External Battery Roundup: Stay Away From The Wall Socket

Lenmar PPU916

Lenmar's PPU1619 was one of the first external battery solutions that turned up on Amazon during our virtual shopping trip. It's incredibly similar, in our opinion, to the older Tekkeon myPower batteries.

The company more recently released its PPU916, which looks remarkably different. It is housed in a brushed aluminium shell, and the form factor is small, compact, and rectangular. Its shape alone is a plus because it easily fits into a briefcase pocket.



Connectivity is straightforward. You only have to deal with a single input and output port. Voltage is manually selected, but is limited to two voltages (16 and 19 V).

Lenmar takes a different approach to charging, like Electrovaya. Instead of using a discrete charger specifically for the PPU916, you use your notebook's charger, along with one of the input tips (right-angled plugs).

The only issue we ran into was a typo in the company's manual. It states that all five LEDs on the unit are used to indicate charge level, and the fifth LED serves two purposes: indicating 80%-100% and also functioning as the charging indicator.

When we actually looked at the unit, it turned out that the fifth LED is not dual-purpose. This means the scale is actually in 25% increments, instead of 20%.

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  • sylvain
    Interesting read. Would it be possible to do a similar test for pure USB external batteries. Used for adding that extra bit of juice to an iPad, iPhone or similar devices?
  • Anonymous
    Hi

    I am interested in using the battery for a DSLR video rig, i want to use the 12v to power the camera, then split the 5v to power both an asus wicast and a SDI to HDMI down convertor. both these last two devices take a 5v feed. would this be possible do you think?
  • Spanamana
    I purchased one of these batteries from a UK supplier and have to say I have never encountered such poor customer service in a long time. They claim that they supply one free tip a year. Rubbish! When you try to get one for a iPad 3 or later, they charge you $10 because they changed the name of it from "tip".

    After 8 months the battery started not keeping its charge. I tried to use the 2 year warranty to get it replaced and found out that although the unit is guaranteed for two years, the battery is only guaranteed for 6 months. Then I was told that it would cost too much to get it repaired as there is no UK repair centre and therefore there is a charge of $30 for a replacement.

    Having delivered the replacement battery, I have not received a VAT order for £21 for import duty from TNT. So a battery that cost me £50 has now cost me £95.

    Shonky product, useless service. Don't waste your money.