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Appletell reviews HyperMac’s External MacBook Power Battery

Sections: Laptops, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Peripherals, Reviews

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HyperMac's External MacBook Power Battery modelsProvides: Extra battery life
Developer: HyperMac
Minimum Requirements: MacBook with MagSafe power connector
Price: $199.95 – $499.95
Availability: Now

Apple has made their best effort to maximize battery life in their notebook line, but sometimes it’s just not enough. Even if battery life has been extended since previous models, the new MacBooks don’t support swapping of batteries (at least not in a usable fashion). So, what do you do? Call up HyperMac I imagine. They have a new external battery, and it does its job.

It’s a simple problem with a simple fix. You need more battery life, so you need more power. You can fix this problem in a number of different ways. You can dim your backlight, turn off WiFi, and work in battery saving mode. You could bring a power adapter along everywhere you go. But what if you don’t have access to a power outlet? What if you’re in a car? Since the entire MacBook line only accepts MagSafe connectors, you are extremely limited in your power options. You’d have to buy a power inverter in order to power up your MacBook in a car. Or would you?

Turns out, you have another option. Not only can HyperMac’s External MacBook Power battery help alleviate some of your power woes in the form of an external battery (with MagSafe connector), you can also get a car adapter for the included MagSafe connector (no battery necessary). At the time of this writing, the HyperMac Car Charger is included at no additional charge for the top 3 capacity models. Heck, the darn thing will even charge your iPhone or other USB device (but what other device could you possibly need?).

HyperMac's External MacBook Power Battery car adapter HyperMac's External MacBook Power Battery MagSafe cables

How well does it work? Superbly. I got the chance to try out HyperMac’s top of the line model, the 222Wh. They have a chart on their site with expected battery life extension by model of MacBook assuming WiFi ON, 50% display brightness and Better Battery Life setting. I, of course, just can’t compromise, so I tested it with full brightness, tons of apps running, all antennae on, etc, etc. The chart says that my unibody MacBook Pro should get about 4 times more battery life than normal, so I knew it wasn’t going to live up to that. But to my amazement, it recharged my MacBook Pro (from dead) 3 times before giving up the ghost. I’m seriously impressed.

HyperMac's External MacBook Power Battery side panel

How about the design? Not bad, especially for external batteries. These things tend to be on the ugly side of ugly, but this one is very tolerable. It’s made out of aluminum and has a white plastic end for the capacity display and connectors. The unit chargers fairly quickly, considering it’s size. Be forewarned, the higher the capacity, the larger the unit, but this is detailed on HyperMac’s site; no secrets here. Still, 5 pounds is not really that bad; heck, that’s about a 30% improvement over a mediocre Will Smith movie.

HyperMac offers the External MacBook Power battery in the following sizes: 60Wh, 100Wh, 150Wh, and 222Wh, though they get progressively out of the range of affordability quite quickly. But if you need extra battery life, you need it, and price may not be a deterrence. In all truth, the only downside to these batteries is their price compared to their utilization. Do yourself a favor and think about how often you’re really going to use this, and then make your decision. If you do decide you need an external battery, you will be very happy with your HyperMac purchase.

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  • Alain

    Hi… I bought the 150 a week ago. But I get serious interference on audio output through headphones with it. I contacted their support (have a ticket #) but no response from them in 5 days. I suspect it's a design flaw. Did you test this part of it? Thanks.

  • Alain

    11 days now, and still NO response from HyperDrive. I have send several emails to support. I want to return the item, but I think my only recourse is to call my credit card company, since I have had no response from the company.

  • Jake Gaecke

    I'm really sorry to hear that. I meant to try to replicate your problem but I haven't had a chance. I only used the battery to recharge my MacBook while it was asleep. Basically I used it until the battery was spent then charged it up while I was away doing something else, so I didn't really use the notebook often while it was one the HyperMac battery and the times I did were for quick browsing, not audio.

  • Willy

    I have the 150Wh HyperMac battery and absolutely love it. I use it with my 15" and 17" MacBook Pro and was able to get around 20 hours of extra battery life. I also use the Shure 530 and Bose Quiet Comfort 2 together with the HyperMac and MBP and did not notice any audio interference. The sound was as perfect as the HyperMac.

  • Alain

    Well, Hyperdrive finally acknowledged that this is a known problem that they are working on, but they want me to pay for shipping my device back to them. So I'm clearly not the only one.

  • Andrew Morales

    Hi,

    Thanks for writing such an interesting article. Its really good to know about the batteries in detail. Seriously do we realize how many things in your house that need batteries? Let’s count it, from the flashlight, cell phone, iPod, cameras, and many more. Knowing it should make us realize on how essential the presence of the batteries in our daily life. However, with that so many kinds of battery, which is generally different between one to another, sometimes we have some difficulties in finding the desired type.

    Find the right batteries supplier is not hard if you check out batterystation.co.uk because this website provides the widest selection of batteries and you can choose the right battery based on the categories. You can get the procell batteries which available in several sizes and voltage. You also can find Duracell batteries that divided into duracell plus batteries and duracell ultra batteries. All of the batteries come with cheaper price because this website provides the discount batteries in bulk, wholesale, and retail quantities.

