Last updated: 05/08/2020

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You are using an electronic device to read this article right now – a computer, a tablet, or a cell phone. All of them need a power source to operate: the electric mains or a battery. In any case, you always end up needing a charger. But what is worse than losing it and having a useless device in our hands?

When this happens, you have the possibility of purchasing a charger from the same brand, but this is rarely the most affordable option. However, you can now turn to a second gadget. The opportunity to charge all your devices and those of your friends – or anyone else, for that matter. How, you ask? The universal charger.

Key Facts

  • Compatibility is one of the most important aspects when choosing a universal charger. Take a good look at the manufacturer’s specifications to see if the make and model of the device are compatible with your charger. For laptops, pay particular attention to the charger’s plug.
  • Your use of the universal charger is key to picking the best model on the market. If your intention is to charge mobile phones, tablets, and other small electronic devices, you should look for a product with USB ports. If you want to charge your laptop, on the other hand, the type of charger you need may vary from one model to the next.
  • It is also essential to keep the voltage in mind. Some universal chargers integrate a smart charging system that detects the energy required by each device. Other models, however, will have you adjust it manually. If that’s the case, be careful to check before setting the voltage.

Our Selection: The Best Universal Chargers on the U.S. Market

A universal charger is an excellent option if your old device is broken or lost. It doesn’t matter Whether you need it for your phone, your laptop, or a camera battery – or all at once, you will find a product for every taste and need. In the following section, we will introduce you to the best models currently available out there:

Best Value-For-Money Universal Charger

Belker’s universal charger is just about everything you will ever need – at a fraction of the cost of brands-specific products. This AC/DC adapter features an easy-to-use voltage regulator so you can adjust it to the needs of each specific device. Delivered with a total of 8 adapter plugs that include a micro-USB and other standard sizes, this model will allow you to charge your cell phone and tablet, as well as your security cam or external battery.

Best Universal Charger for Laptops

Did your computer charger give up the ghost unexpectedly? Are there various laptops in your household? Then you might just need this plug-and-play universal charger. It is compatible with a wide range of brands and models, from Asus and Toshiba to Acer and Dell. In fact, it comes with a grand total of 16 plugs that automatically detect the voltage required by the computer when connected. This high-quality universal charger is ideal to have at home.

Best Universal Charger for Frequent Flyers

If you often have to travel for work, or if you simply like to visit the world whenever you have some free time, we have the perfect universal charger for you. This compact little travel adapter integrates 5 different input plugs so you can stay connected in virtually any country around the world. Whether you want to charge your laptop in New Zealand or your cell phone in Colombia, Newvanga’s universal charger is there for you.

Best Budget-Friendly Universal Charger

Last but not least, this is the perfect model for you if you’re looking for a versatile universal charger for less than $10. You can manually adjust the voltage to suit the device you want to charge, and it comes with 6 tips that will fit most small electronics. This product integrates a series of safety systems for stress-free use. Don’t forget to check the voltage that your device requires before connecting it to avoid unwanted damage.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Universal Chargers

A universal charger offers many advantages over brand products that only work with specific makes and models. That being said, we totally understand that you may have doubts regarding those differences. In the section below, we have answered the most frequently asked questions about universal chargers to help you make the best possible purchase.

The AiPower technology allows the universal charger to recognize the power at which each device must be charged.
(Source: Loisamut: 56965804/ 123rf.com)

How can I control the voltage of my charger?

Electrical appliances can operate on different voltages. Whether you are buying a new cell phone or a computer, the charger that comes with it is designed to provide the right voltage for this device. However, this is something that you have to check yourself when you are buying a universal charger.

Keep in mind that using a lower voltage may lead to your battery not charging at all.

If the charger has a higher voltage than what is recommended, on the other hand, you may very well damage your device. Nowadays, many chargers integrate different voltage settings from which to choose, depending on the needs of your electronic equipment. All you have to do is adjust the voltage using a settings wheel located on the charger.

In that regard, you should consult the manufacturer’s recommendations. Note that you can also purchase chargers that automatically detect the voltage required by the device. This is a particularly convenient and safe system that ensures proper charging of the battery. This is when the AiPower technology comes in.

What is the AiPower technology exactly?

This system allows universal chargers to recognize the power at which individual devices must be charged. That means that you don’t have to worry about adjusting the voltage yourself. Simply connect your cell phone or laptop, and the charger takes care of the rest. Your device will be charged more safely.

The best about this feature is that each USB port (if your charger has several) is individually matched to each connected device. That way, you can charge devices with different voltage needs all at once. In fact, the AiPower technology also provides the fastest and safest charging speed for every electronic equipment.

Which devices can I charge with a universal charger?

This will depend on the charger you buy. Certain models are designed to work with the vast majority of cell phone and tablet brands. That being said, you should always check the compatibility with all your devices before making your purchase. Other universal chargers will allow you to charge a wide range of laptops.

In addition, some models can charge other types of electronic devices. These include e-book readers, cameras, shavers, batteries, and even Bluetooth speakers. In the end, you should choose a universal charger that is compatible with as many of your devices as possible. The most versatile models will allow you to connect all of your electronics.

There are different types of universal chargers depending on the devices they can work with. Those equipped with USB ports are the most common.
(Source: Ppalis: 58941339/ 123rf.com)

What are the advantages of universal chargers?

Universal chargers offer various benefits that brand or model-specific chargers do not. They are more affordable, for starters. If the one that came with your electronic device stops working or if you lose it, it is generally cheaper to get a universal charger rather than an original model.

