Power banks for Laptop. Is it worth buying?
Let’s be honest and accept the fact that our Laptops, mobile phones, Kindle’s and smart watches have become extensions of our own body serving different purposes. They enable us to learn on the go, they keep us entertained, they keep us connected and they also help us stay fit.
That first coffee in the morning charges one up to handle the day ahead. Similarly, our devices also need to be charged every now and then for us to make best use of them.
Although it is easy when you are in office/ Home where you have your chargers and respective sockets reserved for each device but what about situations where you are travelling or having to work from a shared space or a café.
Finding a socket when you need it the most can become very difficult.
This is where Laptop power banks come in.
Why Laptop power banks you ask? (Yes, they do exist, and they are more useful than you can think of)
Laptop power banks are also referred to as portable chargers. They enable you to charge most of your devices like Laptops, mobile phones, cameras, music players, tablets and many more if you have the right connector. They can be your one stop solution for all your charging needs saving you from the trouble of having to carry multiple chargers for each of your device.
They are a safe and convenient mode of carrying electricity that you can make best use of when needed. (Yes, like water bottles that help us store and carry water safely).
For those who are into fancy diagrams that talk about how the power bank works, here’s a simple one for you.
Power Banks can be broadly classified into two types based on the source of their power.
Universal or standard power bank: They are like your any other electronic device where they are charged through a normal socket using a USB cable and an adapter.
Solar power bank: As the name indicates, these power banks use sunlight to charge up and store electrical energy. To do this they have photovoltaic panels. Solar power banks cantrickle-charge your battery (Slow charging – long charging time) using sunlight making them a very useful tool for people who travel to places where electricity is still scarce.
Power bank lifetime
There are two major points to look into when you want to know how long your power bank can be of use.
- Charge discharge cycles:
Any rechargeable battery will gradually wear out. Normally, the lifetime of a battery is quoted in terms of the number of charge-discharge cycles it can go through before its performance falls by a given degree. There are power banks that have a life of as little as 500 or so charge-discharge cycles, but there are better ones that offer a lot more and would be of service for a longer time.
- Self-discharge time:
All battery cells have a certain level of self-discharge. Rechargeable batteries these days come with their own control circuitry which uses a small amount of power affecting the energy it can retain over a period.
A good power bank can hold charge for up to 6 months with only a small loss of charge, but lower quality ones may only retain a useable amount of charge for about a month. These figures are under normal temperatures and any deviation from these conditions will impact their performance,
These portable chargers come with a wide range of adapters to fit most laptop brands, and of course, usually hold enough juice for one full charge, giving you a few extra hours of work until you find a socket. And, of course, most of them are relatively portable and don’t weigh much making them easy fit in your bag.
Here are a few things that we recommend you keep in mind when you are in the market for a Laptop power bank.
- Quick Charging/ Fast Charging Compatibility
- Weight (Too heavy and it becomes a little difficult)
- Capacity (Bigger the capacity, more energy you can carry)
- Price (Don’t pay for the fancy stuff that might offer very little for the price)
- Number of ports (More the ports, more devices you can charge simultaneously)
- Technology (Built-In system to keep devices from over charging or protection from short circuiting)
Here are our top picks for anyone who’s currently in the market for a Laptop power bank: