For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Tag Archives: Batteries

Smartphone Batteries That Charge In 30 Seconds May Be Just Around The Corner

storedot-590x330

StoreDot is an Israeli startup that’s been working on making our batteries better. They’re created a prototype that can go from 20% to 100% in about 30 seconds, and then discharge at the same rate as a regular battery. This is accomplished by using organic “nanodots”, or 2 nanometer wide “bio-organic peptide molecules” that fundamentally alter the way the batteries work. The company has even received $6 million in funding from an undisclosed Asian smartphone manufacturer to further work on the technology, because as exciting as this is, it isn’t ready for prime-time. For one, the current prototype is huge. Secondly, capacity is still an issue, since even at this size the battery doesn’t even equal that of a Galaxy S4. But these are hurdles that could potentially be overcome, and StoreDot is hoping to have something commercially viable by 2016.

Stay tuned.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

BatteryBox Will Keep Your MacBook Air Running For 12 Hours

view-side

Ever been on a 15 hour flight? It’s gruelling and having some kind of entertainment (besides whatever questionable selection of movies are on board) is essential to live through it. The MacBook Air, much as it does have stellar battery life, will run dry. But if you bring this BatteryBox, it’ll provide enough power for an additional 12 hours of runtime. If you pack a MacBook Pro, that’s still 6 hours extra. Note that it won’t actually charge your battery, but will power the laptop directly. BatteryBox does have a Magsafe2 output so you can plug it directly into the machines, though there’s a USB adapter if ever you need to power something that uses that.

Finally, this little 12,000mAh/50Whr box can go through 3,000 full charge cycles and still retain 96% of its capacity after 5 years. That’s some durability, which more than justifies the $139 asking price, in our opinion.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geek.com ]

Brunton Hydrogen Reactor Can Keep You Off The Grid For Months

F-REACTOR-BL_1024x1024

This isn’t the first or only hydrogen reactor capable of charging small electronics. Some of you may remember the Powertrekk fuel cell charger from back in 2011. But we feel like the technology has matured quite a bit since then and Brunton’s implementation is our favorite. The Hydrogen Reactor from Brunton uses disposable hydrogen cells to generate enough electricity to recharge your phone 6 times. After those 6 charges, just change the cartridge and keep going. Matter of fact, you can keep doing this indefinitely, as long as you’ve brought enough hydrogen cartridges with you. The beauty of this setup becomes apparent when you consider the weakness of other solutions in the case that you decide to be away from the grid for an extended period of time. While a portable battery pack may be enough for a few days, it’ll fall way short of the near infinite amounts of power you can generate with the Brunton unit. Each cartridge is $20 and of course that adds up to a lot, but being able to stay connected while you’re away is worth a lot more for some people. The generator itself is $170.

[ Manufacturer Website ] AND [ Purchase on Amazon ]

Super Slim External Battery Might Be Convenient Enough To Carry

Gokuusu-portable-battery

Let’s face it, the main reason external batteries aren’t as much of a runaway success as they could be is because no one wants to carry yet another bulky item in their pockets. But phones will keep running out of juice, and you’ll keep turning off Bluetooth, WiFi, brightness and whatnot to get that extra mile out of your phone. What about the Gokuusu portable battery? It’s 4.5mm thin and about credit-card sized, which means that it could fit into a wallet with ease. Sure, the 1,000 mAh isn’t going to bring a phone back to 100%, but in emergency situations, it’ll be more than welcome. The connection is done through a retractable USB cable and a set of tiny adaptors for whatever phone you carry. Better yet, it also has 4GB of storage. At 2,980 Yen ($30), it wouldn’t make much sense not to get one if you’re the type of guy who’s constantly getting home with your mobile running on empty.

gokuusu-portable-battery_2

[ Product Page (Translated) ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

[ Ensure you carry a suitable portable battery in case your phone battery runs out. ]

World’s First Stackable Battery Pack Has Unlimited Amounts Of Power, For A Price

There are a number of situations where you might need power and be away from the mains for a long period of time. Camping? 18 hour flight? Power outage? Regardless of the specifics, some of you will not fail to notice the advantages to having something like the Exovolt Plus, an infinitely (well… not infinitely, but you know what we mean… we hope) stackable battery pack that can deliver as much power as the amount of sub-units you’re able to stack atop one another without the whole thing collapsing in on itself. You first have to buy the 5,200 mAh main battery for $89, and then you buy as many of the sub-batteries as you can afford for $50 a piece. We don’t know the capacity of the subunits, but we hope they’re in the same range as the main. It’s mostly heard to power iDevices as it comes with a 30-pin adaptor, but there’s a USB and micro-USB connector as well so it isn’t limited to that.