    Thanks,

    -Andrew Morales

  • john zacher

    Awesome review Jake. Thanks for sharing man. I'm not sure whether or not you've ever tested this other one or not however I also noticed that BatteryGeek.net is selling some similar external battery packs for MacBooks including a 444Wh model and apparently they are also giving away free laptop coolers with them. Cheers.

  • RainyDayInterns

    OK…we just spent a week with the MBP-100 and it is freakin' amazing!

    Never had we been able to just work and work and work…without having to look for an AC outlet!

    FirstLook/FirstUse here:
    http://www.rainydaymagazine.com/RDM2009/Home/November/Week2/RDMHomeNov1009.htm#HyperMac

    Sincerely,
    RainyDayInterns

  • brian

    I too experience this loud static/hissing sound when using Hypermac battery with my Macbook pro 13". I tried 3 different headphones and all the same results. But when I plug back in my power adapter no sound. I sent an email to Hypermac already, hopefully they have a solution to get this fixed, very annoying. I had the MBP-100.

  • Alain

    Follow up. The customer service was so poor, that American Express was unable to contact them and refunded my entire payment, even though I am still in possession of the hypermac (though I don't use it, since it's useless on planes for listening to movies or music).

  • Jake Gaecke

    I'm again very sorry to hear these bad reports from Hypermac. I've experienced none of these problems with any of the batteries I've reviewed from them. In fact, I use a Hypermac battery twice weekly with no issues whatsoever. I'm still mildly amazed that it can keep my MacBook Pro powered for so long.

  • Brian

    Jake,

    I believe you might work for HyperMac. I just received an email from support 30 minutes then you went to post this positive note on the forum??? Come on is that how Hypermac deals with bad reports of its products by covering it up, Alain would agree with me the problem still exist. I got an email from HyperMac telling me to put the battery under my laptop or on top to see if the noise go away, it did made it quieter but its still there. So its defintely a build quality of the battery or the casing itself. Other than that the product works great and no complaints there, but this BS product support, going on the forum pretending to be a real user with no problems.

  • Jake Gaecke

    Brian, I'm sorry you feel that way, but I assure you that I don't work for Hypermac. I strive to give you guys the best representation of products as I can. I can tell you that the only issue I've ever had with a Hypermac battery is with two prerelease units from this year's CES. Neither would charge the iPhone because of it's very picky voltage requirements or so Hypermac's people told me within 24 hours of my issue. I realize that I might be getting special treatment, but I'm required to believe that this is how they treat their customers as a whole. I also met with them at CES and I found the Hypermac booth to be very nice along with their staff. So I'm sorry that you've been experiencing issues, and I wish that I could help you, but I truly have experienced no issues with the MacBook battery. And I wasn't trying to cover anything up, I'm simply trying to keep up with the comments on my article. It does bother me that their customer service was unable to help you though.

  • Alain

    Jake, I appreciate that you are legit. But how come you haven't explicitly said that you use the hypermac with sound/headphones without any trouble?

    My story is simple. I contacted customer support. They said it was a design flaw. But they wanted me to pay to ship it back for a refund. I refused, since it was a design flaw (there are their words). They NEVER responded to me or to American Express after that after months of attempts. That level of customer service is unacceptable. Fortunately for me, I got the full refund. And I still have my hypermac. Anyone want it?

  • Jake Gaecke

    Alain, my apologies, I thought that I had mentioned that. Yes, I do use my headphones with my MacBook Pro and HyperMac battery all at the same time without issue. Sorry I failed to mention that in the past. This week I was zoning out at a Taco Beuno on their wifi with my in ear headphones to get away from their music while plugged into the Hypermac battery. I've contacted Hypermac to make them aware again of the above comments, so we'll see if anything comes out of this.

  • Willy

    Like Jake and another reviewer, I did not experience any hissing sound in my headphones when using HyperMac (I have the 2007 MBP 17" and unibody MBP 17") so I believe it only occurs to a particular MacBook model.

    But hey, that's not the end of the world. I just saw this on twitter:

    Reducing Headphone Noise from the HyperMac Battery
    http://www.augusttechgroup.com/tim/blog/2010/02/08/reducing-headphone-noise-from-the-hypermac-battery/

    World Peace.

  • john peterson

    Batterygeek.net has had these batteries for eons, though only in black and silver, for a lot less and they also include a free canvas carry case. Their 115Wh battery, for example, is $239 and their 222Wh battery is $475. Same size, same case shape, probably the same battery, though it's hard to tell since the HyperMac site is more interested in displaying their models holding the batteries, as opposed to showing the batteries themselves. HyperMac also claims to have the only external battery solution in the world for all MacBooks which is obviously not the truth.

  • mikegyver

    Truly the Worlds first to offer the ability to Charge your Macbook Pro, Macbook, and Macbook Air in the car, truck, Airplane, & home using AC power, DC power, Solar power, and External batteries!

  • Jim

    Yes do a quick google search and at least two other companies pre-date hyper mac for some time.