How many Watts does a laptop use?

If you intend on buying a laptop, one of the main benefits is that it can be moved around. Mobility is one of the reasons why laptops became so popular in the first place. Being able to work from different locations and bring media with you on the go was a huge convenience factor in laptop designs. However, like any portable object, a laptop has battery life. If you wish to use your laptop when sitting at a location with power sockets, you could plug in your laptop and use it whilst it charges. That, though, could become expensive due to the energy usage of a laptop. With that in mind, how many Watts does a laptop use?

As you might imagine, the answer depends more or less entirely on the kind of laptop you are using. If you are using a dainty little device without much power, it might not use much in the way of Wattage. Plug in a media or gaming laptop, though, and the hardware can become a little bit more expensive to run. So, let us look at how many Watts a laptop could be using.

How many Watts does a laptop use?

So, on average, you will pay around 12.5 pence per kWh of power. For every 100 Watts of power, you are using around 0.1 kWh.

If you were to compare your laptop to a desktop, then you can find that a desktop PC could cost you around 100 Watts of power to run, or 0.1 kWh. This means that you could be costing yourself around 10 pence per day if your PC was to be active and running for around eight hours in a single day. If you use your PC for more than this, your price goes up. If your PC uses more than 100W of power, then that will also increase the cost-per-hour ratio.

Compare that Wattage with what something like your oven uses, which can be well in excess of 2000W, and you can see why running a computer might be quite cost-effective. Your typical desktop PC can take around 80W to 150W and above to operate. What about a laptop, though? How many Watts does a laptop use?

Laptops use less energy than desktop PCs – how much do they cost?

Typically, a laptop will cost you something in the region of 20W to 50W to power up and charge. This is a fraction of the cost of your typical PC. So, you could run your laptop for, on average, two to five times the length of time you could run a desktop PC at the same cost. Keep in mind, too, that your laptop does not drain power all the time – if you charge it properly, you should be able to use your laptop for several hours between each charge.

On average, a laptop will use power ratings of 30W and above. If you look at the Wattage in store, you will find that most average out at around 60-70W.

What about specific laptop designs?

That being said, you might notice in some stores that laptops have much higher power ratings than this. Some can easily exceed 200W if they are built for media purposes – gaming laptops can go over 300W. So, try to keep that in mind. Specific laptop styles will use more or less energy depending on how they are built, how powerful they are, and what their primary purpose is.

For example, a small little laptop designed for things like writing articles and browsing the internet could cost you very little to run. A gaming laptop could cost you more than a standard desktop PC to run – a lot more, in fact!

The simplest way to look at this is that for every upgrade or additional power level in a laptop, the more it will cost to run. If you buy a bigger, bulkier, and more powerful laptop, it will cost you more to run than your last model.

Your laptop charger will also use some power, too, though this can be a fraction of a Watt in most cases so there should be very cheap to run. It is more the power consumption of the laptop whilst charging that costs you money.

So, compared to other household appliances and commonly used tools, your laptop is by no means an energy guzzler. Just about every appliance in the room you are in will use more power than your laptop does to operate. If you worry your laptop is too expensive to run, look into using features like Power Saving mode, changing sleep settings, and remember to turn your laptop off in full between uses.

Laptops are not hugely expensive to run, then – but always be sure to look into the type of laptop that you are using as much as anything else. The bigger they are in terms of performance output, the most expensive they will be to run!