Tag Archives: laptop

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.

Word processor for writers who love typewriters, but want modern features

2016-02-24

There is something romantic in old mechanical typewriters that make a loud noise when a writer types a book or an article with one. Computers and word processing applications make writing a manuscript faster and more convenient, but a computer offers distractions that may attract some authors away from their actual work. What if these authors could get a single-purpose machine like a mechanical typewriter, but it was equipped with modern conveniences? That’s exactly what the Freewrite provides.
freewrite typewriter, word processor, woman
The Freewrite is a remarkable hybrid of the old and the new: a merger of a mechanical typewriter and a cloud-connected writing app. The key features of the Freewrite are:

– E Ink screen. Black and white screen that is commonly used in ereaders. It is sharp and very battery-friendly solution. The Freewrite has added front light to the screen, allowing typing in poor lighting conditions.
– Full-size mechanical keyboard.
– Wireless connection (Wi-Fi) for backups.
– Documents can be saved on a cloud service: Google Drive, Evernote, or Dropbox.
– More than one million pages can be saved in the device storage space.
– Aluminum body and stowable handle. Writers who travel or like to go out to write want ruggedness.
– Multiple languages supported.
– 4-week battery life.
– Instant start.

freewrite typwriter, cloud connected via  wifi
The Freewrite costs $449 (plus taxes and shipping). You can order it here.

It is easy to find a decent Windows laptop for the same price that has more than enough processing power for writing, photo editing, communications, following the news and web surfing. Research carefully, and you may find a laptop with a full workday battery life as well.

An alternative – which we have been trying out on our recent trips – is a good 9- or 10-inch tablet and a wireless keyboard. We have been using a $30 Bluetooth keyboard that we have connected to the Apple iPad or Android tablet, and we have absolutely liked the typing experience. It is instantly on, and we can save our work on the device and copy it to the cloud for backup. Tablets have a long battery life when used for typing.