Hands on with the MaxPower 60

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If you're tired of your PowerBook or iBook running out of juice, Lind Electronics Inc. has a nice, if somewhat inelegant, solution: the MaxPower 60.

Road warriors have long learned that, despite claims to the contrary, laptop batteries peter out around the three-hour mark (even sooner if you're watching a DVD). An extra battery is one solution, but if you're traveling, that means you also needed to pack a dual battery charger. Until now, that is.

The MaxPower 60 and its siblings are designed for those who must operate a laptop away from normal power sources for extended periods of time. They're lightweight, rechargeable, LiIon power packs that can extend your laptop's runtime. They're great for watching DVD movies, playing games, listening to music and working on long flights.

Lind says the MaxPower offers up to three times longer runtime with your laptop -- or up to eight hours. My runtime didn't stretch out that long, but I did run a PowerBook/800MHz for 6.5 hours while word processing, e-mailing, and surfing the Internet on an AirPort network.

The MaxPower is rated at 90 watt hours and sports LED lights that show how much juice is left in the charge. It comes with a110/240 power supply for recharging and a "mating cable" that connects the MaxPower to your laptop. The device plugs into a laptop's power port, where the adapter that plugs into a wall socket usually connects.

What I like about the MaxPower -- besides the fact that it works well -- is that it's thin and lightweight: only .5 inches thick and 2.5 pounds. What I don't like is that it doesn't attach to your laptop, so tends to slip around a bit during use. I wish Lind, or another manufacturer, would release some sort of device that would connect the laptop and the MaxPower.

The retail price of the MaxPower is US$349.95. If you're on the road a lot, or simply like using your PowerBook or iBook around your home without worrying about electrical outlets, you'll love the MaxPower. It comes in various models that supports everything from the clamshell iBook to the latest PowerBook.

This story, "Hands on with the MaxPower 60" was originally published by PCWorld.

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