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I am going for my higher studies to USA. Since I am from India the laptop that I have works on a 220 V supply. I even have an electric shaver and a mobile charger which also will work on the same supply.

Power rating of laptop charger: 65 W (100 V-240 V ~ 1.5 A)

What are some good converters which can run all the above mentioned appliances?

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13  
But your laptop charger already works from 100V to 240V, so why would you need a converter? –  drat Jun 22 at 17:22
6  
You will probbly only need a socket adapter. You will be fine with the tension (V). –  nsn Jun 22 at 17:27
    
@nsn This may not be correct, please check my answer for details. –  Aditya Somani Jun 22 at 18:25
2  
You definitely don't need a 220V to 110V converter if you want to go from 110V to 220V. –  Phil Jun 24 at 6:03

5 Answers 5

No need for converters, your charger accepts anything form 100V to 240V. It is safe to use it anywhere in the world.

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It will only take a bit longer to charge, probably. –  Bernhard Jun 22 at 17:43
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@Bernhard no, not in the case of AC-DC, the output will always be the same. –  MeNoTalk Jun 22 at 18:13
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@MeNoTalk Take note that this is only true for devices made to operate on separate voltages and have power supplies designed for a range of voltages. This is not generally true for electric shavers, hair dryers etc. the charger as one might expect will say this on it, albeit in small letters. :) –  Aditya Somani Jun 22 at 18:24
    
@AdityaSomani My shaver is happy with 240/50 power despite being bought in the USA. I do have to use a transformer for my electric toothbrush, though. –  Loren Pechtel Jun 22 at 18:28
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Typically these days all electronic devices use a Switch Mode Power supply. Since SMPS require an active feedback loop to control the output voltage, they are typically able to deal with any mains voltages. However, electrical devices typically have no such things, and are typically tuned to the local mains voltage (and in some cases frequency). –  Aron Jun 23 at 3:07

Your laptop and phone chargers are designed to operate at a voltage between 100 - 240 V. Your electric shaver on the other hand may not be able to handle the different voltages and will not work in the USA. Unfortunately for the electric shaver, you are stuck with 220V. The best way to make sure is to check on the device or its power supply. An example of how this is written is shown below. This is from a phone charger.

Voltage range of appliance

You should do this check for any electrical device you wish to carry. Devices with a higher wattage requirement (>500W) typically do not feature cross voltage usage due to a requirement of larger power supplies. Sometimes, smaller devices such as electric toothbrushes, electric shavers, curling irons, hair dryers must be checked as well. An induction cook-top for instance will almost never support cross voltages.

If you want to absolutely use your electric shaver in the US, you are looking at spending about $30 for a step up/step down transformer or a special travel adapter for the same purpose (usually has a lower wattage rating). Without this, you can plug it, but your expensive device will not charge at an appropriate rate and you risk spoiling your battery due to overcharging, cutoffs and trickle rates.

Also charging on a lower voltage for devices not designed for that voltage means waiting for 3 days for an electric shaver to charge. Believe me I have done this before.

Take note that you will require one which allows enough wattage for your device, so I do not recommend going for cheaper options.

If you don't wish to take your electric shaver, the other two devices are designed for operation on different voltages and will not have any issues.

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4  
Some electric shavers do work with both voltage ranges. It depends on the model. Laptops and phone chargers are indeed universal in my experience. –  Gilles Jun 22 at 19:44
    
Most hotels have a special socket for shavers in toilets which have 110 and 220 volts. Also planes lavatories have that. –  MeNoTalk Jun 22 at 21:56
    
@MeNoTalk OP is travelling for a longer duration as a student. His worries would be more restricted to a general case. –  Aditya Somani Jun 22 at 23:35
    
@Gilles Indeed. But this is specific to the appliance, which I thought should be mentioned and not generalized. –  Aditya Somani Jun 22 at 23:36
    
@AdityaSomani I own a Moto G. The charger that I have reads - 100-240 V ~ 50-60 Hz (0.2 A). This would work in the States I guess! –  Animesh Pandey Jun 23 at 8:14

You will only need an adapter for your plugs, as US sockets are not equipped for either of the two plugs used in India. The adapters for the two pin Euro plugs are easy to find, the three pin a bit more challenging, but probably readily available in India before you leave.

If by chance you plan to be in the US for a couple of years of study, many laptop power supplies have a replaceable cable that goes from the power supply to the wall socket, so if it is a major brand you maybe able to find just a replacement cable in the states with the proper plug and not worry about forgetting or loosing your adapter.

For your mobile, replacement chargers are a dime a dozen in the box stores and electronic shops in the states. Likewise USB ports that plug into wall sockets are widely available in the states, if your mobile or tablet or other toys use a usb power connector.

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1  
If the cable from between the mains socket and the power supply is detachable from the power supply, you should be able to buy a replacement, regardless of the brand. The connectors at the power-supply end of the cable will almost certainly be one of the Internatational Electrotechnical Commission's IEC 60320 standard standard connectors. –  David Richerby Jun 22 at 18:47

Each charger/power supply/device will have an input voltage/frequency rating that you have to check individually. There is no generic " will/will not work" answer as all power supplies can be different. If the input rating is supported you can expect about the same performance as at your home location.

Generally there are two broad distinctions between power supplies: A Switching power supply and a "classical" pure transformer based Power Supply.

The classical are often simpler and more robust, but are usually bulkier (due to the transformer) and only support a fixed ratio between input and output voltage (based on the transformer windings).

Switched power supplies work based on switching the input voltage on and off in high frequencies (and then smoothing the lower voltage output) and thus need only a smaller (and sometimes none at all) transformer, making it often even fit into a little bigger mains plug. Due to this way of constructing it, they support a wide range of input voltages and frequencies, while maintaining the same output voltage and current.

That said you absolutely must check the rating written/imprinted on the power supplies you are going to use for your own and the devices safety

For those that will not work with other than 220/230V input voltage, you should either use a converter (mentioned in other answers) that converts from 110V to 220V, or depending on the plug type that goes into the device, buy a universal adaptor based on a switching power supply that will have the same or a better output voltage/current rating of the device you need. If you don't know if a given voltage/current rating is a sufficient one, go find someone who does (I have no idea if retail in india is a good idea to ask). If properly formulated in terms of electronic design, you might get more knowledge in answers from http://electronics.stackexchange.com

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As others said, most advanced electronic devices (laptop, phone & camera chargers) typically work with a wide range of voltages, 100-240 V (check the label!), so no voltage converter needed, only a wall plug adapter.

Some simpler appliances such as shavers, hairdryers, kitchen mixers, etc. don't usually work automatically with a wide range of voltages. But many of them will have a switch that lets you switch between ~110 or ~220 V. It'll look like a standard slot-type screw head and it will be labelled 110 / 220 V. Check your device.

If the device doesn't work with 110 V, then in the vast majority of cases it's not worth bothering with it. Voltage converters are unwieldy, inconvenient, heavy and might not be able to handle enough power to support your device (e.g. a hairdryer---a typical thing that doesn't work with multiple voltages---draws a lot of power). Stuff that doesn't support multiple voltages is almost always cheap enough that it's much better to buy it in the US. Even just considering the cost to carry it with you.

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