# AC power cord different on a laptop and a desktop, other appliances

If I look at the power cord plugged from the wall socket to desktop computers, monitors, etc. at the office, it looks like (North America):

Now, if I look at the power cord plugged into my laptop's power supply (North America again):

I checked with my colleagues and it seems all the laptops (from many different manufacturers) use the same power cord, while the other appliances (desktop, monitors, etc.) use the first model.

Is there a standard governing this? If yes, what are the electrical reasons for this? Maybe the laptop version fits more snugly in the socket and is thus less prone to being unplugged by accident?

I am eager to improve my knowledge of electronic design so...

• The top picture is an IEC standard line cord, used with equipment that can support 110V or 220V standard mains power. The second photo is a smaller 3 conductor cord. – MarkU Aug 27 '15 at 19:01
• The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from. – Dwayne Reid Aug 27 '15 at 19:04