External laptop batteries
Laptop battery packs are known as external laptop batteries or rechargeable laptop power packs. The device connects to the DC input jack where normally the laptop AC adapter goes. Laptop battery packs extend your runtime when away from standard power sources. Specially Military institutions have made the rechargeable laptop power pack by LIND an extremely rugged device. (see below)
|LIND 140Wh laptop battery pack for DELL laptops
Uninterrupted power away from AC mains
External laptop batteries are meant for uninterrupted extended laptop power at for instance a conference auditorium, classroom, train, library or near that WIFI hotspot when there’s no AC mains outlet. Laptop battery packs only make sense when there’s access to AC mains later on the day to recharge the pack – say during the evening or night. For exploratory projects at remote locations this could be through a laptop power inverter connected to a solar power system or a old fashioned generator.
A few manufacturers of laptop battery power packs;
Competitive consumer market brands are:
The company manufactures laptop battery packs for the Panasonic Toughbook and other rugged laptop brands used by US military and government.
A laptop battery power pack usually does not recharge the internal laptop battery. For those laptops where laptop battery charging starts automatically, it’s recommended to shut charging down to save the life-time of the laptop battery power pack.
Battery packs for ipod, iphone and nokia N95
Battery power packs are also made for other cell phones, ipods and smart phones like the iPhone and the Nokia N95 / N97.
Alternative to laptop battery packs
The alternative is to buy multiple laptop batteries and swap them when one runs out. Downside is to have to shut the laptop down before replacement – using extra power and time for shutdown and startup. From a cost perspective laptop battery packs are less expensive and take less space compared to several laptop batteries together.
Though when AC mains outlets are not too far away, it's possible to use standalone laptop battery chargers.
Back to the Alternative laptop power overview.