Netbook external power supplies
Ken in Regina
I have a friend who is looking seriously at buying a netbook and it raises a good question. The marketing literature for the netbooks makes a really big deal about the size and weight of the netbooks but it is really hard to find out what the external power options are.

Do they come with a power brick like laptops? Is it any smaller and lighter?

Is there any simple way to connect them directly to 12V DC power instead of having to use an AC power brick and 12VDC inverter?

I'm interested in the answer for all examples, Acer, Asus, MSI, etc. Thanks for you help.

I checked a couple of those. The MSI adapter output is 20v @ 2A, Acer is 19v and ASUS EEE is 9.5V @ 2.3A and the 1000H is 12v. Some of the ASUS users said a cheap Radio Shack auto adapter multi-output worked ok. I hope it is better than the old one I have; works ok with the r2h @ 12v ~ 2A but it sure is electrically noisy. Not surprising as there is only one i/c in it.

I have a Belkin power adapter that would probably run the MSI or Acer with no problems with the right tip. It only goes down to 16v so no go with the ASUS. Its also a little pricey for such inexpensive netbooks.

My wife's Dell Mini-9 came with a 19v, 1.58A wall-wart.

For my Toughbook, I use a dc-dc adapter from Lind. I actually have several of these, and they are great, though a little expensive. Their website lists adapters for the Dell mini-9 and the Acer Aspire. I don't see the Azsus or MSI listed. www.lindelectronics.com

I know several folks on the forum are Ham radio operators, and the great thing about the Lind adapters is that they are very quiet at RF compared to most of the inverters on the market.

The Acer Aspire One power supply is 1.75" x 3.75"x1.2". Roughly the size of my cell phone, but 2x as thick. MUCH smaller than the standard power brick that I have with the other laptops I have owned. My DeLorme PN-20 GPS is bigger than the Acer power supply.
The right answer to you question, Ken, is a wide input range DC/DC converter.

The one I use has been built by a friend upon these specs:
lowest input = 8V (for engine crank survival of the computer, very important feature)
regulated 12V output, up to 5A continuous (in any conditions : engine off, cranking or running)

I am totally satisfied by this marvel.

Output voltage can be 19V if needed (he can change some soldered components values to adjust the output).
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