This week brought the arrival of my brand new XP8000 battery ($55 @ woot). When i saw this for about half-price on Woot, this sounded like a great addition to my travel gear, with USB output or adapters to provide extra power all my gear, and especially my netbook-n-tosh Dell Mini 10v ($200 refurb @ Dell Outlet). It even claims to power an iPad. We’ll see about that when the iPad arrives in October, but I’m not too worried.
Anyways, my main use was some extra power for the netbook (on planes or long car rides for example), with secondary use as emergency power for my other devices. Larger (6 cell) batteries for the Dell are anywhere from $44 on ebay to $135 from Dell, and of course they would only power the netbook (or anything you can plug into the netbook, which is most items). Considering that’s a huge percentage of the cost of the netbook itself, I had cheaped out and just went with the original 3 cell netbook battery which lasts about 2 hours. So how did this test out?
I ran a bunch of tests, and turns out the XP8000 extends my netbook battery between 2:00 – 2:20 (above the netbook’s own 2 hours). If you’re looking to squeeze a few more minutes out of the XP8000, it was at the top of this range when using the XP8000 first, rather than using it after the Netbook ran out of its own batteries.
The Fine Print
The XP8000 comes with “free adapter tips” for life (2 per year) for other devices not included in original box. Supposedly these cost $13 shipping, so beware they may not be quite free. Maybe $13 is still cheap enough for you though. Since most things come USB these days, I’m not too worried.
The biggest problem i’ve got with this is that the AC Adapter/Charger for the XP8000 is way too big for travel (for me). This toy would be perfect if only you could recharge over USB. Although its about as big as the netbook chargers these days. If you bought this thing for portability of travel, don’t expect to carry around the charger too unless you don’t mind the extra bulk. I travel pretty light, so I doubt it will come with me. So this means you’ve got one charge on your trip unless you can find another charger on the trip itself. Too bad its a different adapter than my netbook, or I’d be able to take one for both. That’s a huge bummer for me, but oh well.
And the lights on my XP8000 are definitely not accurate. They’re almost always at the max bars, regardless of how much is left in the battery. Watch out for this, and make sure you fully charge it up before you leave on a trip, rather than trusting the lights.
Clearly the XP8000 doesn’t get anywhere close to matching the 3-4 hours of extra life claimed by Energizer. Its not quite as portable as I’d like, especially the AC Adapter, but it’ll do in a pinch. So overall, this is an OK buy for me at $55, given its versatility, but probably not at $80+ at the other retailers. At this point, for $44, I should have just gone with the extra 6 cell battery on ebay since almost all my devices will plug into the Netbook that I pretty much take on any trip i’d bring electronics on. I guess this is still a bit more portable for a day of sightseeing though. Even if i switch to the iPad as my primary travel device later, i’m probably still not going to bring the XP8000’s bulky charger, at which point its only worth 1 charge anyway. I definitely can’t rate this as “awesome”, but i’ll rate it “Just OK”. Buyers’ Remorse? Yup.