Energizer XP18000 Rechargeable Power Pack for Laptops
The Energizer XP18000 is the best in class laptop battery and charger and is guaranteed to work with ANY laptop in the world! Use it as a power adapter or charge three devices at the same time like your cell phone, iPod and laptop. Less than a pound … see full wiki
Ever been frustrated when you bought a toy for the kids or maybe one for yourself, opened it and then learned you needed things that weren't in the box, like perhaps batteries?
Well, here's a twist: a battery that comes without the accessories you need to make it work with your devices.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that Energizer's offer of the "free" tips you need to make the device operative is more or less false. They claim the adapter tips are free and that all you pay is shipping and handling. Guess what folks: the "shipping and handling" brings the cost of the "free" tips of what other power supply vendors charge. There's nothing "free" about the offer. Of the 15 supplied tips, only 4 were for devices I owned. I had to order 3 others. What is interesting is that each of the tips carried its own "shipping and handling charge". Adds up quick that way. In my opinion, the offer of "free tips" is utterly bogus.
To their credit, they do have tips for Dell and HP computers which some of their competitors don't. Of course, no tips for the Dell and HP computers I have access to were included.
The battery itself seems to work. I have no means of accurately measuring its output and how long it will power various devices, so I have to go with the manufacturer's estimates. It is a cleanly designed unit, well constructed, relatively compact and weighs just over a pound. It will add some weight to your travel kit, but if you are stuck somewhere and need power, this is a good alternative.
Energizer claims you can charge three devices at once. This is another dubious claim. You can charge three devices at one time IF a) one of them uses 5vDC, b) another uses between 9 - 12vDC and c) the third needs 16 - 20vDC. More realistically, you'd charge two devices at a time, let's say a laptop computer and an MP3 player (if you have the right tips). That' a nice feature, but headlining "charge three devices at the same time" is a bit of a stretch. It is unlikely you'd be toting devices using 9 - 12vDC and another requiring 16 - 20vDC. Not impossible, but unlikely.
Initial charging takes about 8 hours. Subsequent recharges are supposed to take about 4. The AC adapter is a good size brick and adds another 11 ounces to the package, bringign the total weight to over 2 pounds, a not inconsiderable burden in a shoulder bag.
Three power adapter cords are supplied, one each for 5v, 9 - 12v and 16 - 20 v DC. All are short. The USB cable is of the coiled variety and feels very stiff when extending it. I don't know if that means the material is cheap, but the cable does not recompress to its original length. The USB cable, fully stretch, extends just over 30 inches which means that in most cases, you could not put the battery on the floor while your device is at table height or greater. Think about that in relation to sitting on a airplane or someplace where no table surface is available. It is, in my opinion, too short.
The higher voltage cables are pathetically short: just over 2 feet. That means in most circumstances, you are going to have this battery in your lap or tucked awkwardly nearby. As it happens, on fairly frequent occasion, I use an external battery to power a laptop and I can assure you that you don't want it in your lap. You want it on the floor.
The Energizer/Xpalpower site does not seem to offer longer cables as an accessory.
Finally, with this and other external batteries you have a lot of stuff to carry. The battery itself, the AC adapter brick and its necessary power cord and the tips. You need a case. Energizer provides a cheap velveteen bag. Yes, you can cram all of this into it, but it is not pretty. Nor is it convenient. If you want a better solution, plan on buying another case or carrying bag. Yep, another added expense.
Seemingly a good product, but frustrating in its lack of completion. The "free tips" are anything but free. The cables are too short. (The argument of the manufacturer might be that this device is intended to recharge the batteries of your device and it the device should not be in use at the time. Think that one through: it makes no sense.) You'll probably want another carrying case.
In all, figure on spending another 25% or so about the cost of the unit on accessories unless you're lucky enough to find all the tips you need in the package and can make do with supplied carrying case.
Overall and subject to acquiring long-term experience, the XP18000 battery appears to offer good value. But the false promises of "free tips", the short cables and cheap carrying case have made my experience far less than exhilarating. To the good, I got the unit on sale. If I had paid full price, I might be a lot more unhappy. If nothing else, this battery provides an interesting twist to the old cliche of "batteries not included". You get the battery with this unit: but not necessarily the accessories to make it useful.
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