batteries

Duracell’s Star Wars commercial is better than the prequels

Duracell’s Star Wars commercial is better than the prequels

The video spot you're about to see takes on Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Christmas morning. Therein you'll find the fight for the Republic, as executed by a couple of youngling Jedi wielding some fabulous battery-laden lightsabers. They're using Duracell batteries, of course, as the video was made for Duracell batteries with licensing from Lucasfilm. This story is just one minute long, but it'll thrill, it'll chill, and it'll make you understand the true nature of The Force. With batteries.

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New silicon tech makes batteries lighter, more powerful

New silicon tech makes batteries lighter, more powerful

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have created an inexpensive silicon battery technology said to increase both the life span and performance of lithium-ion batteries. The work was done by chemical engineering professor Zhongwei Chen, as well as a team of grad students. Ultimately, the creation could usher in batteries that are both smaller and longer lasting than present batteries, improving their use in everything from electric vehicles to everyday gadgets.

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Acer reveals it’s developing an electric ATV

Acer reveals it’s developing an electric ATV

If there's one thing Acer is known for, it most certainly is not all-terrain vehicles. But who's to say they can't experiment a little? The Taiwanese phone, tablet, and laptop manufacturer revealed that that's exactly what they're developing at last week's Munich-based eCarTech conference. In fitting with the show's theme, the ATV is completely powered by electricity (making it an eATV), and going by the name "X Terran."

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Samsung Stripe and Band batteries are flexible, target wearables

Samsung Stripe and Band batteries are flexible, target wearables

When it comes to wearables, batteries are one of the biggest limitations. For all their features and flashiness, smartwatches still suffer from relatively poor battery life, and those batteries represent design limitations (or, conversely, the wearables’ designs limit the battery choices). Different research collectives and companies have been working on battery technologies to remove the shackles, and one of them is Samsung, which recently introduced its new Stripe battery.

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Is phone thickness more important than battery life? [POLL]

Is phone thickness more important than battery life? [POLL]

Upon seeing the device HTC One A9 and finding that it has a battery a tiny bit smaller than expected, we got to thinking. At what price do we get a great design for a smartphone? Has it become more important to us to have a device that looks great than to have a device whose battery is large enough to last well through the day? We've not yet tested the HTC One A9 yet, of course, so we don't know how long it'll last on one charge, but the question remains: are we still sacrificing some features in order to attain others?

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FAA to airlines: ban lithium batteries in checked bags

FAA to airlines: ban lithium batteries in checked bags

When it comes to recharging gadgets, sometimes your only option is spare pre-charged batteries. That’s all fine and well, only now the FAA doesn’t want you checking them into your checked baggage, citing concerns about security and safety. According to a new report, the FAA has advised airlines to ban lithium bags from checked luggage, something that will force passengers to put them in carry-ons instead.

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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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