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Enercell Universal Power Cord Versatile, Awkward

Reviewing: Enercell Universal Power Cord  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Computers & Laptops Expertise:
four sections to Enercell cord

The Enercell Universal Power Cord has jacks to fit many different laptop computers, but it’s shorter than the original cord, and the transformer is a different shape with awkward connections.

The power cord that came with my computer failed abruptly a few days ago. With few local choices for electronics shopping, I headed first to Radio Shack. This Enercell Power Cord was on sale, and has some nice options.

The first thing that was pointed out to me was that this comes with ten interchangeable jacks. You just need to look in the manual to determine which one is right for your computer and attach it to the end of the cord. This means that you can power your own computer, but if someone is visiting who needs a battery charge, you could simply attach the correct jack and let them use the cord with their computer. The only things you need to be careful of is that your computer takes 19VDC (volts direct current) and draws no more than 90 W (watts) of power. The Enercell Universal Power Cord

is NOT for Mac computers.

There is a huge list of computer brands and models cross-referenced with the correct jack. I suspect that if you lost this list you could just check the volts and watts of your computer, and IF those were a match you could figure out which jack fits. These connections all just push together, with no way to lock them, but they seem secure enough.

The transformer box is flat, about 2.75 x 4.0 x 0.75 inches. The end of the cord that leads to the computer is permanently attached with a thickened section that forces the cord to lie flat along the edge of the box for about an inch. Beyond that, the cord is free to bend, and I find that it often bends severely which negates the value of the thickened section, and I suspect will lead to eventual wire failure at that point. The power cord section plugs into the other side of the transformer. It is also designed to lie flat along the side of the transformer. This configuration shortens the distance the cord will reach.

The actual power plug is only two-pronged, without the grounding plug. This allows you to power the computer from older plugs or extension cords that won’t accept the three-pronged plug.

There is an optional section called a dongle, about six inches long, that you can insert between the jack and the transformer cord. This piece includes a USB socket. The salesman told me that this was an extra USB port. Not so. You can use this to power/ charge devices which receive power through a USB port. You can not insert flash drives or card readers here, and read data from them. It does add those few inches to the overall cord length, though.

The Enercell Power Cord works great. I think my old cord must have been failing for a while, because the laptop itself is running cooler with this cord.

However, it has one serious problem that I’ll just have to live with, but it’s awkward. Even with the dongle inserted, the cord from the laptop to the transformer is only 30 inches long. The original equipment one was 70 inches. This means that when I’m at my desk, the transformer has to have some of that precious desktop real estate. It used to be able to sit on the floor. Both the old and new cords have 70 inches from the transformer to the wall outlet. When I’m sitting on the couch, the new cord is barely long enough to allow me to use the computer the way I want to. The transformer box is heavy enough that I can’t just let it hang between the couch and the coffee table. It has to have a surface to support it. I hate to string yet another extension cord across the room to deal with this, so I am now limited to only one place I can sit on the couch and still use the computer with it plugged in.

Enercell is the Radio Shack brand for batteries and power accessories. They are actually made by Rayovac.

This sells regularly for $89.99, but it was on sale for only $69.99. I was happy to get a replacement cord at such a reasonable price, but the Enercell Universal Power Cord is just a little too short to be perfect.