HyperJuice2 external battery review

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Laptops, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Peripherals, Reviews

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Provides: Backup battery power for MacBooks, iPads, iPhones
Developer: Sanho
Price: $299.95, but on sale during Cyber Week for $269.95
Availability: Out Now


Sanho’s popular line of HyperJuice external batteries received an upgrade recently with the introduction of the HyperJuice2. Boasting a slick aluminum design that perfectly complements your MacBook and iDevices, two USB ports, and the ability to power or recharge all your devices multiple times over, the HyperJuice2 provides ample power when you are far from an outlet.

Inside the HyperJuice2 is a bank of 12 lithium ion batteries, just like the ones in your MacBook or iPad, but with one key difference: these batteries are made to be replaced. Providing a total power capacity of 100 watt hours (nearly the same as the Retina MacBook’s 95 watt hour battery), the battery is  designed to be replaced, ensuring you can keep the juice flowing even as the HyperJuice’s batteries start to wear out at the end of their ample 1,000 charge cycle lifespan.

Plug It In

The second-generation HyperJuice has a more advanced battery and power management system. Key to this system is the tiny OLED display on the front of the HyperJuice2, which shows the current system status (being charged, charging a device, etc.), battery level, and temperature. Built-in circuitry prevents overheating and short circuits, which are always a concern with high capacity rechargeable batteries. On either side of the system display are two 10W USB ports (enough juice to charge an iPad fairly quickly), as well as DC in and out ports for charging the HyperJuice2 or your MacBook, respectively.

Operating the HyperJuice2 is delightfully simple. Hold the on/off button and the screen shows you the current status.  Plug your devices in, and they will begin to charge. Once your devices finish charging, the HyperJuice turns itself off, saving and prolonging the amount of available charge.

During testing, the HyperJuice2 had absolutely no problem keeping a MacBook Pro running through a four hour DVD movie (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Extended Edition) while simultaneously charging an iPad 2 and iPhone 4s. Both iDevices started off with battery charges less than 20%, and both were fully charged by the end of the movie. During the entire ordeal, the HyperJuice never overheated, stopped charging, or showed any signs of stress.  According to Sanho’s numbers, the HyperJuice2 can keep a MacBook running for up to 18 hours, extend an iPad’s battery life by 34 hours, or fully recharge an iPhone a whopping 19 times.

Minor Surgery

Due to Apple’s obstinance when it comes to licensing the proprietary MagSafe connector, charging your MacBook can be a bit tricky. In order to use the HyperJuice2 with a MacBook, you have one of two choices:

  1. Spring for Apple’s MacSafe Airline Adaptor, a $50 accessory that provides a 12V adaptor for powering your Macbook. This is really the option you should consider unless you feel truly adventurous enough to try…
  2. Splicing a HyperJuice Magic Box onto your existing MagSafe charging cable. Although the modification to the MagSafe is trivial and the included instructions are very easy to follow, the Magic Box is the exact same price as the MagSafe Airline Adaptor; by purchasing Apple’s adaptor you save yourself some extra work.  Keep in mind, though, that the Airline Adaptor does not charge your MacBook’s battery (by Apple’s design), and there is no MagSafe2 Airline adaptor, so Retina MacBook Pro users will require the MagSafe-to-MagSafe2 adaptor (another $10).  This is absolutely not Sanho’s fault; they have produce an elegant, usable solution and Apple’s asinine refusal to play nicely really gets in the way.

A Weighty Affair

The HyperJuice2 looks svelte, but will add significant heft to your laptop bag. It is slim enough to fit in the front pocket of a laptop bag or accessory pocket of a backpack, but will add a couple of extra pounds to your load. This is not a device for the minimalist mobile warrior, but rather a device for those on the go for extended periods of time who need the additional power. Think conference presentations or convention booths, traveling sales reps or inspectors who want to charge devices faster than a car’s cigarette lighter can, mobile film crews who need to shoot and edit in the field, etc.

If you are merely looking for an extra jolt to power your iPhone through the end of a long day, check out some of the other entries in the HyperJuice line, like the HyperJuice Micro or HyperJuice Plug. There are even a number of other MacBook-specific models in the HyperJuice line ranging from 60 to 222 watt hours, enough to power your MacBook for up to 45 hours depending on how much space and extra weight you want to carry around. With recent extreme weather and extended power outages, a HyperJuice would even make a great stocking stuffer to keep those iPhones lit when the power goes out!

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HyperJuice2 Review

Buy the HyperJuice2

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