When Apple updated the MacBook Air in 2013 it went for extended battery life in a big way. At a pinch you can get 12 hours from a single charge.
While thatís enough power to get through a long working day, there are always times when you need more. Thatís the thinking behind Lenmarís ChugPlug.
The NZ$230 ChugPlug is an integrated backup battery that gives you up to four hours more battery life.
Integrated back-up power
By integrated I mean when charging it slips smoothly into the power chain between a wall plug and the MacBookís Magsafe power socket. Each end slots directly into the pull-apart power unit. Lights tell you when there is a full†charge.
Later, when youíre out with your MacBook Air away from power outlets, it connects to the computer to boost the battery.
In round numbers it delivers about one-third of a full charge to the computer ó thatís about four hours in normal use.
There are lights to tell you if it is fully charged and a button turns it off to save power when the back-up battery isnít in use.
ChugPlug not plug-ugly
ChugPlug is nicely designed. It doesnít look out-of-place with the official Apple hardware. Iíve seen back-up batteries that look like they belong in a steampunk laboratory.
Itís a handy and elegant way of solving a problem facing mobile MacBook Air owners.
I didnít see any problems with the ChugPlug, in testing it worked exactly as promised.
I took the ChugPlug on a recent overnight trip to Sydney. On the way the airport security staff gave it a double take ó clearly they hadnít seen one before ó another passenger asked me where I got it, so chalk that up as an indication thereís a real demand for this kind of hardware.
Carry that load
The only real drawback is the ChugPlug is big and heavy compared to the Air. It weighs 500g, my 13-inch MacBook Air weighs 1.35kg, so it adds about 40 percent to the weight.
ChugPlug†is simple idea, well-executed. If your work or lifestyle means you spend long stretches of time away from power sockets, the size and weight is a small price to pay for the convenience of more power.