External Battery Roundup: Stay Away From The Wall Socket

The Contenders: Specifications

We are listing the total capacity of the batteries here, but we want to point out this isn't always an apples-to-apples comparison. mAh is the SI abbreviation for milliampere-hour. This is a quick and dirty way to compare the relative energy stored in one battery to that of another. However, these comparisons are only useful if you are looking at same battery chemistry.

If you want to think of capacity as how much fuel the battery holds, like a tank of gas, then chemistry is the type of fuel. If you are comparing lithium-ion polymer to nickel-metal hydride batteries, you might as well be talking about diesel and gas-powered cars. Also, think of the huge energy difference between one pound of coal and one pound of uranium. So, the only real metric of a battery's utility is to measure how long it actually runs. In lieu of automobiles and miles per gallon, our benchmark lab tests notebooks and battery life.

ModelMedXP 140MedXP 300SustainImpelUniversal Laptop Battery
ChemistryLithium-Ion PrismaticLithium-Ion CylindricalLithium PolymerLithium PolymerLithium-Ion
Output Rating--60 Wh (19 V @ 3.2 Ah)60 Wh (19 V @ 3.2 Ah)-
Battery Rating----4400 mAh
Battery Capacity140 Wh
293.04 Wh (14.8 V @ 19.8 Ah)73 Wh146 Wh48.8 Wh (11.1 V @ 4.4 Ah)
Battery GuageYYYYY
Output Cable Length6'6'34"34"30"
Output Voltages16, 2012, 16, 19, 2412, 16, 1912, 16, 1916, 19
Charger (Watts)90130383828
Charger Weight0.861.580.410.410.58
USB portsN1111
CasingAluminum & RubberABS PlasticRubberized plasticRubberized plasticAluminum & ABS plastic
Weight (lbs)3.45.382.381.311.13
Warranty (years)6 months6 months111
Warranty on cells6 months6 months111
Warranty registrationNNNNN
ModelPowerPad 95PowerPad 130XP8000XP18000PPU916
ChemistrySuperPolymer Lithium-IonSuperPolymer Lithium-IonLithium PolymerLithium PolymerLithium Polymer
Output Rating--38 Wh (19 V @ 2.0 Ah)66.5 Wh (19 V @ 3.5 Ah)-
Battery Rating--8000 mAh18 000 mAh-
Battery Capacity95 Wh (15 V @ 6.3 Ah)130 Wh (15 V @ 8.6 Ah)--104.5 Wh (19 V @ 5.5 Ah)
Battery GuageYYYYY
Output Cable Length27"27"26.5" (9 V-12 V), 26.5" (16 V-20 V)26.5" (9 V-12 V), 26.5" (16 V-20 V)29.5"
Output Voltages15, 16, 18, 18, 19, 20, 2415, 16, 18, 18, 19, 20, 249-12, 16-209-12, 16-2016, 19
Charger (Watts)--6065-
Charger Weight--0.720.65-
USB ports22111
CasingABS plasticABS plasticABS plasticABS plasticAluminum
Weight (lbs)2.022.380.491.111.15
Warranty (years)11331
Warranty on cells116 months6 months1
Warranty registrationNNRequiredRequiredN
ChemistryLithium PolymerLithium PolymerLithium PolymerLithium PolymerLithium Polymer
Output Rating38 Wh (19 V @ 2.0 Ah)104.5 Wh (19 V @ 5.5 Ah)49.4 Wh (19 V @ 2.6 Ah)49.4 Wh (19 V @ 2.6 Ah)57 Wh (19 V @ 3.0 Ah)
Battery Rating9000 mAh21 000 mAh---
Battery Capacity-----
Battery GuageYYYYY
Output Cable Length32"32"26"26"26"
Output Voltages8.4, 9.5, 10.5, 12, 198.4, 9.5, 12, 16, 19, 2410, 12, 14, 16, 18, 195, 6, 7.5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 195, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7.5, 8.4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19
Charger (Watts)1237-6060
Charger Weight0.250.34-0.870.86
USB ports11111
CasingRubberized ABS PlasticAluminum & RubberABS plasticABS plasticABS plastic
Weight (lbs)0.591.430.930.940.95
Warranty (years)11111
Warranty on cells11111
Warranty registrationRequiredRequiredRequiredRequiredRequired
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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.