|Surge protectors are unnecessary. Computer power supplies have surge/ripple protection built in. Manufacturers thought about this long ago and implemented it. But if you feel the need to double protect your investment, nobody is going to stop you.
A UPS, while encompassing the functions of a surge protector, also provide for overvolt/undervolt conditioning. As in the power coming out of the wall may be 105 volts rather than 120 volts so the UPS fixes it. The power brick for our lappy converts 120 VAC to 12 VDC which has the added benefit of taking care of some overvolt/undervolt situations. Couple this with the onboard battery and NOW you have a UPS. So as far as your laptop is concerned, there is little need for a UPS either. And if you are worried about your power supply dying, go buy another one from any electronics supply for $20-30. 120VAC to 12 VDC is a very common power supply. This would be a better use of your money than a cheap $10 supermarket surge protector that will, more often than not, fail and/or catch fire. What do you expect for $10?
1. Power supplies fail, even the ones with "surge/ripple" protection. Plugging them directly to a wall (especially with a desktop) can be like playing Russian Roulette if the power grid is unusually finicky.
2. YOUR laptop may take 12VDC input, but most current models take between 18VDC and 19.3VDC. That's not a common power brick. Even if it was, you still have to make sure that the adapter has the right connector to fit your laptop's DC Jack. "One size fits all" does NOT apply to laptop AC adapters.
3. The NMSU fire was a $6 surge protector that was severely overtaxed. Furthermore, that is an extreme situation, and as such can not be extrapolated to surge protectors in general. Finally, it is a false analogy, as those people talking about using UPS & surge protection weren't talking about using the $6 special from Wal-Mart. Therefore, your conclusion isn't even pertinent to the matter at hand.
4. Surges can travel through any cable, whether coax, RCA, even phone line. I've seen (and repaired) PCs who were plugged into a good UPS, only to get fried because the phone line went straight to the wall jack. So even if you buy the argument that the AC adapter & battery serve as a UPS, you still don't account for other areas where a surge can completely sidestep the protection you tout so dearly.
5. You'd be better off buying a replacement AC adapter from the manufacturer or a 3rd party aftermarket supplier than eBay. You can't even be sure if the unit actually works, or if it's compatible with your unit as claimed. To some extent, that's just as dumb as expecting the $6 power strip to protect your PC.