Provides: Extended battery life
Minimum Requirements: MacBook or iDevice needing enhanced battery life
What’s worse than seeing your MacBook’s battery dip below 10%? Seeing it hit zero? Okay, fair enough. But if this happens to you often, you need a solution. HyperMac has an entire line of batteries just for this purpose. And yes, they come with MagSafe connections. But even if you just have an iPhone or iPad, the HyperMac MBP-060 has you more than covered.
Actually, if you need an external battery for a MacBook with MagSafe connector, HyperMac is still your only choice. The MagSafe connector, that magnetic thing that charges your MacBook, is proprietary to Apple (read, they won’t sell the connection by itself to anyone for any purpose). Basically, HyperMac is the only company willing to buy Apple MacBook power adapters and hack off the ends simply for the cable. Is it a waste? Maybe, but it’s not HyperMac’s fault, it’s Apple’s for not licensing the connection. Anyway, back to the review.
They have numerous options, but the best option with both price and portability in mind is the smallest external battery aimed at notebooks, the MBP-060. It’s ideal for when you need extra power on the go for a single day. For most users, that’s enough. And it’s not limited to just your MacBook. You can also use it to power any of your USB gadgets, which makes it a perfect accessory for the iPad. While Apple claims 10+ hours of battery life, in practice, that may be different. And even if it is correct, there are times when you just don’t have access to a power outlet for an extended period of time. This battery will keep you going.
Now a quick word of warning; while this battery can, and will charge a 15.4 or 17 inch MacBook Pro, it doesn’t do so efficiently. These models draw more watts than this model of battery is most efficient at providing. They say the this may reduce the charging abilities of this battery for these models of MacBook Pros to 70%. That’s still pretty useful, though, and not an issue for any MacBook with a smaller screen. It’s also not a concern of the iPad. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program.
Update – Actually, one more thing. Now that the iPad is actually available, I tested the MBP-060 with it. Sadly, since Apple has chosen to use a special, high powered USB connection, the iPad does not charge optimally with the MBP-060. This was completely unforeseen. That’s not to say that it doesn’t charge though. It functions the same as how most PCs charge the iPad, by stating that it’s not charging. But if you connect the iPad to this battery and then turn off the screen, it will charge, albeit slowly, I promise. With the screen on, this battery (and similar USB connections) should prevent the iPad’s battery from losing charge, though you won’t see it go up at all. What you will see is that pesky “Not Charging” label next to your battery icon. Hypermac may be able to come up with a creative solution involving another cable, but until then, this battery, like every battery currently available, should not be purchased purely for the iPad unless you’re ok with charging your iPad slowly while not in use.
This battery is a bit different from the larger capacity batteries offered by HyperMac. Its design is a bit more sleek, and since it’s targeted towards MacBook Air users, it has the MacBook Air connector as the default option. Mind you, the Air MagSafe connector will work just fine with other MacBooks, even larger Pros. And honestly, it looks nicer.
Next to where this cable is connected, you have the remaining charge button, which lights up some LEDs to indicate how much battery is left at any time. There’s also a place to connect an iDevice or any USB device honestly. You can even use both the USB and the MagSafe connections at the same time for charging! Further down the side you have the recharging port, which looks exactly like the port to which you connect the modified MagSafe connection cable. No worries, they are all appropriately labeled. You can connect an AC or even an optional DC adapter to this port to recharge not only the battery, but your MacBook or other devices as well. This is what HyperMac means on their site when they say you can leave your original Apple charger behind on a trip if you’d like. Also, if you buy the DC adapter, this means you can charge your MacBook in the car. Awesome.
What I really like about this particular model of HyperMac external battery is its portability. You can really drag this thing anywhere without it being noticed. It weighs 0.8 pounds, but I’ve been carrying this around in my bag everywhere and I could barely tell it was in there. Honestly, I keep forgetting that it’s there, but that’s what’s great about it; you can carry it everywhere just in case. Now, how much extended battery life you’re going to get out of this will vary. For a MacBook Pro, you won’t get a full recharge, depending on size. The MacBook Air will get almost two recharges, which is great.
But the iPad has a 25 watt hour battery, meaning it will recharge a little more than twice off of this battery. That makes this one of the best accessories currently available for the iPad. (Please see iPad update above).
Buy HyperMac MBP-060