Powering my mobile hacking freedom

Over the past 6 months or so I have learnt just how productive I can be working outside of home. I don't know if it's the change of scene, having less distractions, or merely that a fresh cup of coffee is only a question away. Perhaps a topic for a future post? One thing is certain though, unless your local haunt has a ready supply of power points (and is happy to let you use them) you're hack sessions are going to be rather shortlived.

It was for this reason that I decided to invest in an external battery for my laptop, in particular the HyperJuice External Battery for MacBook (150Wh). I should note that there are other sizes available too (60Wh, 100Wh, 222Wh), but for the price/performance tradeoff I decided on this one.

My aim of this post isn't to write a sales pitch or anything like that, though I must say that I was quite impressed with how sleek the casing design was. Personally I would have much preferred it in a matte black (even if this does match the MacBook Pro unibody better), but I guess beggars can't be choosers.

Packing 150Wh this thing isn't exactly what I would call lightweight, weighing in at approx 1.09kg and boasting "up to 34 hours MacBook usage!!!!!™" That is of course if you happen to subscribe to their particular scenario..

MacBook Pro 13" with 63.5-watt-hour (10 hours) rated internal battery, rounded to the nearest hour. Requires MagSafe Airline Adapter.

On my MacbookPro 15" with the screen set kind of bright, my iPhone plugged in to the USB port for internet tethering, and a plethora of tabs open in Rockmelt I find the real world usage is rather.. not quite as much. I haven't actually bothered to work it out properly, but at a rough guess I would say I get between 2-4 hours off my internal battery, and then maybe 2-5 hours off the external. It seems it varies quite a bit too, though I haven't really looked into why. I am also using the HyperJuice Magic Box to modify my existing MagSafe charger rather than a MagSafe Airline Adapter. Maybe changing to that will cause some magical additional battery life?

Finally, price. At US$350 odd for the 150Wh model this thing isn't exactly the cheapest piece of tech i've ever bought. That being said, the fact that it at least doubles the length of my cafe based hack sessions means i'm pretty ok with it.

All in all i'm pretty impressed with the HyperJuice, though if I had my time again I would probably buy the 222Wh (to help make up the difference between marketing charge life and real world life) Hopefully in the near future someone will bring out something cheaper/more powerful (~$125 per 400Wh/kg), preferably in sandblasted matte black, but until then the HyperJuice is definitely worth a look.