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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2009
This inverter is compact and does exactly what it is intended to do. The USB slot is a nice feature. I have used it on 8+ hour roadtrips powering cell phones, laptops, DVD players and other items. Never a problem.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2009
Very nice, I use it in my SUV, then hook my notebook up to it, runs a little hot but not too bad, I also charge my cell phone off it, small, and has an on/off switch with a green power light, I like it.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2009
I don't really see how you could get a better product. I took it cross country MA to CA and back, it worked like a charm always for all my charging needs. The USB is really handy for cell phones leaving two ports open for larger plugs like laptops or cameras.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2010
I have an Odyssey deep cycle battery in my car. I ran my power hungry Dell desktop replacement laptop off this charger for 2 weeks, no problems. The laptop has a 90W power brick. I also ran the 90W laptop power brick + a 50W external laptop battery charger at the same time. If your car's wiring is protected by a 20A fuse, then 200W continuous is the most you're going to safely pull through your cigar lighter. I picked this unit because it's 200W continuous. Many of the other available "200W" products are just full of marketing slime and don't give 200W continuous, they give 200W peak power for a few minutes and can only handle ~150W continuous. Small annoyances: the user manual claims it has an airplane plug adapter but it doesn't, and the plug is so long that it's not the best fit for my car's cigar lighter. I have to carefully align the flexible springs on the plug to get it to stay in, but if so aligned they do stay in.

Update July 2012. The unit gave me no problems for 2 years. Then I plugged an ungrounded 2-prong Dekcell universal battery charger with a laptop battery attached to it, and the unit fried. I had used that same Dekcell charger with the unit before, but I hadn't done it for 2 years. I don't know what happened. Maybe has to do with the order in which you plug things in. The unit has a perfectly good 20A fuse inside it, that didn't blow. What's the point of a fuse if it won't protect the unit from trouble? Which direction was that fuse supposed to protect from, I wonder?

So, since it died, I can't rate it as more than average. I'm shopping for something else. One thing positive I will say for the Wagan, it's quiet. Lots of units I'm finding in retail stores have noisy fans. I can't stand that and keep returning them.

Updated March 2014. Eventually I got brave and opened up the 12V plug. The solder to the wiring had cracked and that's why it wasn't working. I taped it with some electrical tape and it worked fine for a number of years. In early 2014 it finally gave up the ghost though. I have the whole thing disassembled and am trying to learn about it as an electronics hobby project. There is nothing obviously visibly wrong with it, no fried parts, and I haven't identified any major elements with my multimeter as dead. Yet. The postmortem continues.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2010
We went through two of the Wagan EL2402s. The first arrived and a piece of solder fell out of one of the vents. May have been extraneous, but better to be safe than sorry, Amazon was great and overnighted a replacement. At best I can only give mixed reviews. The is supposed to be able to handle 200 Watts with a peak of 500 Watts.. Fairly substantial in print. In reality, things like battery chargers, cell phone chargers, etc., all seemed to be fine. Where the problems began were on more "specific" devices. We wanted the device for my wife to run a 35 Watt Chi hair straightener. It would not even turn on. The description says power tools, so I thought I'd given a try to a couple. First a sabre saw, again well under peak and normal wattage to be handled. Nothing, a blip when I pulled the trigger, then nothing. A Dewalt hand drill... well kinda sorta.. If you started out VERY slowly on revolutions and worked your way up, you could get to full speed. I didn't try that under a load, but I assume it would work to a point.

I called Wagan, and they assumed some of the failures cames from the fact that AC devices are used to and built for a sine wave output. The Wagan (and I assume some others) don't produce the exact same sine wave (calling it a modified sine wave). So, your own mileage may vary. Some Notebook AC Chargers may be more sensitive than others, so you probably can't be sure. Again, I don't know that Wattage alone is the delimiting factor. It may that your particular device just won't work.

My advice, read the reviews.. If you have a particular device or devices you are thinking about running, perhaps check with the manufacturers of these different inverters. Remember electronics are pretty sensitive devices when it comes to power. While I may be willing to try a Chi hair straightener, I may not be as comfortable with a notebook.. Best bet there is to see if your manufacturer has a DC supply (Car/Airplane) adapter.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2011
Brief summary: seems like a quality product that closely matches its description on amazon. I would recommend.

Long summary: I bought this to take with me on a car camping trip. I've only tested it out a couple times so far but it seems to work just like it's supposed to. When I was shopping it was between this and a similarly priced duracell branded inverter. The Wagan was rated at 200W vs the Duracel's 150W (I think..) so I went for the Wagan figuring if it worked I could run a couple of things at the same time without blowing a fuse or interrupting power. It powers my laptop with no problem and charges cell phones, etc, through the USB port. A nice feature is that it's supposed to shut down if your car battery gets too low. I tested this out by plugging it into an almost drained celestron powertank and then plugging my laptop in; sure enough the inverter shut down. This is convenient because the last thing you want when you're using this thing is for your car battery to die -- presumably you're away from outlets, etc, and a dead car battery would be way more inconvenient than a dead laptop batter or cell phone. Finally, the construction/materials seem like they're decent quality; it feels sturdy not flimsy. The case is made of some sort of actual metal, not plastic (except for the front where the outlets are). Additionally (although I haven't checked this out) the instructions say that you can disconnect the cigarette lighter adapter to plug the inverter in to an airline power outlet. That seems like it would be convenient although truthfully I've never even noticed a power outlet on an airplane. If I find out on my camping trip that the Wagan falls short in any way, I'll update the review...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2010
A little early for an in-depth review as we just recently purchased the inverter. At this point I can say that it has performed well. We have used it to charge cell phones as well as batteries for our camera and it functioned exactly as advertised. It is fan cooled and the fan operated well and there was no problem with noise. It was warm to the touch, but I believe it is normal for them to generate heat. The only way to make it run cooler would be to increase the fan size which in turn would increase the case size and make it less portable. Based on our initial experience, I would recommend it as an excellent purchase.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I use this primarily on airplane flights. The device is nicely sized, and it fits in my travel bag well. It worked like a charm when I had just my laptop plugged in, but when I plugged my phone into the USB plug as well, it seemed to stop charging both items. The device was also pretty hot after use, but all-in-all, it does the job for my needs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2010
I've had it for a couple of months, but there have been no problems so far. It does get a little on the warm side after a couple of hours of use, but maybe that is to be expected.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2011
I Have owned and used this adapter for over a year. It works great and is superior to the many cheaper adapter i've tried. I use it to run a laptop 2-5 hrs straight several times a week. No problems with startup or shutdown of car. Also charges my cell and other devices no problem. The corded end that goes into the car is good, because it keeps the inlet from wear and allows the adapter itself to be positioned for easy access while driving. I very rarely write reveiws, but product has made my life easier.
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