crashing, or even bricking your computer.
Here’s our list of some of the best universal laptop chargers that’ll free up your headspace for the more important things.
At this price, it’s a no-brainer to buy this USB-C laptop charger to keep as a spare in your bag or at your work desk. The Nekteck charger comes with its own cable and is smaller than the standard 60W laptop charger. The brand originally started as a massage gun manufacturer but has since gained a lot of popularity by making USB-C chargers that are certified by the USB-IF.
Even though a lot of laptops are being built with USB-C ports now, we’re still in this weird gray area where older models still need different charging ports. There are a bunch of universal laptop chargers with various tips on Amazon, but the ZOZO charger has made its way to the top. If you want something that can fit most laptops that don’t use USB-C, the ZOZO 90W charger and its 16 interchangeable tips should fit the bill.
Alright, so maybe you don’t want to carry a large power brick around to charge your laptop. We get that. In that case, the super compact, but more expensive Anker 735 Nano II 65W charger can still charge most small laptops that use USB-C like MacBook Pros, Google Pixelbooks, and Microsoft Surface Pros.
Just like the ZOZO laptop charger, this charger from Anoak has 16 tips to fit whatever pre-USB-C laptop you need it to. The Anoak charger is way less popular than ZOZO’s, but it’s built with three USB-A charging ports that let you charge multiple devices. If decluttering and cutting down on chargers is what you’re trying to accomplish, the Anoak might be the pick for you.
The design space for universal laptop chargers really isn’t that unique and Belker’s model falls right into line. The one advantage Belker’s universal laptop charger has over the competition is its much slimmer design. But, on the other hand, it also only has 15 tips compared to the 16 that other chargers on the list come with.
No doubt you’ll run into a bunch of universal laptop chargers that don’t really inspire confidence when searching online. But TKDY’s charger comes with a bunch of electrical safety certifications if you’re worried about frying your computer or burning down your apartment. Compared to the others, TKDY’s charger is only 65W and offers 10 tips, notably lacking the yellow rectangular pin for some Lenovo notebooks.
If you’re really not down for some random brand on Amazon, Targus — which has built a reputation making laptop bags, docking stations, and other tech accessories — makes a 5-tip universal laptop charger with built-in power supply protection. The Targus charger is designed to protect your laptop from overheating, overvoltage, or excessive current so you don’t have to worry.
So far, these universal laptop chargers have been for notebooks, small laptops, and the like. But, if you’re trying to get another charger for your laptop that you use for gaming, video editing, or anything really intensive, you need one that can handle a much higher wattage. The Insignia charger offers eight tips and a 10-foot cord.
Say what you will about Amazon and its Amazon Basics line, but few USB-C chargers offer two USB-C ports alongside two USB-A ports. The four-port design gives you the flexibility to just charge your USB-C laptop in the top slot that will max out at 100W or charge multiple devices and your laptop at a lower wattage. Like the Anker Nano II, the Amazon Basics charger doesn’t come with its own cable.