By May 23, 2009

Review U2O iUP 13200 High-Capacity Laptop External Battery Pack

imageWe love guest reviews here at Mobile Tech Addicts, especially when they come as good as this one. If your in the market for an external battery power source that can handle just about every device you throw at it you must check out this review. Thanks Ian for sharing this:-

If you’re reading this, chances are you own at least one bit of kit that relies on battery power (and we’re not talking Duracells either!). Whether it’s your mobile phone, your MP3 player, digital camera, video camera, laptop or netbook, everything we use regularly needs the juice, and with devices like netbooks and the iPhone being used on an ever increasing basis, more and more of us are having to organise our daily routines with our technology over one thing: where can I get power?

Case in point: I recently made the trip to see my fiancé in London for the weekend. Luckily, the train’s free Wi-Fi kept me connected on the journey down. Unfortunately, the plugs next to everyone’s seats were disabled on the journey both ways, something which doesn’t fit well into the equation of spending 3 hours online with a battery that works with everything off bar Wi-Fi for a little under two hours. With my netbook (an Advent-rebadged version of the MSI Wind) not having any official replacement batteries available, expanded or otherwise, I started look for an alternative, and stumbled across U2O’s latest battery charger.


At 18cm x 8.4cm x 2.3cm, it’s not exactly small, but the power underneath its big smear-magnet of a shell is quite astonishing. Inside is a 13,200mAh battery, with connectors allowing you to plug it into anything USB-powered or via its collection of “smart tips” that adapt its output to a variety of mobile phones (LG, Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson are supported, plus the soon-to-be-standard mini USB) and laptops. Out of the box, it’s 75% charged, as helpfully noted by 3 of the 4 power lights that light up below the device’s central power button after it’s been pressed. You can top it up to 100%, but the iUP is good to go out of the box, but proceed with caution!


On the side of the device, you’ll notice three ports and one switch: “IN” (self explanatory, your AC adaptor or car cigarette lighter goes in here), “OUT” (again, where the adaptor lead with a connected smart tip goes) and the 5V USB lead. That part is straight forward enough – however, my biggest fear on this device is the voltage slider on the side. Unless you like frying your mobile devices, proceed with caution: anything connected to a USB lead (iPhone, iPod, etc) has to be plugged into the USB 5V port, with the voltage switch set to 5V. If it’s set any higher, you could damage the iUP and/or your device. Quite worrying if you risk frying your phone… but positively terrifying if you hook up your laptop to this with the wrong setting.


Once you have the settings fine, connecting your laptop is merely a case of finding the right “smart tip” for your laptop, almost like grabbing the right spanner for that troublesome bolt. With my laptop, I found the best way was to grab the tips themselves, and gently try them in the socket where the AC adaptor usually goes. Once I found the right one, it was just a case of popping it onto the end of the iUP’s lead, and then into the iUP itself. A quick press of the device’s only button starts the charging process – with my device out of the box, I was able to charge up my drained mobile phone (Sony Ericsson K850i; don’t laugh), my iPod, and my laptop all from low-battery states, and still have around 25% of the power left in the iUP.

The only device I had issues charging was my Tom Tom, which, despite being plugged in via the same USB lead I use in Tom Tom’s own AC adaptor, wouldn’t recognise a constant charge, as the power light kept switching on and off. However, given that this charged everything else I threw at it, I considered this to be a great success – except for the issue at the start that can easily become a bugbear, especially if you charge several different devices over a long period of time.


While the myriad of “smart tips” and sockets could scare off most people, this ideal for tech heads who want to take a lot of gear on the road without having to deal with all those wires. While perhaps not suited for those who just want a better battery for one device without having to replace it (in that case, an extended laptop battery or something like the Mophie Juice Pack/RichardSolo for the iPhone would be your best bet), the U2O iUP should definitely find a place next to your gadgets, without looking out of place either.

The voltage switch will cause concern for a lot of users. If you take it slow, you’ll be fine, but even a seasoned tech like myself had to scramble for my existing power leads to double check my voltage settings. Once you have them sorted, you’re good to go, but it’s definitely not a device to pick up and play with – unless you feel like playing Russian Roulette with your tech!

Features of the U2O iUP 13200

– 13200mAh Li-Ion battery

– Charges almost anything that takes a USB lead

– Compatible with most mobiles and laptops (some stores offer a refund if your laptop/phone doesn’t charge through the device)

– Can charge multiple devices off of one charge from the unit

What’s in the box

– iUP 13200 mAh unit

– AC adaptor

– 65cm retractable USB connector

– “Smart tips” to plug into connectors to fit most laptop and mobile phone power connectors

– Chinese & English manual

The U2O iUP 13200 retails for around £79.99 and is available from Clove.

– Ian Hamilton : :


Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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