APC UPB10 – Mobile Power Pack

Website: UPB10 at APC.com
Average UK Price: Approx £40-45 from Online Retailers
Purchased from Aphrohead UK via Amazon UK

Price: £41
Contents: 1x UPB10 Battery Pack, Leaflet Manual (English, French, German) 1x USB to mini-USB cable, 1x AC to USB Plug, European and British plug adaptors, 1x Resource CD.

Capacity 10 Watt Hours
Output Power 8 Watts Max Continous Power
10 Watts Peak Power – Short duration burst
Output Voltage 5V
Input Power Sources AC Adaptor (included), USB 2.0 Port, and APC Universal Power Products
Charge Time 100% in approx 3.5hrs
Dimensions (H) 100mm x (W) 65mm x (H) 13.7mm
Weight 105g

Introduction

American Power Conversion (APC) is better known for their line of UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) Backup solutions. Founded back in 1981 they have grown over the years to become the worldwide leader in UPS solutions. They also manufacture notebook battery solutions, surge arrest products and much to my surprise – Mobile Battery packs.

Now, I stated that it was a surprise that I found APC to be selling battery packs for mobile devices because I have followed APC since the early 90’s. I based my college IT Study on them because in my eyes during that period – they were becoming something rather large.

Moving to more present times, the UK went mad with Apple fever during July 2008 as the iPhone 3G hit our shores. Despite the phone being somewhat amiss with features that others phones have had for years now, it was a huge hit. The iPhone 3G was a big wake-up call to the mobile phone industry and caused every mobile manufacturer to fast forward all their R&D plans to remain competitive mainly because it’s OS (Operating System) was so clean, neat and uncomplicated to use.

One major complaint of the iPhone was that it’s battery life was rather short lived. The hardware that this device packs is very demanding, and it is astonishing that Apple managed to fit them into such a small space in the first place!

One of the 3G’s biggest weaknesses is of course it’s battery. Apple prefers to have a fixed non-removable battery since it allows them to produce devices of such a small size in the first place. This is true to an extent but it also works both ways – having a replaceable battery would be welcomed by everyone.

It is safe to say that iPhone 3G’s have poor battery life and it is of no surprise when you take into account that the device contains a GPS Module (for GPS Mapping functionality), a 3G modem (for fast 3G access) and a large high-dpi capacitive touch screen. Using either 3G for web access or GPS for mapping via Google Maps can be very demanding on the internal battery and you end up looking at maybe 3-4 hours of use before your battery ‘red-lines’.

Box Contents

Third party manufacturers have produced various battery add-ons over the years that utilise Apple’s standard 30 pin connector port and add extra life to a portable Apple device. The majority of these batteries are about the size of an iPod itself and quite literally tack onto the 30 pin connector on your device adding extra weight and strain to that connector. A colleague of mine has such a battery for his 3G and mentioned that his one covers up the speaker+mic grilles at the base of the 3G – so that isn’t too handy should you receive a call whilst you are charging or using the phone.

Recently at work two other colleagues and I had to make visits to two UK based companies, which are located in Oxford and Gloucestershire. Getting to Oxford was fine, however Gloucestershire was a different kettle of fish – this is deep countryside territory for most of us Londoners. Our destination was in the middle of nowhere, with hardly any road signs, so the 3G and its GPS coupled with the built in Google Maps application was a life-saver.

By the time we reached our destination I realised that the 3G wouldn’t have enough ‘juice’ to show us the way out of town later on. A few hours later we were heading back to London and sure enough, the 3G’s battery meter red-lined at a critical moment as we tried to find the route to the A40. Faced with pitch black dark roads that had no road lights, wandering cows, farmer joe and his insane tractor we were pretty much stuffed and ended up getting home some two hours later.

If only I had a portable battery pack…

Enter the Lithium Polymer based UPB10 from APC.

Chrome Button and LED Battery Charge Level Indicator

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