I’ve had too many flights recently without seat power — too many connections from an American Airlines MD80 to an American Airlines MD80. With enough connection time I head to the lounge and plug in, my laptop gets back to a 50% charge in under half an hour. But on a quick connection I’m hosed.
Meanwhile, my 8 year old Empower adapter stopped working. American’s international 767s have seat power but they still require the adapter. It’s such an outdated technology, I didn’t want to buy a new one — but I have an upcoming 8 hour day flight and I’d want to be able to run my laptop for longer than 4 hours (likely watching movies – I bring my own inflight entertainment and don’t trust even Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific to have something I want to watch).
So I decided to buy a new external battery.
I wound up buying an Energizer XP18000AB Universal Power Adapter with External Battery.
I wanted a device that’s light enough and small enough to fit into a side pocket in my laptop bag and not weigh me down terribly.
And the biggest selling point was their ‘guarantee’ that it would work with any laptop.
Most external battery/chargers are inexpensive and work with cell phones and similar items, but I wanted one powerful enough to run my laptop for several hours and that would also charge my phone (at the same time) or Verizon Mifi wireless internet.
The device comes with several tips and several different cords for a variety of devices, but it doesn’t actually come with one for my laptop. That’s ok, they have a website where you can order tips and they promise two per year, every year for free when you register your device.
In fact they will charge shipping (apparently even shipping used to be free — they want to make sure you really want/need the tip before sending it to you, this change generated some customer anger I think according to reviews I’ve read). And my laptop requires a separate cord, not just tip, so that’s a few bucks more. But it’s one of the few devices that seemed to be compatible with my oddball Lenovo ultrabook, so it worked for me.
This battery wasn’t cheap – it cost me ~ $165. But it works great. It runs my laptop and my Samsung Android phone at the same time, and it travels great. I don’t have to worry about recharging my laptop between domestic flights, and I’m ready to go for 8 hours without an empower adapter.
What’s your inflight power solution?