Gadgets | Technopolis

Minigorilla netbook charger

Netbook users will go bananas for this little battery-boosting device

Minigorilla netbook charger

Image: Hugh Threlfall

October 07 2009
Jonathan Margolis

As I’ve noted in previous columns, everyone today – mobile professionals included – is going bananas for netbooks, a trend I both applaud and understand as one who bears the frozen shoulder of he who has carried heavy laptops around the world too much and too often.

The battery life of netbooks can be surprisingly disappointing, though. This miniature new version of the legendary Powertraveller Powergorilla helps correct that by giving an endurance-doubling (or thereabouts) boost to the average netbook’s life on one charge.

The Minigorilla – which will also, of course, act as a power backup for a mobile phone and other devices – will not bulk out your carefully slimmed-down travel pack, however. It measures just 150mm x 83mm x 14mm and weighs a puny 265g.

Its use isn’t restricted to netbooks, either. I’ve been hooking it up to my glorious new MacBook Pro 13in. The 13in has a fixed, sealed-in battery, so you can’t carry a spare, and some form of power enhancement is important if you travel a lot.

The Powergorilla will extend the Mac’s endurance to almost 10 hours (so long as you turn the bright display down), and the Mini will still add a couple of hours, giving you seven hours and more. To do this at the time of writing you need to source a Gorilla-to-MagSafe lead, which Powertraveller won’t be able to help with until a few months’ time or so. I got one in China, but I wouldn’t advise it as it’s not approved or guaranteed. If you use a normal laptop, you needn’t worry about this, of course, as both the Powergorilla and the Mini will happily mate with it.