Most helpful critical review
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
it worked for 2 years, then died
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.