If you work from a laptop frequently, as many web workers do, you probably know the frustration of not getting all day battery life. The battery manufacturers and fuel cell community have been claiming for years that they’ll deliver all day power, but a lot of this has proven to be just talk. I’ve written before about my favorite solution for all day power: Electrovaya’s lightweight external batteries. These are newly redesigned, are now compatible with many more computers, and are worth considering if you want all day power.
At first glance, $299 for Electrovaya’s PowerPad 130 external battery may seem steep, but if you do your work on the go a lot, it can pay for itself very quickly.
Prior to using the PowerPad 130, I used Electrovaya’s other external batteries, and the company has steadily improved all the models over time. They have gauges that provide more feedback, and in the case of the PowerPad 130, I do get all day power from it.
The PowerPad 130 comes with two USB ports, so you can use it to power your other devices as you work on your notebook. I’ve dropped the 130 on occasion, and never had a problem with it afterwards. It weighs just a hair over two pounds so you will feel the extra weight when on the go, but, especially if you use an ultraportable system or netbook, the weight is manageable.
Of course, it still makes sense to manage how you use your notebook when not plugged in. I keep my brightness down, and stay aware of which applications can quickly drain a battery, such as streaming video. Until the battery makers deliver on their promises of all day power, these external batteries are the solutions for me.