Despite having at their disposal one of the longest battery life in the laptop world (under Mac OS), Macbook Pro owners don’t have the option of changing battery as they go. We’ve tried HyperMac, an external battery that acts as an external power source. When connected, your Macbook thinks that it is connected to a power adapter. If the Macbook is turned off, you can charge it with HyperMac. There’s also a USB port (recently upgraded to work with the iPad) to charge various gadgets, including phones, but everything goes, really. I took it on a few trips, and if you can’t afford being out of juice, HyperMac is an awesome resource to have. There are different versions ranging from 60 to 222Wh, and of course the weigh varies proportionally to the capacity.
Luckily, the 60Wh loan unit that I tried was small enough to fit in my backpack: in the MP3 player pocket (it’s only 0.8lbs). At any time I could plug the MagSafe power connector to my laptop, thus extending my battery life. I could also leave it connected to my laptop in the bag to charge it.
On the financial side, HyperMac is not cheap, but neither are PC batteries. I paid $199 for a Sony Vaio 6-cell replacement battery not so long ago (the original one died). $199 is the price of the 60Wh model, so in the end I think that it’s OK. Note that the Macbook Pro 15 requires at least the 100Wh version ($299).
Take a good look at your needs, but I found HyperMac to be actually more handy than a classic laptop battery because I can also use it to charge other devices like phones or any USB-powered gadget. This is a big plus for me. If you want to know more, head to HyperShop’s website. They also have other sorts of batteries.
Fun fact: In theory, the 60Wh model could keep an iPhone alive for 1-2 weeks, depending on usage :)
You might enjoy my Macbook Pro review (Model Spring 2010)