I Love Battery Packs and Portable Chargers

Illustration for article titled I Love Battery Packs and Portable Chargers

As Matt explained last year, batteries are holding up laptops, cellphones and PMPs from lasting long enough and running fast enough to get things done properly on the go. What's my solution? Portable battery packs.


I've reviewed a few iPhone battery packs and a few laptop battery packs, and the common conclusion is that these are fantastic for the person who needs to work from the field.

The current battery I'm looking at—the HyperMac External Battery—actually delivers an extra eight hours of power to the MacBook Pro. If we had a MacBook Air, it might even deliver up to their claimed 32 extra hours.

So why do I love these so much when it's another thing to carry around? There aren't always outlets to plug into when blogging from the field, and Apple Liveblogs are a perfect example where you have to keep going while sustaining an EVDO connection and transferring images every few sections to your laptop. That's not a time for your equipment to die. Eight extra hours of power? Yes please.


As for phones, there's always a need for extra power for smartphones. I welcome the extra heft if it means that many more songs, or movies, or emails or tweets. Until batteries get good enough that we can either charge them in a few seconds (capacitors), or dump a few ounces of liquid inside (fuel cells), I'm going to stock up on external battery packs.


I'd like to see a greater prevalence of outlets. For example, Panera offers free wifi and everytime I go in there a ton of people with laptops are fighting over the few awkwardly places outlets when they could easily put a pair of sockets at every table. Also, why doesn't my local Apple store have a few empty cradles that I could drop my iPhone in for a quick charge up?

I know some of the places that offer free wifi purposely keep the sockets to a minimum to keep people from taking up tables, but that doesn't seem to be hurting Panera's business. And the fact is, if you're there for hours you're going to get hungry/thirsty. It makes sense to keep folks in house as long as possible. And even if I don't want to use the net, it would be nice to plug the ol' lappy/netbook/phone/what have you in to charge while I eat my sandwich/drink my ridiculously overpriced coffee.