Monday, August 9, 2010

Failed Laptop Power Supply CQ50

Commentary: Failed HP Laptop Power supply is expensive to replace. This article offers no help on how to repair.

My daughter's HP/Compaq laptop's power supply failed last week.
The voltmeter showed electricity going in but none coming out and there was no obvious physical damage.

This is one of those "smart" power-supplies, with a center data-pin, and the pin was intact. A similarly-expensive Dell power supply worked, proving the problem was with the supply. (I found it interesting that the DELL supply, with its smart-pin, worked on the HP; I did not test, but I suspect both would behave the same -- they would power the laptop but would not charge the battery unless it recognized the power supply. As I've written before, this is a safety feature to keep the batteries from overcharging and exploding.)

The Pain:
The original laptop cost $280.00.
The replacement power supply cost $80

That works out to be nearly 30% of the laptop's original cost - for a power supply!

Interior Shots:

From HP's own site, reviews showed a remarkable 82% dissatisfaction rate with this product. Apparently it likes to fail.

Having no choice, I ordered a replacement and it is in transit. I thought you might like to see what was inside. As you look at the pictures, keep in mind there are no user-serviceable parts. A table-saw was skillfully applied during the dis-assembly and naturally I don't condone this behavior.

With the cover and metal shielding removed. Note the silicon globs (gobs):

Except to my wallet, no obvious problems were found. I'll probably examine the unit more carefully with a volt-meter, but the back-side circuit board contains several integrated circuits, which I am not skilled in diagnosing. However, none looked, smelled or tasted fried:

Compatibility: HP G50, G60, G61, G62, G70, G71, HDX16, HP Pavilion dv3, dv4, dv5, dv6, dv7, dv3000, dv3500, Compaq Presario CQ35, CQ40, CQ45, CQ50, CQ60, CQ61, CQ70, CQ71

New Product:
HP / Compaq 90w Laptop Power Supply NW199AA#ABA

Original Product:
Series PPP009h
Manufactured by Hipro Electronics (Suzhou)
HP labeled part number: 463552-02
Output: 18.5v / 3.5amps 65watts
Center data pin: Read this review on a similar Dell unit, which explains this pin.

The original power supply was 65watts, but HP is recommending a 90watt replacement, hence the discrepancies between what I had and what I ordered.

Naturally, the day after I ordered, HP dropped the price by $12. I'm writing.

Clearly, at these prices, this is a segment of the industry that is too proprietary. I understand that all cell phone manufacturers are standardizing their powersupplies so they can be used across brands. This will drive down prices and will be healthier for the environment. I hope the computer industry follows. The way it is now is too painful for customers and it tarnishes the brands.

Vaguely Related Articles:
Dell XPS M1530 Slim Power Supply
Battery Edge Replacement Review
Windows 7 and Vista Network Problems (Laptop Wireless)

1 comment:

  1. There are 3rd parties available. However, with this, and most new laptops, you will need that third, center pin. Read my review on the Dell XPS M1530 Slim Laptop Power Supply to see why.


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