External Battery Roundup: Stay Away From The Wall Socket

Benchmark Results: Recharge

Charge Time, HH:MM Stock Adapter Dell 30 W Adapter Dell 65 W Adapter Lenovo 65 W Adapter Lenovo 90 W Adapter
Amstron MedXP 1404:50----
Amstron MedXP 3006:45----
Brunton Impelgreater than 10 hours----
Brunton Sustain6:00----
Digipower Universal Notebook BatteryN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Electrovaya PowerPad 130--3:303:303:30
Electrovaya PowerPad 95--3:153:453:15
Energizer XP180002:30----
Enirgizer XP80002:35----
Lenmar PPU916-4:004:004:004:00
PowerTraveller MiniGorilla4:30----
PowerTraveller PowerGorilla4:55----
Tekkeon MP3450i3:30----
Tekkeon MP34503:30----
Tekkeon MP3750-4:40bent pin, unable to test

We set up a camera to record a time-lapsed video using a five-minute shutter interval, and our results are a bit surprising.

Not only does the XP18000 give you the most battery life per pound, but it also charges the fastest.

Remember, charging times are a double-edged sword. Ideally, you want a nice slow charge so that your battery lasts more than a few hundred cycles. Fast charge times get you back away from the wall socket faster. But in the long run, they cut down on the health of the battery.

Brunton implements the most conservative charging scheme, but this solution may make more sense if you are considering pairing it with one of the company's solar panels for a trickle charge.

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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.