Since we are going into winter in South Africa where power failures are quite common, and there is an increased risk of load shedding happening – we have started looking around for more cost-effective solutions to this problem than big heavy noisy generators and extraordinarily expensive long-term UPS Systems.
A clever solution to this problem comes in the form of ultra-capacity notebook batteries. If you are working from home or in a small office where most users use laptops, this might just be the answer for you.
A standard laptop battery will last an hour or two, perhaps even more when setting your laptop to an absolute-power-saving profile. However, it is definitely not going to last the 4+ hours needed to get through a power outage or load shedding without losing any productivity. For on-site travelling engineers and reps, HP has a 12-cell battery available which according to specifications would give you 10 hours (of course, in the real world, our experience has been more around the 8 hour mark) of uptime.
Naturally other brands such as Dell have similar products available. However these high capacity secondary batteries seem to only be available for Business (non-retail) products. It shows that there are still some great benefits to purchasing your I.T. equipment through value-added reseller channels instead of bargain hunting in retail shops!
An extended battery should set you back around R 1250.00 per laptop, which compared to the cost of productivity loss is quite affordable. It has to be mentioned that the HP 12-cell battery does not replace your existing laptop battery – instead it clips on to the bottom of your laptop and act as a secondary battery. Therefore, your current / existing laptop battery will still be used and is required.
The laptop also doesn’t fit into a docking station with the battery attached which makes getting in and out of your office slightly more inconvenient, but the battery does come with a DC power connector with which you can charge it directly using your existing laptop power supply.