External Battery Roundup: Stay Away From The Wall Socket

Tekkeon myPower ALL Plus MP3750, MP3450, MP3450i

The last three batteries in our roundup come from Tekkeon. While the company offers many portable power solutions, these are the only products that can be used to power your notebook.

The myPower batteries aren’t really designed to take a lot of abuse. Their ABS plastic cases aren't thin, but they will crack if you drop them on a hard surface. More annoyingly, these are the only batteries in the roundup (besides those from Energizer) that use a high-gloss black piano finish. I’m not against this type of design, but it isn't very suitable for high-mobility devices.

The bottom half of the battery is matte to begin with, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to use that motif for the whole design.

The purposes of these three batteries can be a bit confusing. All of them are suitable for use with notebooks. There isn’t a netbook- or notebook-specific model, but the MP3750 is the only one that comes with the tips necessary for use with full-sized notebooks like the Vostro 3300 and ThinkPad T510. For that reason, we exclude the MP3450 and MP3450i from our notebook battery test.

The MP3450 and MP3450i can also be used with notebooks, but their compatibility lists are shorter. Instead, those two models are better suited to portable DVD players and digital cameras.

The MP3450i, in particular, allows more granular control through the use of DIP switches. This is a feature you won’t see on the MP3450 or MP3750. Moreover, voltages listed in the table only apply to voltages supported through the output cable. All three batteries still output 5 V through the USB port.

All three batteries have eight LEDs, and the first indicates On/Off status. The MP3750 employs a different design than the other two, though. When you plug a tip into the connected output cable, the battery has no off status. Instead, it is either in a manual or auto voltage selection mode. The MP3750's second LED indicates whether you are in manual mode, while the first indicates auto. It is the only battery to feature an auto-selection mode.

Choosing this option causes the battery to use a sense resistor to ratchet up voltage until the notebook starts to draw power. Once that occurs, the battery locks in the voltage. In manual mode, you need to cycle to the correct voltage using the button above the LEDs before you hook the external battery to your notebook.

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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

    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.