APC Universal Notebook Battery

Laptops are the best thing in the world if you are planning on taking your work with you on your travels, however they become the biggest and heaviest waste of space once the battery dies. So what's the solution? Take your power charger with you. But while that might be the most obvious solution it's not the most practical.

APC thinks it has the answer, with the Universal Notebook Battery. The unit, which measures a very thin, 10in x 6.5in x .65in in size and just 880 grams in weight, is more akin to a magazine rather than a notebook battery.

The fairly non-descript dark grey box has a four blue LEDs for checking the battery life and PowerBook users will have clocked that it's identical to the battery meter on the bottom of their notebooks.

Aside from the battery meter, the only other markings on the box are the voltage setting dial that makes this battery fit virtually any laptop available on the market including Acer, Apple, Dell, HP, Sony and Toshiba.

What about all those connections? The pack comes with a number of tips that will fit your laptop. These tips are used to not only charge the battery using your laptop charger's connector, but also so you can power your laptop when you're out and about. All you have to do is find your model in the long list in the manual, and match the number again according to the chart and away you go.

Verdict

In our tests, the battery reached full charge in the promised 3 hours and then lasted us a further six to eight hours, depending on what we were doing. The usual battery-sucking culprits like watching a DVD or connecting to a Wi-Fi network affected this battery just the same.

The beauty here is that this will work with a number of laptops, if you have more than one laptop at home (not as crazy as it might sound if your partner also has one) this will allow you to charge both even if they are different models.

It may be boring, and ludicrously expensive, but it works.