A Small but Helpful Gorilla
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When is enough considered enough? If the question refers to computer storage capacity or speed of operation then the answer is probably “Never”. The same is, no doubt, true when making up a wish list for the battery life length for our various portable devices. Netbooks, for example, are generally promoted as being energy friendly yet users often find they need to make compromises with the use of such a device and still yearn for more battery life in order to satisfy their needs.
Powertraveller Ltd., a manufacturer of portable power products, offers a possible solution with regards to battery inadequacy for Netbook users with its minigorilla product. Basically the product consists of a portable battery recharger unit, a selection of tips so that you can connect with various devices and a lead for linking to the chosen device. You also get a mains lead with exchangeable plug heads and a zipped, soft travel pouch. While designed specially for use with a netbook, the minigorilla is more than happy to work with other portable devices. So if you are looking to boost the battery capability of your mobile phone, iPod, PDA, PSP, etc then the minigorilla might be able to help.
The battery unit measures 150 x 83 x 14mm and weighs in at 265g. Encased in slate-grey laser etched rubber coating, the minigorilla makes use of the latest HDLP (High Density Lithium Polymer) battery technology which gives it a total energy capacity of 9000mAh. Charging the battery unit is carried out using the mains power lead. This process can take between 5 and 6 hours although the first time could be far quicker as the device is supplied charged to 60% capacity. There is also an option to use solar power but this does require an additional purchase of the company’s solargorilla product.
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Positioned on either side of the battery unit are sockets for mains power (left side), USB (right) and power out (right). The top of the unit features a panel providing feedback as to battery level, the selected voltage and a flashing warning when a recharge is required. A button alongside this panel can be used to change the voltage by cycling through the supported levels of 8.4, 9.5, 10.5, 12 and 19v which can be delivered via the power out socket. An extendable USB lead is provided which gives you a 5v option required by certain devices.
As mentioned earlier, the minigorilla uses tips to enable it to connect to various devices. These tips simply slot onto the supplied lead and away you go. Two different sets of tips are provided with this product. The slighter larger set, made up of 11 tips, covers netbook/laptop models. Included amongst the brands supported are Asus, Compaq, HP, Gateway, IBM, Lenovo, Fujistu, NEC, Olivetti, Toshiba, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Dell and BenQ. The second set of tips is aimed at mobile and portable devices that include PSP, Nintendo DS Lite and various mobile phone models from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and LG. You also get mini and micro USB tips. The supplied soft pouch can contain the battery unit and a small selection of tips for use on your travels.
The minigorilla will certainly remove some of the worry and inconvenience of a battery running out just when you need it. Obviously this product will have more appeal for those who need to have battery support for a variety of devices than those who only use a single device but even this category of user will appreciate the functionality of the minigorilla. Some netbook users might even find that the minigorilla can more than double its battery life. The minigorilla has been priced at £99.95.
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