Battery packs are incredibly useful for keeping your gadgets charged when they're running low on juice.
But what about your laptop? MacBook users can pick up the HyperJuice, but it requires a little bit of modding to make it compatible with the MagSafe charger and not everyone is comfortable getting their hands dirty.
A new product called the Omnicharge, currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, charges any device through a standard AC/DC (120V AC and 150V DC) power plug and has two USB ports to juice up phones and tablets.
The Omnicharge is available in 13,600 mAh and 20,400 mAh capacities currently selling for $99 and $129, respectively, as early promotional prices during the campaign. Once the campaign is over, the Omnicharge will cost $199 (13,600 mAh) and $249 (20,400 mAh). Deliveries are expected to arrive in October.
Sure, the full retail price is expensive. But I'd say it's worth it for the peace of mind when you need juice on the go, even if you don't get the discounted pricing.
For road warriors and nerds like me who can't go on vacation without bringing a million different devices that need charging, the Omnicharge is basically the ultimate battery pack.
Resembling a stone (even the texture is stone-like), the Omnicharge, which weighs 0.83 pounds (13,600 mAh; 5.2 x 3.3 x 0.9-inches) and 1.3 pounds (20,400 mAh; 5 x 4.8 x 1-inches) is, frankly, quite ugly. The black color looks better, though. Yet the Omnicharge's functionality more than makes up for what it lacks in aesthetics.
The battery pack contains an OLED screen, which shows the charging output, battery capacity and the temperature of the charger. The screen is bright and easy to read, even in the dark.
Moreover, the Omnicharge can intelligently monitor the batteries and preserve them after each charge to extend life.
The 13,600 mAh Omnicharge provides one full charge (9 hours) for the 12-inch MacBook, 8 hours for the 13.3-inch MacBook Air, 5 hours for the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, and a full charge for the Surface Pro 4. You can find more device power data here, as well as battery life time for the larger 20,400 mAh Omnicharge.
I've tried out MacBook-specific battery packs like Lenmar's ChugPlug, but that thing is big, heavy and overheats so often I always worry it'll explode. I brought it with me to IFA last year and all I'm going to say is I bought a cheap product and got what I paid for.
The Omnicharge, especially with its discounted crowdfunding pricing (the 20,400 mAh is a hell of a deal for an extra $30), is the battery pack I've been searching for. Yes, I'm gushing over a battery pack and I'm not afraid to shout it from rooftops.
As more laptops include USB-C ports that can be charged with battery packs (like the 12-inch MacBook), there may not be a need for a gadget like the Omnicharge. But the days of widespread USB-C ports won't come for a while. And even then, there will still be tons of laptops and accessories that will need charging through the good ol' AC plug. Better get it while it's still cheap!