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APC’s Universal Notebook Battery Booster

Conclusion

APC’s approach is not new, but the Universal Notebook Battery is a very solid and flexible product that will increase your battery run time roughly by the amount it increases the battery capacity. In our scenario, we used the 70 Wh APC Universal Notebook Battery to increase the run time of our Dell Latitude D630’s 9-cell 85 Wh battery. This 82% battery capacity increase resulted in battery run time increases of roughly 80% when playing DVD video off the notebook’s hard drive, or when leaving the system idle.

APC allows the easy adjustment of the Universal Notebook Battery to your notebook by providing nine different power plugs (Apple MagSafe not included), and offering four different voltage levels. Being close to your notebook’s supply voltage is usually sufficient, but check the compatibility list for details to be on the safe side.

Be sure you don’t use the “Balanced” power profile of Windows Vista, as it will have the APC-powered system run at maximum performance, hence utilizing more battery power than necessary. The additional USB port is great to charge iPods, phones or GPS devices when travelling.

Our 70 Wh sample starts at $120, which seems acceptable knowing that spare batteries can be more expensive, and that the power adapters used by certain airlines aren’t substantially cheaper, but have limited use. On the Web, we found the 60 Wh version starting at $90, and the 90 Wh top model at more than double this price. That much money, though, will probably get you a high-capacity battery for your notebook plus the 60 Wh version of APC’s Universal Notebook Battery.

[Update:]
As we found out, APC has discontinued all of its mobile products, hence you may be able to get a deal on these products, but without any serious warranty backup.

Check prices for APC's Universal Notebook Battery 70