How to find a power supply for a US laptop for use in UK, France?
January 2, 2006 1:49 PM   Subscribe

US/UK/Europe Laptop Power: Help me use my Compaq laptop in the UK and France.

When I've travelled in Europe recently, it has generally been for pleasure; I've been able to use Internet cafes and such to access e-mail, etc. This has been more than adequate, as I didn't want to lug a computer around with me while vacationing.

However, I've got business travel scheduled for the winter and spring of 2006, to London (and quite likely Paris as well), and I need to bring my own laptop with me... these are longish, working trips, and I need my work computer along for the ride.

I have a Compaq nc6220, which uses a standard 65W HP power supply. Said power supply claims to accept input in the 120-240V range, and produces output of 18.5V, 3.5A, 65W.

In the best of all possible worlds, I'd be able to find a properly-shaped power cord to plug into my existing, seemingly sufficiently versatile adapter, yes?

However, I've already searched the HP web site (found nothing), and Googled around a bit, without finding anything that looks like a definitive match.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who's ever faced this problem. What have others done in a similar situation?
posted by enrevanche to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think that your laptop will figure out the voltage out all by itself, so all you will need is a simple adapter (so, not a converter, rather just one of those things that changes the prongs from flat to round). You can buy one at any electronics or travel supply store. This one is pretty expensive, but it will give you an idea of what I mean.
posted by echo0720 at 1:54 PM on January 2, 2006

Yep. Just grab a $5 plug adapter kit from Radioshack and you should be set. You don't need a voltage converter. Works for most cell phones too. Not electric razors or hair dryers, though.
posted by nyterrant at 2:01 PM on January 2, 2006

I think you're going to need one of these and one of these.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:04 PM on January 2, 2006

The UK and France use different adapters, but like nyterrant said, get one of these voltage converters and you'll be good to go. I'm living in the UK for a year and use my adapter every day with my laptop - no problem!
posted by k8t at 2:17 PM on January 2, 2006

k8t writes "get one of these voltage converters and you'll be good to go."

To clarify, you do not need a new "voltage converter" of any kind. Your current laptop power supply will handle European/UK voltages just fine. All you need is an adapter to make your plug fit into a different kind of outlet.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:27 PM on January 2, 2006

power supply claims to accept input in the 120-240V range,

So, you look up France on the chart found here: and you see that it's in that range. 230v, 50Hz. I think I'm justified in saying "voila".
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:40 PM on January 2, 2006

Thanks, y'all. That was fast.
posted by enrevanche at 3:01 PM on January 2, 2006

Your power brick for your laptop is in two parts, right? The pack with the cable to your laptop, and another cable part. You can buy the other cable part from a Currys or Dixons in the UK, and a French equivalent in France. This way next time you go the the UK or France, you can leave the adapter behind and just take the cable. That's what I do when I come to the US.
posted by djgh at 9:45 PM on January 2, 2006

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