However, these products do come with a couple of drawbacks. In some cases, their main disadvantage is that you have to pay particular attention to the voltage to avoid damaging your device. In the table below, you can compare the pros and cons of universal chargers:

Advantages
  • They are generally cheaper than original chargers.
  • Most models allow you to charge several devices at once.
  • You can connect a wide range of electronics.
  • They are compatible with the vast majority of brands.
  • Some universal chargers automatically detect the voltage required to charge the device.
Disadvantages
  • Certain models cannot automatically recognize the voltage needed.
  • If your device has a technical issue, you may have problems with the warranty.

What types of universal chargers are there?

There are different types of universal chargers depending on the devices they can work with. Those equipped with USB ports are the most common. The devices they are compatible with depends on their voltage, but they can generally charge cell phones and tablets.
In some cases, they can charge any electronic device that features a USB plug.

You will also find laptop-specific universal chargers. These models often include different sized plugs to fit a wider range of computer brands. A third type will combine this type and the previous one to allow you to charge cell phones, tablets, and laptops all at once.

Last but not least, you can purchase universal chargers with various power plugs. These models are specifically designed to adapt to the sockets in different regions of the world. While you can use this type of adapter at home, it is best suited if you often travel outside of the U.S. In addition, to the AC power plug, it usually features USB ports as well.

If I want to I should buy
Charge cell phones, tablets, and similar devices A universal charger with USB plugs. The more you have, the better.
Charge my laptop A universal charger with adapters for computer plugs
Travel wit hit A universal charger with different power plugs
Forget about the voltage issue A universal charger with AiPower technology

Buyer’s Guide

Do you ever go a whole day without having to charge at least one electronic device? We know we don’t. Universal chargers are an excellent alternative in case you need to replace the one that came with your cell phone or laptop. We have told you just about everything you need to know about these products, but there are still several key criteria that you should be familiar with. They will help you pick the model that best suits your needs.

Use

The first thing you have to do is think about the devices that you want to charge with your universal charger. If you need to charge devices through a USB port, such as cell phones or tablets, it won’t be hard to find; these are the most common models on the market. Remember that the more ports it features, the more devices you can charge at the same time.

If you need to charge your laptop, on the other hand, you will have to look for a universal charger with the right plug. Once again, the more plugs the product has, the more versatile it will be. Finally, if you often travel and need a model that can adapt to every country you set foot in, one with multiple plugs for different regions is what you’ll be looking for.

Universal chargers offer various benefits that brand or model-specific chargers do not. They are more affordable, for instance.
(Source: Jipen: 103548238/ 123rf.com)

Voltage

As we discussed earlier, the energy required for charging can vary from one device to the next. This is why it is essential you make sure that the universal charger you buy is compatible with your electronics’ requirements. If you fail to use the adequate voltage, your device may not charge correctly or may even be damaged.

Some universal chargers allow you to adjust the voltage manually. Other models integrate the AiPower technology that we talked about earlier. This system automatically detects the power required by each device once it is connected. In any case, we strongly encourage you to check the manufacturer’s specifications if you have any doubts regarding the compatibility of two electronic products.

Connectivity

In the same vein, it is vital that you make sure that your charger offers the right connection option for your device. As we explained above, the most common type will feature USB plugs. These are suitable for tablets, cell phones, and other similar devices. On the other hand, you can purchase universal chargers with laptop plugs.

These are perhaps the most complex products since manufacturers generally specify a list of brands and models compatible with their universal chargers. It is crucial that you pick a device with the right plug for your computer. It must be identical, both in shape and thickness, to your regular charger. Otherwise, you are running the risk of damaging your computer connection.

Some universal chargers can charge just about any type of electronic device. These include e-book readers, cameras, shavers, batteries, and even Bluetooth speakers.
(Source: Jipen: 103547865/ 123rf.com)

Number of Plugs & Connections

The more connectivity options your universal charger has, the more devices you will be able to charge at the same time – not to mention that you will only need a single power plug. When it comes to laptop chargers, the same applies; the more plugs it features, the wider range of equipment you can connect. That way, you can share it with family members or even strangers when you’re traveling.

Security

There is one last factor that is absolutely fundamental: security. Most universal chargers come with different safety systems against circumstances such as overheating, overcharging, or short-circuits. In fact, some models are even manufactured with fireproof materials for added safety.

If a universal charger doesn’t comply with international safety standards, it could be dangerous. It may damage the device you are charging or burn a power socket. In certain environments, a spark can be a tremendously dangerous hazard. But we don’t want to scare you off! Simply make sure that your product is approved by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) or has a European Conformity Certificate, marked with the CE logo.

The voltage required for charging can vary from one device to the next.
(Source: Sirphiroon: 86362699/ 123rf.com)

Summary

Losing your cell phone, tablet, or laptop charger can be a real pain. Buying another one from the same brand can sometimes set you back more than you would expect. Luckily for you, universal chargers are a more affordable and practical alternative. They allow you to charge any device, regardless of its manufacturer or model.

In addition, universal chargers give you the possibility of charging several devices at once. Remember to think about the type of electronic device you want to charge before purchasing a specific model. This will save you the trouble of ending up with a useless product. In the end, universal chargers are a practical option to keep handy.

We hope that our guide has helped you find the perfect universal charger for your needs. If that’s the case, feel free to share these tips on your social media so that your friends and family can stay connected at all times. You can also leave us a comment in the section below!

(Source of featured image: Jipen: 103548449/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Brett Holmes Technology Geek
Brett is a keen observer of the latest technology trends and knows his way around the industry because he runs an electronics store. He writes about it in his spare time and wants to help others learn more about the technology industry.