For devices with non-user-replaceable batteries such as the iPhone, it can indeed be difficult to get your work done beyond the regular 9-5. But just because you're on the go and nowhere near an outlet, it doesn't mean you have to be without juice and interrupt your work. As you'll see in this installment of Lifestyles of the Mobile Road Warrior, you can easily keep all your devices running way beyond your evening dinner, all with the help of just one compact and lightweight battery.
POWERING MY HANDHELD GADGETS:
It's been close to two years since my purchase of the Energizer XP8000 mobile battery pack. In my initial review, I gave the unit a healthy recommendation, despite being disappointed with the performance of it's big brother, the XP18000, that I also tested. Little did I know when making my $99 investment that it would become key for keeping not only my smartphone topped up, but fully power and charge my complete arsenal of mobile tech gadgets, both now and well into the future.
|Everything you see here...|
|...powered and charged using this!|
Looking at the Energizer XP8000, you would find it hard to believe just how versatile this mobile battery pack really is. Measuring in at a compact 4.3x2.9x0.9 inches (roughly the size of a BlackBerry smartphone) and weighing in at exactly 7.9oz, it's perfectly capable of finding a home in any jacket pocket or ride along on your belt. Rated at 30WH with a 8000mAh capacity, it is more than able to power whatever type of mobile device you happen to have, be it a smartphone, mobile hotspot, feature phone, tablet, netbook, ultrabook and even a mid-size notebook.
|Universal power connectivity|
|Cables supplied with the XP8000...|
|...along with tips for smartphones...|
|...notebooks and netbooks|
The other great thing about the XP8000 is it's ability to stay charged over an extended period of time. The spec sheet claims up to 1 year's ability to hold and maintain a full charge, and I can definitely concur with that - I've had my unit sit idle for months at a time when unused yet still show a full four bars of capacity. It's a testament to the high-quality of the lithium-polymer cells Energizer has chosen to use with their product, and should offer many years of reliable performance.
Some of you may at this point be thinking, why plug into a battery that I need to take along when my notebook/netbook already has USB ports available? True, you can plug in your smaller mobile devices to charge, but you'll be dealing with multiple drawbacks. Firstly, it means using up a precious USB port - something that you may in fact need for actual data devices like a thumb drive, external optical drive and/or RF dongle for a wireless mouse/trackball. Second, I've found that notebook/netbook USB ports simply don't provide the amps needed to properly charge devices, and will in fact refuse to wake up a device that has gone completely dead. Third, it means I sacrifice my notebook/netbook battery to power and charge my other devices, reducing my unplugged run time by as much as 50%. Fourth, I need to have my notebook/netbook either powered on or have sleep-and-charge enabled - difficult to do if my notebook/netbook is in it's gear bag and blocks port access. Finally, some devices will have issues as Windows may mistake them for unknown hardware and automatically begin a search for drivers - that means interrupting your work, dealing with an incorrect driver installation, or in the worst case, messing up your OS and making your device unrecognizable.
All in all, I've been able to get incredible use out of the XP8000 when it comes to powering my smartphone and mobile hotspot. Likewise, I know if I get a slate in the near future it will be able to power that too. It can power and charge my netbook in an instant if the need arises. And I've found that the mobile power pack can even double as a notebook AC adapter, letting you leave your standard power brick at home.
POWERING MY NETBOOK:
Although the XP8000 is perfectly capable of powering and charging even a larger notebook, I decided to go with a spare netbook battery for my 10" HP 210 Mini netbook. True, it did only cost me $38, but given the performance HP's battery provides, along with the netbook's power-sipping internals, this solution is far superior.
|Forget looking for outlets - just grab this!|
When it does come time to swapping my netbook battery, I simply pause my work and hibernate. Given that it's just a one-time interruption to a 9 hour or longer work flow, that 3-minute intermission is totally manageable. At the end of an exhausting day I can easily locate a power outlet, plug my netbook's AC adapter in and recharge my batteries as needed.
|Taking care of your batteries will reward you|
In a similar fashion, doing a regular full discharge and charge cycle will help maintain the charging ability of your batteries. All battery technologies degrade over time, so you will eventually need to replace your batteries (or your device). By looking after your batteries and making sure they are rotated and charged regularly, you can not only ensure a long life for your equipment, but most importantly, get the maximum run time for your netbook.
On a final note, I did briefly contemplate purchasing a multipurpose adapter for my netbook - the kind that works in an airline seat as well as in a car and 120V AC. But looking at how so many modern cars these days come with 120V outlets standard, such an expense is unnecessary, and I don't need the extra weight of a fancy adapter in my gear bag. In the rare event that I do need juice sitting in a car or on a flight, and I don't have my AC adapter with me, the XP8000 can power my netbook and/or charge my battery for that brief period of time.
Being a full-time mobile road warrior, and given my experience working with the gadgets I have, I can state with confidence that the combination of Energizer XP8000 and spare netbook battery have worked out amazingly well, performing beyond my expectations. I can effortlessly tackle even the most grueling 15-hour day, with ample power to spare for all of my devices, yet sacrifice nothing when it comes to productivity, connectivity or mobility.
Even more appealing is the fact that the XP8000 is perfectly capable of powering and charging gadgets I buy in the future, making it a no-brains investment. Since it can outlast and work with multiple devices, I know it will serve me well for a long time yet.
With all-day power now available for every mobile tech device in my arsenal, there's virtually nothing stopping me from getting my work done. "Go anywhere, do anything" now becomes reality!