As a technically inclined person, friends and family are always bringing their computers to me to be fixed. Often, I am asked if I need the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, when it is for a desktop. Of course the answer is no, I have a spare on hand just for fixing people's computers. With laptops, though, it seems there usually is no consideration that I need some way to power the machine and that the AC adapters are different between models. This often adds an extra day to getting any repairs done for them, since they need to get the AC adapter and make another trip to bring it to me.
I have a lot of software tools, as well as tools for physically fixing machines, because of all the repair work I end up doing. They range from simple screwdrivers to more complicated spectrum analyzers for networking. However, there are a few items that I end up using more often than any others, one of them happens to be a universal AC adapter. Thankfully, there are many solutions available for universal AC adapters, but you always have to be careful to buy one with the proper protection circuits. The last thing you want to be doing is causing a battery to fail or overheat.
Cooler Master has several universal AC adapters available, and one of them is the NA 120. The NA 120 provides up to 120 Watts of power and has 10 tips included to fit most laptop manufacturers’ machines. The adapter weighs in at 1.45 lbs and the size of the adapter is 6.57 x 2.56 x 1.46 inches. Cooler Master designed the NA 120 to meet Energy Star Level V ratings with up to 88% efficiency. The adapter also features over voltage protection, over current protection, short circuit protection, and over temperature protection. A blue LED is located on the adapter to indicate when it is powered on. Cooler Master offers a 2 year warranty to protect the AC adapter.
|Model Name:||NA 120|
|Power Input:||100~240V full range|
|Input Frequency:||50~60 Hz|
|Output Rating:||19Vdc === 6.32 A|
|Dimension:||167 x 65 x 37 mm (6.57 x 2.56 x 1.46 inches)|
|Weight:||0.66 kg / 1.45 lb|
|Operating Temperature:||5~40 °C|
|Protections:||Over Voltage Protection
Over Current Protection Short Circuit Protection
Over Temperature Protection
Provided By: Cooler Master
No compensation was received for review of this product.
The Cooler Master NA 120 is in the mainstream category for laptop accessories.
Having a universal AC adapter is something that is essential for someone who works on many different models of laptops. There are simply too many times where you need to plug in a machine and don’t have the right adapter, otherwise. One of the biggest worries with them though is if they are built with the proper protection circuits so they do not fry a system's components or battery. One thing is for sure, Cooler Master is known for producing quality power supply products. The NA 120 is certainly engineered well with a full suite of power protection circuits. This means that you won’t have to worry about destroying a system by using it. As a replacement adapter, it is also cheaper than most genuine replacements from the manufacturers, who tend to charge $70 - $90 dollars if purchased directly from them.
One of the other things to note about the NA 120 is the 88% efficiency rating. Often times, AC adapters are inefficient, the NA 120 is likely more efficient than the stock adapters that ship with the typical laptop. With worries about how much electricity we are using and global warming, efficiency is becoming a major concern. The 80 Plus standards used for desktop power supplies are a perfect example for concerns over efficiency. For AC adapters, the only rating system is Energy Star and the 88% efficiency rating on the NA 120 earned it an Energy Star level V rating.
Compatibility can also be an issue. Cooler Master includes ten tips with the NA 120 that will fit most laptops, along with a convenient carrying bag. I tested the adapter with five different laptops and on all the machines I tested, it was able to power them fine. On some laptops, the NA 120 wouldn't charge the batteries. This was mostly was an issue on the Dell machines I tried, due to their proprietary power connections. The BIOS detects it as a non-Dell adapter and shuts off the charging circuit. Cooler Master does clearly state this on the packaging and specifications for the adapter and they also have a site where you can look up more specific compatibility here.
The Cooler Master NA 120, overall, is a great tool that I would recommend for anyone that works on a lot of laptops. At the very least, you will be able to power the machine while you work on it, even if it won’t charge the battery. This is really only a problem if you are trying to diagnose a battery issue, which tend to be rare. Cooler Master is very clear that charging the battery can be a problem, before purchasing I recommend checking the compatibility site to verify if it will charge the battery. Hi Tech Legion awards the NA 120 the Gold awards because it is designed with the proper circuit protections, is efficient, comes with a good accessory bundle, and has a 2 year warranty.