12-inch MacBook Gets a USB-C Battery Pack

The new 12-inch MacBook is generally considered the most energy efficient laptop of the fanless Intel Core M-powered laptops, capable of going anywhere between 9 and 11-hours on a single charge with average use.

However, if you frequently take 13-plus hour flights, or simply don’t want to bother looking for a wall outlet to charge your ultra-thin device, the new QuickerTek External Battery for MacBook might just be your ideal travel companion.

Specially designed to fit the new MacBook’s USB-C connector, this battery pack uses the included USB 3.1 adaptor cable to power your Apple device. Weighing just 0.9-lbs, with dimensions about the size of a (thicker) smartphone (3 7/8″ x 5″ x 3/4″), it packs just enough high charge density batteries to add eight hours of power to the 12-inch MacBook. That said, we’re not sure of its exact wattage, or how quickly it can fully charge a depleted laptop. Thanks to PCM and Smart Charging technology developed by QuickerTek, this battery will not overheat, nor over- or under-charge, which helps ensure a longer shelf life for this handy accessory.

Speaking of handy, one of the most useful features about this battery is its ability to wirelessly inform the user of her MacBook’s charge status. Rather than indicate the battery’s power status via a LED light on the accessory, this QuickerTek battery can beam the laptop’s charge status to the user’s iPhone, iPod or other Apple laptop as long as it is Bluetooth 4.0 LE-compatible. That way, you don’t have to hover over the ultraportable computer while it is getting powered up.

$300 for just an external battery for the 12-inch MacBook from QuickerTek seems rather expensive, but that’s the cost of being an early adopter of a first-generation gadget. Personally, I would rather get a portable battery that doubles as a USB hub to augment the skimpy MacBook, like this recently-funded Kickstarter-backed portable battery plus hub from Voltus. The 55-watt Voltus Pro “only” retails for $189 and offers 13-hours of additional MacBook power, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C input, and one USB-C port to connect to other compatible accessories.

It seems inevitable that the new MacBook will require various adapters and hubs just to work with our existing gadgets. Hopefully, as more USB-C-compatible accessories become available, their prices will also drop to a more affordable level.

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