Several of my coworkers are off to attend a trade show later this week, and the hot topic of the afternoon was portable battery charging options. Professionally, a drained smartphone or laptop could be the difference between updating live from the show or having to wait till the end of the day to connect and upload. Personally, it's just a bummer carrying around a lump of "good for nothing" when the battery is out...
Here are ten charging options for travelers who hope for the best, but always plan for the worst:
1. Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo: with the option to charge two devices at once, a capacious 6000 mAh power rating, fast 2.1 amp charging output, and built-in short circuit overcharge protection, this battery is ideal for sharing with another user. $99.95
2. Mophie Juice Pack Helium for iPhone 5: this is what I throw onto my iPhone whenever I'm traveling beyond the city limits. The exterior case adds up to 6 additional hours of LTE data from a 1500mAh battery built with a satisfying to touch cetacean skin case finish. $79.95
3. Hammacher Schlemmer's The Thinnest Backup Laptop Battery: reduced down to nearly half its initial price, this slim profile battery weighs less than 1 1/2 lbs yet packs a beefy 13,200 mAH battery for up to 3 1/2 hours extra laptop time, ideal for long cross country flights. $99.95
4. myCharge Peak 6000 Rechargeable Power Bank: the 6000mAh battery means you can yap away an extra 27 hours while connected via a Micro-USB and Apple 30-pin connector (sorry, iPhone 5/new iPad users). At just 8.5 ounces, it's easy to toss into carry-on luggage for insurance you won't have to hunt for an open outlet when you land. $99.00
5. Powerbag Messenger Bag with Battery Charger: an all-in-one solution, this padded messenger bag can accommodate for a 15" laptop, while dedicated Apple and M2 connectors with micro and mini USB cables connect devices to a removable 3000 mAh battery hidden within. $65.05
6. Monoprice 3000mAh External Battery Pack: Monoprice is geek reknown for their selection of affordable cables and cords, but it's not the first place we thought to check for external batteries. But like once again, their self-branded mobile device charger is similarly a good deal at just $22.88
7. HyperJuice External 222Wh Battery: There are external batteries and then there's the HyperJuice. The 222-watt-hour lithium ion battery can power a MacBook for 32 hours, recharge an iPhone 52 times, and probably power Delorean back in time. A serious power source at a serious price: $449.95
8. Twelve South PlugBug Charger: this one isn't a battery, but rather an ingenious wall adaptor charger which plays dual roles: plug it in and charge your MacBook laptop, while the addition of a USB charging slot on the back permits charging a mobile device at the same time. An added bonus: the red design will make it easy for you to identify your wall charger amongst a sea of similar Apple branded laptop units. $34.99
9. Fast Battery Charging 2X Android App: we'll take the app developer's claim of 30%-50% faster charging with a grain...ahem...box full of salt. The reviews seem to veer just north of "this helped", but note the fine print. The app is purely a placebo to prank your wishful thinking friends. It's free, so no harm, no foul.
10. JB Powered Laptop Tote by Urban Junket: a combination of fashion and function, this laptop tote offers an unlisted sized internal battery pack purported to keep devices charged on the go. Cord storage, 5 internal pockets, and a large front pocket enclosure makes for a formidable shoulder-side travel companion. $239.95
(Images: as linked above)