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IEC single charger spec for notebook computers published

by Mark Tyson on 16 December 2013, 14:59

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab6jr

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Today the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) published its single charger for notebook computers technical specification. The new specification covers notebook computer chargers, their connector and plug, "as well as safety, interoperability, performance and environmental considerations". The IEC believe the new specification will lead to a significant reduction in the amount of e-waste related to power supplies. Thanks to a similar IEC spec published for mobile phones in 2011 the body says that 82 per cent of these devices in the EU have identical spec chargers.

This has happened a lot to laptop chargers in our family

According to data gathered by the IEC, the weight of e-waste produced every year that is brought about by laptop charger failure is equal in weight to approximately 500,000 automobiles. Due to chargers developing faults, breaking or being lost both computers and chargers end up in the bin says the IEC.

The newly accepted IEC Technical Specification 62700: 'DC Power supply for notebook computer' aims to reduce waste dramatically and allow consumers to use a single type of charger with a wide range of notebook computers. The move would also make it much easier for consumers to buy replacement chargers if the one they received with their notebook gives up the ghost.

"The IEC International Standards for the universal charger for mobile phones has been widely adopted by the mobile phone industry and is already starting to help reduce e-waste," commented IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk. "A single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers is the next step in lowering e-waste and its impact on our planet. I am proud that the IEC has yet again managed to make the best possible technical solution available."

Charger life nearing its end.

The IEC blog post also noted that some organisations are "discussing and examining the merits of a universal power adapter covering numerous ICT devices," but as such an adapter is probably a long way from being achievable this new specification can help bring a concrete solution to the notebook computer market much sooner.



HEXUS Forums :: 50 Comments

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Just make it 19v normal small round type used already by most.
Dell and a few other should shove their weird chargers.
Great idea, considering in the past a lot of manufacturers would change the connector with every new iteration of a laptop…
A universal charger for laptops can't come soon enough imho. Here's hoping that someone doesn't manage to derail it, either by patent trolling or by not-invented-here.

And how come everyone of these “universal” laptop chargers that I've ever bought from PC World etc have had the most awful whistle on them when I've used them? Am I just very unlucky or are these just a load of …

Oh, and while I'm on the subject of chargers, someone really needs to go around to Samsung and smite them most strongly around the head. I cannot see any justification why you have to use their 2A USB charger for things like the Note 10.1 because all others are blocked (they've done something funny with the socket so it can tell if you've got one of their chargers or not)
If they could also make it so the charger can fit into a defined small area, so that all laptop bags could carry the charger that would be great. Too often have I had a bulky power brick jutting out of the side/top of a laptop bag.

Apple's chargers are good - less chunky cable, built-in spool, small compact shape.
About time TBH! But I hope they do a good job of designing the spec, some common designs are needlessly fragile.

Unfortunately there are an *awful* lot of dangerously poor quality adapters/chargers out there, even some being sold as ‘genuine’ on sites like Amazon and eBay, and it can be hard to tell the difference from the outside. It would be great if a few reputable companies would release things like this universal adapter, and things like USB power supplies, with an easy way to check their validity, and have more effort put into removing the dangerous counterfeit models from the market.

The above could lead into why Samsung limit what 2A chargers can be used - some cheap chargers bodge the spec by shorting the data pins (which basically tells the device to draw as much as it wants) but then can't safely provide enough current. I'm not arguing one way or another about that choice, but I can understand why they might have made it.