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APC’s Universal Notebook Battery

APC’s Universal Notebook Battery Booster
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The grey area on the front of the battery stack indicates the power level after pressing the round button for at least two seconds.The grey area on the front of the battery stack indicates the power level after pressing the round button for at least two seconds.

We received the 70 Wh version of the Universal Notebook Battery from power specialist APC. The company also offers models at 50, 60, 80, and 90 Wh. All are flat, external battery packs with selectable output voltage and a set of nine different power connectors, so they can be used with a large variety of notebooks, regardless of the manufacturer, platform or form factor. You simply plug the Universal Notebook Battery into your notebook’s power port. APC provides a compatibility list, which you can use to check whether your notebook can be powered by this product.

Built-In Flexibility

The 50 Wh entry-level battery is a lithium ion product, while all other models—including the 70 Wh type that we received for review—are based on lithium polymer cells. APC calls it a “stand alone battery stack”, which means that you can position it any where you want, though most people will put it underneath the computer. Thanks to a 1.2 m (4’) power cable, you can also operate the Universal Notebook Battery next to your notebook.

The product is only available in a black color, but it is well finished. Unfortunately, our test sampled smelled horribly, and the smell did not go away even after days outside the plastic packaging.

The device not only lets you provide power to a notebook, it also sports an additional USB port. This port can be used to charge USB devices (up to 500 mA) such as a cell phone, GPS device, or an iPod—this can come in handy, whether or not you need the Universal Notebook Battery to power your notebook.

Charging

There is no dedicated power supply for the Universal Notebook Battery—just plug your notebook’s power supply into the APC battery to start the charging process. There is a battery level indicator on the front of the device. You will find a button next to it. Once pushed for at least two seconds, the LED indicator will inform you of the power level in six increments.

It is possible to charge both the APC battery and your notebook battery at the same time. Simply connect the power supply to the Universal Notebook Battery while it is connected to your notebook’s power port. Be aware that the charging process can take several hours, especially if you use your notebook at peak power while charging both batteries—the power supplies aren’t designed to supply the notebook and charge two or more batteries simultaneously. If you find yourself needing to speed up charging frequently, it may make sense to purchase a more powerful notebook power supply.

Use the included Y-type power cable to connect the APC battery to your notebook and your notebook power supply.Use the included Y-type power cable to connect the APC battery to your notebook and your notebook power supply.APC provides nine power adapters to connect the Universal Notebook Battery to as many notebook models as possible.APC provides nine power adapters to connect the Universal Notebook Battery to as many notebook models as possible.

Check prices for APC's Universal Notebook Battery 70

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  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 27, 2009 10:02 AM
    You would gain about 2-3 hours more using 6-cell MediaBay battery instead of DVDRW drive.

    I personally own almost identical notebook (with T7300 CPU) packed up with 9-cell (85Wh) and 6-cell (48Wh) and I got little more then 8 hours at idle.
  • 0 Hide
    chovav , March 27, 2009 10:57 AM
    great stuff! This actually looks like a product you might want to buy.. I only ask myself how good these batteries are on the long run.. how many times you can charge/discharge it and if that's comparable to a standard battery.

    Good review!
  • 1 Hide
    NSSwift , March 27, 2009 12:35 PM
    I went to APC's site and it seems like this product is discontinued.

    http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=upb70
  • 1 Hide
    jalt , March 27, 2009 1:27 PM
    Quote:
    I went to APC's site and it seems like this product is discontinued.

    http://www.apc.com/resource/includ [...] _sku=upb70


    Yeah, this "review" is kind of strange. The product manuals, if you click on the compatibility guides, are copyrighted in 2004-2005. Little late in getting the reviews in, ehh?
  • 3 Hide
    glawk , March 27, 2009 1:29 PM
    Sooo... is Tom's writing reviews on dead products now?
  • 2 Hide
    gwolfman , March 27, 2009 2:42 PM
    Quote:

    APC Universal Notebook Battery: 3h 38min
    Dell 85Wh: 4h 35min
    Total: 5

    Wow, where did you learn math?
  • 2 Hide
    mdillenbeck , March 27, 2009 3:10 PM
    Personally, I like my Tekkeon MP3450. It is truly universal in that it has low amp options for powering my EEE PC - in other words it is universal for notebooks and netbooks. It also has a usb slot for powering devices that way. Sure, its only has 50 watt hours, but you can buy a secondary 50W battery and bridge them for 100 watt hours total. Add on the adapter I can buy to plug it directly into the DC output for a roll-up solar panel, and I am literally a happy camper!

    Why don't you guys at Tom's aquire one of these Tekkeon batteries and give us a review?
  • 1 Hide
    lashrimp , March 27, 2009 4:56 PM
    review should be done 4 years ago.
  • 0 Hide
    Fadamor , March 27, 2009 5:44 PM
    Maybe they're just getting their 2005 mail delivered over in Germany. :-)

    I was going to comment on the math used in the Battery Run Time Results table, but GWolfman beat me to it. They got the total time right in the article, though. 8 hours, 13 minutes.
  • 0 Hide
    Fadamor , March 27, 2009 5:48 PM
    Just a thought... maybe someone got burned on the legs by setting the battery on their lap while it was charging. APC would cancel it in the States due to lawsuit issues, but might still sell it in Europe where they aren't as litigous.
  • 0 Hide
    ph3412b07 , March 27, 2009 6:37 PM
    I like it...for some reason my silly laptop only has a 4-cell battery, non upgradable to larger capacity. Heck, its 14.1" and netbooks have 6-cell batteries.
  • 0 Hide
    pharge , March 27, 2009 7:14 PM
    This one has been out for a while. I got one for my Toshiba M4.. but due to unknow reason, their plug for Toshiba did not work on my laptop. I had to return it... too bad... I never have the chance to know how good it is... >_
  • 0 Hide
    Luscious , March 28, 2009 6:30 AM
    Notebooks with the crappiest batteries are the big 17 inch models with discreet graphics - these are the ones that would benefit most from an external battery. Unfortunately the APC unit, as well as others like elektrovaya, offers lousy amp-hour performance for a 17 inch notebook.

    But I did find it funny how Tom's chose to go with a small 14 inch notebook for this test with integrated graphics - not exactly a power hog to start with...

    Design an 8-hour battery for something like the Toshiba X305-Q708, that will get my attention.

    Agreed also, this product is terribly old. Slow news day at Tom's or lack of writing talent for new articles???
  • 0 Hide
    bobwya , March 28, 2009 9:16 AM
    THG = fail
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 28, 2009 3:53 PM
    Product might be good if it worked. However, with the HP/Compaq MC6400 the APC doesn't work and APC doesnt' care and had nothing to say when we called them concerning the issue of their tip not working with their unit.
  • 0 Hide
    jawshoeaw , March 30, 2009 7:50 PM
    FadamorJust a thought... maybe someone got burned on the legs by setting the battery on their lap while it was charging. APC would cancel it in the States due to lawsuit issues, but might still sell it in Europe where they aren't as litigous.

    Are you saying a European would not sue APC if the battery burned the user?
  • 0 Hide
    wrapper , April 1, 2009 12:47 PM
    I have been using a 160 watt Electrofeul from http://www.electrovaya.com/ for 5 years now and it gives me 10-14 hours of extra life.
  • 0 Hide
    bobwya , April 1, 2009 8:47 PM
    wrapperI have been using a 160 watt Electrofeul from http://www.electrovaya.com/ for 5 years now and it gives me 10-14 hours of extra life.


    Uhmmm sounds more useful than an APC battery that is no longer produced...

    Bob