Yes, it’s a lot of money, but if you have the cash, you’ll be able to get yours “soon”.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Hefty Backup Battery For The MacBook Air Runs On Old-Timey C Cells

MacBook Air Backup Battery (Images courtesy Bird Electron)
By Andrew Liszewski

One of the trade-offs to carrying the slim and svelte MacBook Air is that you can’t swap out the battery with a backup if you’re away from a power source. But that doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck. Looking like something purchased from a Radio Shack back in the 80′s this external power source for the MBA runs on 8 x C-cell batteries. They’re not as easy to find as AA’s in an airport setting or convenience store, but if you manage to find enough they’ll give you an extra 2 hours use of your laptop.

When full the backup weighs in at around 2.2 pounds, so carrying it around as a ‘just in case’ power solution pretty much ends up cancelling out how light the MacBook Air feels. And besides the fairly expensive $247+ price tag, it can only be used with Apple’s MagSafe Airline Adapter, which is an extra $50. So in this case it’s almost cheaper and easier to carry a fully charged netbook to fall back on when your MBA is dead.

[ Bird Electron - MacBook Air External Power ] VIA [ Akihabara News ]

Kensington’s Transforming PowerLift Back-Up Battery

Kensington PowerLift Back-Up Battery (Images courtesy Kensington)
By Andrew Liszewski

Unless they’re built into a sleeve, most backup batteries designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch are monstrous affairs that really take the portability out of your handheld gadgets. But Kensington’s new PowerLift, a 1,200 mAh lithium-ion polymer backup battery, embraces its size and bulkiness, transforming into a sturdy dock with a built-in connector that also happens to grant your device 20 more hours of music playback, 5 more hours of video, 3.5 more hours of talk and even an extra hour and a half of FaceTime.

It’s even got a built-in USB cable so it’s completely self-contained when you’re away from home, and a set of LEDs lets you know how much juice it’s still got left. $49.99, currently available for pre-order from Kensington.

[ Kensington PowerLift Back-Up Battery ]

Octopus Backup Battery For Your iDevices

Octopus Backup Battery (Images courtesy Chinavasion)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’m an advocate for carrying the iPhone and iPod naked, sans-a-case. So when it comes to backup batteries, which I feel is a must-have accessory, I opt for solutions that aren’t built into a sleeve or a case. Like Duracell’s instant charger I reviewed last year. The downside to those though? They end up hanging off your device like a pair of wet mittens tethered to your winter coat. But here’s a nice compromise.

The Octopus, which features a 1500 mAH lithium-ion polymer battery good for an extra 4 hours of talk time, 5 hours of video or 18 hours of audio on the iPhone/iPod Touch, temporarily connects to the dock connector when needed but secures itself to the actual device via a set of suction cups on the back. Hence the name, the Octopus. Its battery takes about 3 hours to charge over USB, and roughly the same time to recharge a dead iPhone, but the best feature is the extremely reasonable price tag of around just $30 from Chinavasion.

[ Octopus Back Battery ] VIA [ 7Gadgets ]

Keychain Friendly USB Equipped Backup Battery

Portable USB Power Supply (Image courtesy ThinkGeek)
By Andrew Liszewski

It’s not going to provide all of your power needs during a major outage, but in a pinch I’m sure this compact, rechargeable 1,000mAh backup battery will come in quite handy if your cellphone or MP3 player is on the verge of conking out, and you have no access to an outlet. Now claiming this thing is keychain-sized is a bit of a stretch, you can’t just slap a metal ring on any old thing and expect people to cram it in their pockets. But it is compact enough to stash in a carry-on bag, glove compartment or murse if you think your devices won’t last as long as you need them to.

In terms of size it looks pretty comparable to Duracell’s Instant USB Charger that I reviewed last October and deemed a must-have accessory, but at just $19.99 this alternative from ThinkGeek is actually $10 cheaper. And it comes with everything you’ll need including USB cables and charging tips for Nokia, Samsung, SE and Blackberry phones.

[ Portable USB Power Supply ]