In electronics, an inverter can be defined as a device for converting direct current (DC) power into alternating current (AC). An example of an inverter is the adapter used in cars to convert low voltage (DC) cigarette lighter power into grid equivalent voltage (AC). This allows for the use of many types of household electrical devices while traveling. In a laptop, an inverter is often used to light the computer screen.
A laptop inverter is quite small, usually about the size of a pen.
A laptop inverter is a small circuit board, usually the size of a pen. Internally, a laptop runs on low voltage, with the exception of the display, which uses a backlit liquid crystal display (LCD). Without the inverter and the lamp that powers it, the screen would be too dim to see properly. By controlling the inverter output, the laptop can adjust the brightness of its screen. Some types of laptop inverters are able to do this automatically, using a small sensor to detect how bright the room is and adjusting its output accordingly.
LCDs in traditional laptops are lit by one or two thin fluorescent lamps that require a higher voltage than the rest of the computer. The inverter is normally housed close to the lamp, keeping its power cables as short as possible and to prevent them from running through other parts of the machine unnecessarily. Less commonly, some laptops use white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to provide the backlight. These laptops do not need an inverter, as the LEDs can be powered directly from the laptop’s motherboard.
As with any electronic component, laptop inverters can fail, especially after years of use. Common symptoms include the screen flickering on and off, the screen seeming too dim to read, and sometimes even a faint hum. It should be noted that there are other possible causes for all these symptoms, which are best diagnosed by a laptop technician or other qualified professional. If it is faulty, the laptop inverter can usually be replaced.
Each laptop model will have a specific inverter design and are generally not interchangeable. Replacing an inverter is a relatively quick and inexpensive solution and is often more cost-effective than repairing it. The replacement process simply involves removing the display bezel, unplugging the old inverter and replacing it with a new one. A laptop inverter carries a high voltage warning and should only be replaced by a qualified professional under static control conditions.