batteries

Microsoft envisions a battery system that adjust to your habits

Microsoft envisions a battery system that adjust to your habits

We've said it before and we're saying it again. Batteries have now largely become the bottleneck of mobile computing and the new obsession for engineers. Being able to offer battery life that exceeds more than half a day, with the same amount of computing power and usage, and without bulking up the device is sort of like the holy grail these days. But while many manufacturers and researchers are investigating new types of batteries and materials, Microsoft researchers have a different idea: to use the same kinds of batteries we have today and let software do the work.

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XTRON USB-C power bank: charge your MacBook on the go

XTRON USB-C power bank: charge your MacBook on the go

Maximas has unveiled its upcoming XTRON USB-C power bank for the new MacBook and other gadgets sporting USB-C. The power bank, much like competing devices we’ve seen in recent months, can power USB-C devices while on the go, including applicable laptops; the device uses chips from Texas Instruments, according to Maximas, and battery cells from Panasonic. Furthermore, the power bank offers a 4.2a output, as well as a regular USB port (USB-A) for charging your other non-USB-C devices.

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Intocircuit 11200mAh portable battery mini-review

Intocircuit 11200mAh portable battery mini-review

Though they take up little space in your bag, a portable battery is a godsend for frequent travelers, or for those times you end up being away from a charging station longer than anticipated. A portable battery is only as useful as its ability to charge your phone, however, and there's one big downside with most portable batteries: you can't see how much charge they have left, or you have to guesstimate using a few LED indicators. Enter the Intocircuit 11200mAh battery -- it has a built-in display showing the percentage of charge left, among other things.

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These batteries could last forever

These batteries could last forever

This week researchers at MIT and Samsung have revealed a new approach to batteries, paving the way for "rechargeable batteries with almost indefinite lifetimes." MIT suggests that the electrolyte is the key to this next-generation solution to longer-lasting batteries is in a solid electrolyte instead of liquid, liquid being the element used in most common rechargeable batteries today. This new solution could also make the next generation of batteries safer, too, reducing the chance of explosions and harmful chemical leaks.

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AppleCare+ updated to cover devices with less than 80% original battery capacity

AppleCare+ updated to cover devices with less than 80% original battery capacity

Apple has made a small but important change to the terms of it AppleCare+ Protection Plan for its various devices. Now more users who experience a decrease in battery capacity within their warranty period will be able to have their repairs covered. The updated terms now applies to batteries that have less than 80% of the capacity they shipped with. This covers devices including the iPhone, iPad, iPod and all Apple Watch models.

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“Smart” lithium-ion battery warns before it explodes

“Smart” lithium-ion battery warns before it explodes

News of exploding smartphone batteries might be sensational but they are no light matter. Aside from the harm, or even death, that could come from those, they also point to a problem with lithium-ion batteries that exhibited elsewhere. While little can be done for a battery that explodes due to severe damage, in most other cases, accidents could be prevented if users knew that the battery is on the verge of combusting. That is what Stanford associate professor Yi Cui and other professors have sought to accomplish with this new "smart" battery.

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How GM’s giving old batteries a second charge

How GM’s giving old batteries a second charge

General Motors is one of the auto makers working to reuse old electric car batteries, and in its case it is doing so with Chevrolet Volt batteries with one of its IT buildings. Using a handful of old Volt batteries from the model’s first generation, General Motors is powering an administration building in conjunction with wind and solar energy. This is due to the remaining capacities of the batteries after they stop being useful for the Chevy Volt electric cars.

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Mercedes-Benz takes on Tesla with its own home battery

Mercedes-Benz takes on Tesla with its own home battery

Tesla saw ample success with its home batteries, so much so that you’re going to have to wait quite a while to get one yourself. It’s not the only company getting into that market, though, and we’ve known for a few days that Mercedes-Benz was planning to challenge the company. Today Daimler dropped some details on that plan, and officially began taking registrations from interested parties. The home batteries will be branded as Mercedes-Benz offerings, but whether the company will experience the same demand levels as Tesla is yet to be seen.

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Elon Musk: Tesla home batteries “basically sold out” through mid-2016

Elon Musk: Tesla home batteries “basically sold out” through mid-2016

After speculation of such, Tesla recently introduced home batteries as part of its Tesla Energy division. These Powerwall (residential) and Powerpack (industrial) batteries, as they're called, are Tesla's way of ushering in a new future of sustainable energy, and they provide an enticing opportunity for those who may have otherwise been hesitating about switching to solar energy. During the Tesla earnings call today, company CEO Elon Musk touched on the topic of batteries, saying that the company has “basically sold out” the product all the way through the middle of next year.

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Save your solar power; Tesla to announce home batteries on April 30

Save your solar power; Tesla to announce home batteries on April 30

The rumors are true. Tesla just "announced" that it will unveil new type of lithium-ion battery for homes and offices. In an email to investors, Tesla's Jeffery Evanson said that the company will use its April 30th presentation to, "explain the advantages of our solutions and why past battery options were not compelling.” The innovative car company also plans to reveal a second, "very large" lithium-ion battery for large-scale utilities. Such a sizable battery would be idea for doomsday preppers and those wishing to stay "off the grid."

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Google is working on solid-state batteries that last longer than typical batteries

Google is working on solid-state batteries that last longer than typical batteries

With every new release of mobile or portable devices, battery life has been one of the most deciding factors for many consumers to adopt a device. While battery technology has been improving and devices operate more efficiently, there isn’t anything revolutionary that would give our phones or laptop two or three days of battery life. Google X Research Labs is said to be working on several new battery technologies - one of them is a solid-state battery in the form of thin-film.

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Stanford has a battery that charges in a minute

Stanford has a battery that charges in a minute

Batteries. The lifeblood of our mobile devices and ironically also somewhat their Achilles heel. Although the evolution of lithium-ion batteries has made all these portable electronic devices possible, they haven't really caught up with the growing power that we keep in our pockets. That's not even considering yet the similarly growing obsession over thinner devices, which would require thinner batteries that deliver the same power. Stanford University researchers, lead by chemistry professor Dai Hongjie, might have stumbled on the answer in a new variant of an aluminum-ion battery.

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