Though the Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook Air offer best-in-class (ultrabooks) battery life, power users will have to admit that they have to put their MacBooks through at least two charge cycles in 24-36 hours. It isn’t really a big deal, unless of course you are on the go and don’t have access to a wall charger. That’s when external batteries for the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro become smart purchases. Below, we have picked out and quickly reviewed what we think is the best external battery for MacBook Pro and the best external battery for MacBook Air.
Anker Astro Pro 2 20000 mAH Multi-Voltage External Battery Charger for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air
- 4.9′ X 7.3′ x 0.6′
- 1.2 lbs
- 20,000 mAh capacity capable of almost fully charging an empty MacBook Pro or MacBook Air battery
- Multiple output voltages – 12V , 16V, 19 V and USB 5V to help you charge other devices as well
- Sleek, high-quality brushed aluminum finish
- DC and USB outputs
- Can also charge most smartphones, iPhones and other laptops
- 4 LED display to indicate remaining battery power
- Can charge an iPhone 5 up to 10 times on a single charge
- Can fully charge and iPad 2 or iPad 3
- 18-24 month warranty
- $99.99 at Amazon.com
If you have all of Apple ecosystem’s products, this is a charger that you are going to absolutely love. While it can nearly recharge your MacBook Pro and MacBook Air to full capacity charge, it can actually fully charge your iPad 2 and iPad 3 to 100% capacity, in just over an hour!
What is really impressive is how efficiently it can charge your iPhone 5. With the Anker external battery fully charged, you can charge your iPhone 5 a full 10 times, great for use while on the go.
Connectors and adapters
This Anker external battery for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro doesn’t come with adapters for MacBooks. Quite surprisingly, we might add, as it seems to come included with adapters for most other popular laptop series like the Sony Vaio, Toshiba Satellite, Acer Aspire, Samsung N Series, HP Pavilion and the Asus Eee and ThinkPad lines.
However, there are adapters that you can buy separately to make them compatible with your MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
- Auto/Air Magsafe DC Adapter for Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook Air
- MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter (for Retina Display Models)
How the external charger works?
When you get the contents out of the box, all you have to do is fully charge up the Anker Astro Pro 2 battery. There are 5 indicator lights that display the current battery level.
When you put it on charge, the lights sequentially light up to indicate charging. When one to five lights are on, it means one of the following.
- 1 Blinking LED light – Less than 1% power
- 1 Solid LED light – 1-20% battery power
- 2 Solid LED lights – 20-40% battery power
- 3 Solid LED Lights – 40-60% battery power
- 4 Solid LED lights – 60-80% battery power
- 5 Solid LED lights – 80-100% battery power
With its compact size, great battery juice and multiple connectivity options, the Anker Astro Pro2 is a great travel charger. At $99, it can be a wise investment as it essentially doubles the battery life of your MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Since it comes with multiple adapters that let you charge smartphone as well, it will be very handy as everyone runs out of at least phone battery every once in a while. It isn’t very light at 1.2 lbs but if you don’t mind that small weight in your bag, you will love the charge time it can add on to your electronic device, even if you are in the middle of nowhere.
After all, if you bought the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, you like to work unplugged and this device will let you do just that.