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How Many Watts Does A Laptop Use?

Electronic devices including laptops are now being used more than at any other time in history.

Regardless of whether you work from home, are in school, or have a laptop for personal use, the laptop will require energy to operate and this comes with a cost.

Not all laptops are the same with respect to the amount of energy they use. Some are better than others. 

This article will show you how many watts a laptop will use along with some examples and a breakdown of the energy cost to use one.

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How Many Watts Does A Laptop Use?

On average, a laptop will consume between 60-90 watts per hour. Although there are several factors that can affect the amount of energy laptops use, a standard everyday 15-inch laptop will use 60 watts per hour. 

Even though most laptops don’t require a lot of energy to operate, power consumption is an important consideration before purchasing a new laptop.

What is wattage?

The term watt is used as a unit of measurement for electrical power. The amount of power used by a laptop or any other electrical device is called wattage.

Most manufacturers will provide the wattage of the device for you. But if you need to calculate watts, use the following formula. 

Volts x amps = wattage.

person holding live wires

Factors that affect the amount of energy used by a laptop

Technology is improving all the time and most laptop manufacturers aim to produce energy-efficient products. As there are so many different types of brands available, the wattage used will vary based on the equipment or hardware used by the laptop. 

The main consumers of energy on a laptop are the CPU and the display.

The display will generally use the most power followed by the CPU. 

Other factors include:

  • Display
  • CPU
  • Graphics card
  • Fan
  • Hard drive
  • RAM
  • Adapter or charger

The type of laptop also has an effect on the amount of power it uses. For example, a gaming laptop will not be as energy-efficient as a standard everyday use laptop. 

typing on a laptop

How Many Watts Does A gaming Laptop Use?

On average, a gaming laptop will use between 165-185 watts of power. This is about 3 times more than a standard laptop. 

Gaming laptops will use certain components and hardware that require a higher draw on power. 

playing a gaming laptop

How many watts does a laptop use per hour?

When determining how many watts your laptop uses, you can break it down into hourly and daily use depending on how many hours per day the laptop is in use.

Many laptops will use around 60 watts per hour when in use. The maximum amount of power used will be based on your power adapter or charger’s ability. If you have a 90-watt power adapter, that is the maximum that will be consumed. 

Even though you are using a 90-watt adapter, most laptops will use much less than that.

If you have a gaming laptop with a 180-watt adapter, it will most likely be using much less power than the adapter says. 

How Many Watts Does A Laptop Use when charging?

A laptop will use around 60 watts while charging. When the battery is fully charged, the amount of power consumed is drastically reduced. The draw of power on a fully charged battery is much less than a battery that needs to be charged. 

Is it bad to keep a fully charged laptop plugged in?

It is recommended to not leave your laptop plugged in all the time. Once your battery is fully charged, it will not continue to charge and it will not overcharge. Once it is charged at 100%, the adapter will stop charging the battery and the laptop will run from the power cable only. 

One concern with leaving your laptop plugged in 24/7, is the life of the battery will be reduced. Battery life, in general, will be reduced over time, but leaving them plugged in constantly doesn’t help. The warmer temperature will also reduce the battery life. 

laptop charging

Determining how many watts your laptop consumes

To find out how many watts your laptop will use, you can look at the power adapter. The wattage shown is the maximum power that will be provided to the laptop. It will most likely use less. 

You can also use an electricity usage monitor. With so many variables involved, it can be difficult to tell exactly how much power you are using at a given time. Using a device that shows the power being used based on the laptop’s configuration can be helpful.

How much does it cost to run a laptop each year?

The average cost for energy in the USA is around 14 cents per kWh. If your laptop uses 60 watts per hour and you are using it for 6 hours each day, it will cost you 0.05 cents each day. 

This equals $1.53 each month and $18.40 each year. 

It is cheaper to run a laptop than it is to run an average coffee maker which will cost around $21 per year to operate.

Using the electricity usage calculator is helpful when calculating your laptop’s operating cost.

Tips for saving energy when using a laptop

The following tips can help you save energy when using a laptop. 

  • Turn off and unplug your laptop when not in use 
  • Unplug the charger when the battery is fully charged
  • Use your laptop’s energy-saving settings
  • Don’t leave external devices plugged in when not in use
  • Use a cooling pad if possible
iphones plugged into laptop

How many watts does a 17-inch laptop use?

It’s common for a 17-inch laptop to use a 90-watt adapter which is more than a 15-inch laptop that commonly uses a 65-watt adapter. 

Out of those 90 watts, several factors will determine how much of that energy will be used as mentioned above. 

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