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The Best External Batteries for the Apple MacBook Air Reviewed

written by: normaking•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 10/14/2010

The following is a review of the best external battery packs for the Apple MacBook Air which will help you obtain close to 15 hours of battery time in total — enough time to last you from a flight from Japan to the United States.

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    Traveling with the MacBook Air

    When you're in the air with a MacBook Air there isn't a single reason not to fall in love with the amazing product that Apple's put out on the market. The form factor is slim which is great, but the one thing that really matters when you're using your MacBook Air during a flight is how well the portable computer sits on the food tray which is something of a miracle. This is coming from someone who had the audacity to open up a 15 inch MacBook Pro on the table and while I was busy typing away my on my college report, the person sitting in front of me decided to recline their chair all the way back. This lead to a bunch of dents on my MacBook Pro.

    WIth the MacBook Air's form factor though, something like this just wouldn't happen. But, there is a problem with the amount of battery life that the MacBook will take on a single charge. If you're on a long flight it simply isn't enough.

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    Battery Life: Good, not Great

    MBA ext batt425 The MacBook Air's battery life lasts close to 4 hours with WiFi on and the brightness set to half. While that is good enough for light browsing it just doesn't cut it if you'd like to watch a movie or do some more serious number-crunching. The other problem of course is that the MacBook Air ships with a sealed battery which means it is impossible for a user to replace it, which is something that many users have been complaining about though there is little chance that Apple will do anything about it.

    That doesn't mean that you should suffer with a limited battery life. There are two great choices when it comes to portable power for your MacBook Air and if I were to buy one, I'd pick one out of these.

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    Duracell® PowerSource Mobile 100

    Rating Average

    mobile100-trans This external battery pack is backed by the Duracell name and comes with two USB ports as well as a single US power outlet which allows you to charge not only your Mac but other electronic gadgets as well. Priced at $110 this battery will give you close to 8 hours of charging time on a full battery charge. Add to that the 4 hours you get from a fully charged MacBook Air and this battery will last you through most trans-Atlantic flights.

    Click here to visit DuraCell's official website.

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    HyperMac External Battery

    Rating Average

    MBP-Panel-Label-390 The second best option is the HyperMac external battery pack which allows you get about 10 hours of extra battery time and is available in a variety of variants starting from 60Wh to 220Wh. The base model is priced at $200 and even though this external battery pack has been specifically made for the MacBook Air, the price makes it almost impractical to buy unless you need 20 hours or so of battery backup.