TweakTown's Guide to Taking Your Tech on the Road
So, what do you do when you want to "get away", but really, really want to make sure you are still connected? This is the question that I ask myself every time we pack up the truck for a weekend of camping. The list goes something like this :-
- Tent - (used to be camper)
- Sleeping bags
- Laptop, extra battery, surge protector, iPhone...
It is about this time that my wife looks at me and rolls her eyes. I can remember camping when I was a kid and sleeping on the ground, no flashlights, you know the drill. But now at the age of 40 I have evolved; my tastes and likes have changed. In short, I have become a super geek and need my gadgets with me all the time.
Still, how does this work out and what do you bring on the road with you to make sure you have a nice comfortable "camping" experience? Well, let's first take a look at the factors that determine your gadget needs and load when getting away from it all.
Power is probably the biggest factor in any camping trip. If you are hitting up a park with full hookups you are good to go whether you are in a camper or a tent. But you are not always going to be able to have that. There will be times when you might have to rough it and bring your power with you.
Your options here are pretty simple, right? Get a generator and you are good. Well, yes and no. Recently there has been a pretty good run of external batteries and even some solar charging systems that can keep your battery full of juice. One that I recently looked at was the HyperMac MBP222, a 222 Watt Hour monster that can also charge USB devices.
Unfortunately this is for Apple's newer laptops only and as I only own a PC it makes it a little less than useful. It will also cost you a hefty $500.00 and weighs in at 4.7 pounds.But not to worry, there are other products that are similar to the HyperMac that work with PCs like the Amstron PP66S. This is a 1.7 pound,66 Watt Hour External Battery.
Technically this should give your laptop an extra 2 hours of life. Of course, that is under very particular conditions. This means you get an extended life out to about 3 hours on most laptops. Of course, the Amstron is not the only option. There are plenty out there that can get you up to twice the life of your typical internal 6-cell battery.