- Created on 26 October 2008
When I originally heard that Powertraveller were going to extend their range to include a laptop backup power device I have to admit I was dubious as to whether it would have any benefits over simply purchasing a long-life battery for a laptop (even though I was very impressed with the Powertraveller Powermonkey eXplorer). Yet again, however, I was suitably impressed with the Powertraveller product to highly recommend it despite the cost.
The Powertraveller Powergorilla as it sounds is the big brother to the Powermonkey range. Whereas a Powermonkey is capable of powering and charging a range of small electronics and handheld devices, the Powergorilla is capable of powering a laptop for up to 2-5 hours extra. Not only that, but it also has all the additional capabilities of the Powermonkey as well and can therefore power both a laptop as well as charging a mobile phone or handheld gamiing device at the same time!
I had imagined that this would therefore be a bulky and unwieldy piece of kit, much larger than simply a long life laptop battery, but yet again I am amazed at the fact that the Powergorilla has a footprint of only a third of my laptop (220 x 130 x 15mm), which is itself very small (Dell D420: 294 x 210 x 25mm) and weighs only 631g. The overall look of the Powergorilla is modern and solid, with a grey metal finish and rubber side grips. There is a small illuminated display for showing overall charge of the device, voltage, and connection type.
Connection to a laptop is a doddle, with a selection of `Gorilla Nuts` (power tips for laptops) to suit most laptops available and as we saw for the Powermonkey there are enough `Monkey Nuts` (small electronics power tips) to connect up nearly any available mobile phone, mp3 player, camera or gaming device. This means that it is unlikely that you will have to go out and purchase additional power tips, a small blessing if you are likely to use a range of equipment and regularly purchase new devices.
As the Powergorilla is effectively a large rechargeable battery (lithium polymer) there comes a time when it itself will need recharging, again a lot of thought has been put into this and the Powergorilla comes with a power lead with interchangeable heads that will allow the Powergorilla to be recharged virtually anywhere in the world. We found in our testing ( as we wrote the review) that there was absolutely no visible sign of discharging of the Powergorilla when we had it as the only source of power for the laptop (over 2 hours) and we could easily anticipate the Powergorilla outlasting the standard Dell battery supplied with our Dell D420.
In summary, although the Powertraveller is relatively expensive (£150 if purchased directly through Powertraveller), if you spend a lot of time travelling and use a laptop for business or conferences, where there is generally either no time or provision for charging laptops, the Powergorilla provides the ultimate convenience. Add to that it won't cost you as much as a long-life battery, and is transferrable between laptops and also charges additional handheld electronics, the Powertraveller Powergorilla is a winner in our book.
Also available from:
Amazon: Power Gorilla Portable Power Device