Tag Archives: Energy

A traveler who carries a charging station in a backpack doesn’t run out of gadget or laptop power

2016-09-10

When you are traveling – perhaps exploring a new city and snapping photos on a camera, using your smartphone for navigation and reading notes and tips from a tablet – it feels like it is always the wrong moment when the battery dies on one of the devices (that’s why we carry two cameras with us). If you are carrying your stuff in a backpack, why not have a backpack that can charge your gadgets on the go? It is a fine idea that we really like to try out when the HP Powerup Backpack becomes available in mid-September.
hp powerup backpack open
The product concept is that HP has designed a backpack that can be used as a charging station while you are on the move. Throw in your gadgets, books, water bottles and snacks and go. When the power runs out from your smartphone, laptop, tablet, ereader or camera, plug it in to a USB connector in the backpack. The built-in power bank charges your gadget. Note: you may charge your camera only if it has the same power input as a smartphone or a tablet.
hp powerup backpack, front
The thing with this backpack is that it has enough power to charge a big 17-inch laptop, or a smartphone up to 10 times. That’s a lot of power (22400mAh), but it also means that from time to time, you have remember to recharge the backpack (or rather, the power pack inside it).

The backpack that doubles as a charging station is priced $200, for instance, at Amazon.com. Would it be possible to build a similar backpack for less money? Most likely, but keeping the charging process cool enough and avoiding water are challenges that must be solved in any case.

View HP’s introductory video to the Powerup Backpack:

HP Powerup Backpack key features and specifications

hp powerup backpack, side
– Charges most laptops with up to 17.3″ diagonal screen size, a tablet, and a smartphone.
– With power priority, you control the order in which your devices charge.
– High-capacity 22400 mAh battery.
– Provides a full charge to most laptops, charges a tablet up to three times, and a smartphone up to 10 times.
– A built-in heat sensor monitors backpack temperature and adjusts accordingly. Meets security requirements for in-flight carry-ons.
– Coated to resist wet weather and comes with its own raincoat.
– Laptop and USB micro cables included. Two USB micro cables for Android devices and one laptop cable included.
– Recharge your backpack with a side-pocket plug-in.

How Energy-Hungry Our New Mobile Devices Really Are?

2015-01-09

Millions of shiny new tablets, smartphones and PCs have been taken into use in late December and early January. Someone who reads ebooks on an ereader, listens to digital music on a smartphone and watches movies on a tablet may have multiple mobile devices that have to be charged every now and then. How much valuable energy do these electrical devices consume?

Forbes has put together information about energy consumption of common mobile devices, and the results are actually pretty green. Portable electronics are truly efficient with electricity. Let’s look at a few examples.
Apple iPad, ebook, eyeglasses, books,

Tablet: Apple iPad

In typical use, an iPad is fully charged once in every 48 hours. The annual energy consumption is 12 kWh, which makes about $1.50 per year (in US electricity prices).

Smartphone: iPhone

If you have to daily charge your iPhone from empty to fully-charged, the annual electricity consumption of the smartphone is 2 kWh. It means 25 cents per year.

Laptop

An average laptop in average use consumes about 72 kWh worth of electricity per year. The annual cost of energy required by a laptop is $8.

For comparison: a light bulb

A traditional 60W light bulb is a wonderful source of heat during cold winter days, but the price is high: 220 kWh per year (10 hours a day). The cost for lighting up, for instance, a reading nook is $26 per year. A LED light bulb that provides similar amount of light consumes far less energy: $4.40 per year.

Especially when traveling it may feel that the battery dies just when you were about to capture the best photo of the whole trip or when you are about to reply to an urgent email message waiting in your tablet’s inbox. At these energy consumption levels, it should be fine to ask a shop owner, café proprietor or taxi driver to lend some energy to a mobile device.

Apple iPhone, video

Traveling light, but loaded with books thanks to a small and affordable ereader

2015-01-04

Every traveler has to make decisions on what to carry with him or her on a trip. Electronic devices tend to be small, whereas books tend to take space and can be heavy. Yet, if I think about all the gadgets I’d like to pack with me on a trip – cameras, a tablet, phones, a laptop, an ereader and chargers for everyone of them – something usually has to go. Any lighter and smaller products that can help space are always welcome.
energy ereader e4 mini front
Energy Ereader E4 Mini is one of the smallest and budget-friendliest ereaders I have discovered so far.

The E4 Mini has 4.3-inch E ink screen in 600×800 resolution that can display 16 scales of gray. EPUB, PDF, TXT, HTML, RTF and MOBI ebooks can be opened in this tiny ereader. Thousands of ebooks can be stored on a microSD memory card.

That’s it, there is no wireless connectivity, touch screen or any other advanced features, because the price at the vendor’s online store is only 37 euros (about USD 42).
Energy Ereader E4 Mini
Why carry an ereader on a trip if you already have a smartphone or tablet that you can use for reading? Battery life. Ereaders, and especially the Energy E4 Mini, are simple devices that don’t consume power like tablets and smartphones do. Less functionality, less power, less cost.

The screen in the E4 Mini is about the same size as many phone screens (or even smaller), but if the ereader’s battery lasts up to a month, and you have several years worth of books on the device, the investment is worth considering.

Energy has larger and more advanced ereaders in their product range. For instance, Energy Ereader Pro comes with touch screen, wireless connectivity, and backlight. The screen size is 6 inches in 758 × 1024 resolution.
The Pro model is priced at 119 euros (about USD 136) at the vendor’s online store.
energy ereader pro front