External Battery Roundup: Stay Away From The Wall Socket

Energizer XP8000 And XP18000

Energizer is a brand we all know. However, these batteries are not actually made by Energizer. The pink bunny company has its own factories that produce standard-cell batteries. These external notebook products actually come from a separate company. Energizer licensed its brand to TennRich, which is headquartered in Taiwan. XPal Power is a California-based subsidiary of TennRich, which actually produces all the Energizer "Energi To Go" power packs.

While the company sells many power-oriented products, there are only two external battery solutions that work with notebooks: the XP8000 and the XP18000. The XP8000 is strictly meant for netbooks. If you have anything beyond a netbook, you'd want to get the XP18000.

The only difference between the two units is the swapped position of the USB and charging port.

Neither battery has a voltage switch. Energizer chose a design that uses sense resistors to correctly output voltage. However, unlike other batteries, there are two power rails. The green cable outputs 9 V-12 V for devices like cellphones, while the blue cable outputs 16 V-20 V, depending on your notebook. Energizer's batteries operate in a live state all of the time. So, to power your notebook, just plug in the tip.

Oddly, the 65 W charger for the XP18000 is smaller than the 60 W charger for the XP8000. The two adapters are sourced from different companies, and this is a difference we expect to see in retail units. As we understand it, the 65 W charger for the XP18000 was separately qualified to meet the higher charging requirements.

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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.