Hi I'm Miles from Online Off-grid and we've found a GREAT Best Buy product review for you. Today we are reviewing the car charger 12 volt socket charger for the laptop, and the one we're showing you today is the Gissaral 90 watt car charger. And it's just a box that comes with a very very small… nice and compact… and also you can probably tell from the video here, it’s a pretty good quality looking device.
It's very solid, it's not heavy but it's got a weight to it, so it this actually feels solid. Now, what it comes with is a cable in this case we're testing it with MacBook Apple laptops, so it comes with a special type connector that goes into the middle connector of the adapter and it then goes in this case to a MagSafe 2.
Now, you'll see I'm going to be talking about which computers, which laptops that Apple provides, that this charger is designed to charge… So, first of all, a couple key features about this product is it has three attachments… so one for a laptop in this case as I said to the MagSafe 2 connector, and you'll see two USB slots.
Now the important thing about the two USB slots is that it can handle about 2 amps if they're both used at the same time. And to give you an understanding what that means… is that the newer Apple devices and newer smartphones are able to charge on a faster charge setting. (Some of the older ones going back to iPhone 5 and before are only set to like a 1 amp setting, so they only need a slow charge.)
So this can handle those higher fast charges! Plus the manufacturer claims this to be a fast charge device in terms of laptops as well. Now one of the key things about these chargers, of course, is how does it fit into the 12 volt socket? Now here you will see a standard car 12 volt cigarette lighter socket. And one of the most important things about these is just how solid is the fit? So if I push this into the cigarette lighter socket you'll see… it does wiggle slightly. But it is fairly solid. Some of the more modern cigarette lighter sockets are much better they're slightly deeper so you do get a pretty good fit.
And to demonstrate what isn't a good fit you'll see that I've got another device here, (albeit not for laptops), but it is a USB charger and you'll notice that this really does waggle around to the point where it'll go off… the green “charging indicator” light will go off and you have to make sure you keep pushing it back in.
So you want to make sure that the adapter that you purchase in this case is the right fit, the connections are good, the pins are in the right places… to get the the best connection. And here's the reason why it's so important… for charging laptops it takes a lot… a lot more power. A lot more power! And in some cases three or four times as much power as it takes to charge a mobile phone.
It's incredibly important that these contacts here (on either side of the charger) which is where the power is delivered, have a really good secure fit in the socket. Once you've got that you're going to be much LESS LIKELY to find that (1) it jiggles and comes out and doesn't charge at all, and (2) which is actually more important… is that it doesn't end up overheating, because if you get a really bad connection and still try to deliver all that power, it can overheat and cause issues.
Let's now go and look at the laptops and the way this works once it's plugged in! Here are the test parameters that we provided for the Gissaral AM2 adapter, which is the 90 watt charge of firm laptops in this case the Apple series of laptops… And first of all, what I've done here is pulled out a typical socket to use for a cigarette light or in this case as you probably notice we're in the motor home in the caravan section in the motor home, just to show you this tested on different types of sockets.
We've tested it in the front of the vehicle on the standard dashboard mounted cigarette lighter socket… both with the engine not running (which means it's only coming from the battery) and with the engine running so you've got more charge coming from the alternator which is the engines generator to charge its own battery. It also provides power to the convenience sockets and the cigarette lighter sockets you have in the dashboard. Now in this case, this is a socket that's in the motor home, which means it's powered by a leisure battery (that's a completely separate battery to the one the vehicle uses and it's usually slightly larger and has a longer life and it gives power in a smoother process).
The other thing you can test (as we have done) is with solar power… so if you've got a solar system as well that's charging that battery you can check this out on your solar to find out if you can handle that power, and even if you have something like a wind generator that's another way of providing a power source to the socket. So, once again with this cigarette lighter standard receptacle you want to make sure you got a nice secure fit, and as you can see it's a really good secure fit. The contact is good, which is so imperative, as mentioned before, that the contact is really good. And you'll see that a green LED light now is emitting there, just to denote the fact that it's connected to a power source… and that the power source is good enough for charging it.
Now, the other thing we're going to be showing you here, are the laptops that we're going to be testing. So first of all , you'll see here in this list there are a vast array of Apple laptop models that this charger is designed to charge with this 90 watt setting. So just two in the range here (that we are testing)… one is an Apple Macbook Air, 13-inch, mid-2012, and it's model number is A1466; and we've got here a MacBook Pro, 15 inch, Retina, which is a mid 2014, and it's model number is A1398.
But as I say there's a list there for you to go through the whole vast array of model numbers to make sure it matches the one that you have. And typically when you buy these, you get the white, Apple charger that comes with it and for a 15-inch MacBook Pro or Retina or otherwise, the charger is usually an 85 watt setting; and the 13 inch MacBook Airs, are typically a 45 watt charger.
It means that when you are looking for a charge of this nature you want to make sure that you get something that does denote that it has a 90 watt minimum setting if your going to have a Macbook like this. Another thing to know is, of course, when your MacBook is charged obviously it uses less power than when this charger is charging the battery as well as running the Machine.
It is important to make sure that the power that's coming to this adaptor is enough to drive the Machine (computer) to give the power to charge and run your machine. Ok so, those are the test parameters that's what we're testing and what you'll find here is that the green light (on the front of the charger), it will change colour once this is plugged into the laptop. It comes with the standard MagSafe 2 connector, which has got that LED on it too, which as you'll remember goes green when you first plug it into your computer; and stays green if the battery is charged; and changes to orange if the battery is charging.
On the other end of this cable is the unique connector for this particular charger… so that end just plugs into the front of the charger, in between the 2 USB sockets which can be used for smart devices, and as soon as the other end is plugged into the laptop, you'll see that it first of all goes green, as standard, and then wanted detects that needs charging, it has now flicked to orange. And also you'll see on the charger itself the LED has gone from green to red to denote that it's charging and that it's handling the power.
Ok, so there you go! That's the Gissaral AM2, 90/110 watt charger! Now here are some of the pros and cons about this… first of all it's a solid design, it's a very nice design as well… it doesn't look cheap and flimsy like some of them the other chargers do. And the other really good thing about this product is.. which shows real confidence by the manufacturer, is that it has an 18 month warranty!
Now, typically, others we've tested… as you'll see in other reviews that we've done here, (and we'll show you some links to other charges for 12 volt sockets), you'll see that some of them only have three month warranties, and have very different characteristics about them, which will help you to determine which one you want to purchase.
This one is at the upper range of the price brackets, however at £35 or £36 pounds, which is around about €40 or €45 euros, or even $40 or $45 dollars, it's not an awful lot to give you that complete access to power, even when you're off-grid… to be able to power your devices.
Those are the pros… And the only con I can think of is that there are cheaper, less expensive chargers out there… but like most things, “you get what you pay for!” So that's the Gissaral AM2, 90 watt laptop charger, in this case designed to charge the Apple laptops that you've seen listed. And, we’ll be back with more product reviews to help you get “The Best Buy!” See you later, Online Offgrid