Via Kevin Kelly’s excellent Cool Tools newsletter, I read about the APC Universal Notebook Battery. It’s basically an outboard battery that provides reserve power, significantly extending the battery life of your laptop. We’re faced with a bunch of flights longer than 4 hours in the next nine months, so I want one that works with my venerable but reliable 12″ PowerBook.
I called APC’s Canadian division, but they don’t have anything compatible. Then I dropped by my local Apple dealer, and they couldn’t think of any such product. They pointed me to Newer Technology, which has replacement batteries which claim to be better than Apple’s, but no outboard portable power sources.
I may just buy another battery for my laptop, but that has two disadvantages over my preferred outboard solution:
- APC’s device can also charge any USB-enabled device, like an iPod.
- I’m going to buy a new Apple laptop in about nine months, and my extra battery will be useless. Mind you, any outboard solution I buy may also be useless, but that’s not a certainty.
Postscript: I went looking for an appropriate photo to use with this entry, and was dismayed by the results when I searched for “battery” on Flickr. Half of them don’t depict a battery, or battery-operated device, or anything I’d immediately associate with batteries. Ah, well, folksonomy in action. I did find this cool photo from Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield.