There is nothing worse for me than running out of battery juice when I am mobile. To help prevent that I have two standard batteries for my HP tc1100 Tablet PC which gets me between 6 and 7 hours of total battery life with power management set to be gentle on the battery. This is OK when I am out on short trips and meetings but I knew that I would be having 10 and 12 hour sessions at the MVP Summit so I looked for alternative solutions. I only had to look as far as the PowerPack 130 external battery from Batterygeek.net. Due to delivery delays caused by Hurricane Rita my delivery was delayed by UPS and I didn’t get the 130 before leaving for Seattle so the good folks at Batterygeek shipped one overnight to my hotel in Seattle and it was waiting for me when I checked in.
My 130 came fully charged which was a nice touch and I set out to use it right away to get some work done on my Tablet PC in the hotel room. The PowerPack 130 comes with 9 connector tips and choosing the right one for my HP was simple. The battery is smaller than I thought it would be for such a powerful battery (8 x 4.75 x .75 inches, 2 lbs.) and it comes with an attached cord to hook up to the laptop or Tablet PC once the connector tip is plugged in. It also comes with an AC adapter to recharge the 130.
When I connected the PowerPack 130 for the first time the internal battery on my Tablet PC was at slightly less than 40% because I used it on the flight to Seattle. The beauty of this external battery is how it recharges the internal battery while also powering the Tablet PC. The notebook or Tablet sees the battery as an external power source so most people will want to adjust their power management settings to maximize the life of the external battery but in this case I did not as I wanted to see how long the 130 would last. During my marathon work session the 130 recharged my internal battery to 100% and ran for 6.5 hours before the low battery light came on. This life is phenomenal since my power management was set to never dim the monitor nor cycle down the hard drive. With good power management settings I could see getting over 8 hours out of the 130 easily. It is thin so it fits handily in my backpack with my other gear and I hardly know it’s there. Now I never have to look for a power outlet when I am in extended meetings and it is so liberating. At a four hour work session at the Summit today the guy sitting next to me was using one of those big external batteries that is the size of a laptop and sat underneath his convertible Tablet PC. He was very impressed with the PowerPack 130 because it is so much smaller than his battery and costs slightly over half what he paid for it.
The PowerPack 130 has a “fuel gauge” bank of LEDs on the top of the unit that light up when you push the TEST button so you can quickly determine the remaining charge at any time. When the unit charge gets low a red LED lights up and a low warning sound emits from the integrated speaker. I estimate that with my two HP batteries and the 130 I can get over 15 hours of continual use! Now that’s true mobile tech.
The PowerPack 130 is available on the Batterygeek web site for $189 and comes standard with a 30 day return policy and a 1 year warranty. I am extremely pleased with the Batterygeek PowerPack 130.