Context: We live full-time in an RV (a travel trailer) while traveling around the US. We have 300Ah of 12V Lithium batteries, a 3,000W inverter and 600W of solar. Although we have an inverter, it has a parasitic draw of ~35W (~3A). We camp off-grid ~90% of the time with no hookups - just sunshine and fresh air!
We currently have two laptops which draw power from USB-C - we're using 12V adapters to power these. We need to upgrade to a more powerful laptop (for video editing), and that will obviously have higher power demands. One contender is a Dell laptop that uses a 240W 110VAC power adapter to produce 19.5VDC @ 12.3A. Given our intended usage, I can foresee extended periods of the laptop running at maximum capacity - high CPU/GPU usage, etc.
I'd like to power this directly from DC power if possible. We're already doing this for an Intel NUC using a DC boost converter. However, 240W is a lot more power than the NUC is drawing!
Do the Dell power adapters have any fancy electronics (e.g. negotiation like USB-C PD) or do they just output a steady 19.5VDC? Is this something I should be weary of on other brands as well?
Any other reason why I can't just use a DC-DC boost converter and the right sized barrel connector to charge the laptop? The wires could all be short and high gauge - no worries there.
Any recommendations on a high-quality, high-efficiency DC boost converter that could accept a fluctuating input (typically 13.0-14.4VDC) and output a constant 19.5VDC?
The alternative would be a small, dedicated inverter just for the laptop, but I'd rather not do DC-AC-DC conversion at all (given the implicit inefficiency) if not required.
PS - yes, we may need more solar anyway...!