Monthly PC Tips

Pack Extra Power When You Travel

July 2012 – by Per Christensson

Electronic devices are rather useless without electrical power. Therefore, if you travel with a digital camera or laptop, it is a good idea to bring along an extra camera battery and power adapter for your laptop.

It's not fun when your camera battery dies when you're about to take the best photo of your vacation. Packing an extra battery can prevent this unfortunate event. Having two batteries allows you to take pictures for twice as long and you can use one battery while the other one is charging.

For laptops, an extra battery usually isn't necessary unless you plan on being without an electrical connection for an extended period of time. Many modern laptops (especially ultrabooks) do not even have removable batteries, so an extra battery may not be an option. However, an extra power adapter is essential.

The good news about laptop power supplies is that they serve as surge protectors, so if there is a power spike, the surge protector will take the blow, protecting the laptop. The bad news is that the electrical surge will blow the power adapter's fuse and it won't work anymore. If you only have one power adapter, your laptop will be useless once the battery runs out.

Even if you don't travel, it can be convenient to have an extra camera battery and laptop power adapter. For example, while at home, you may find it useful to alternate between camera batteries, charging one while using the other. Additionally, you can keep one laptop power adapter in your laptop bag and the other one can stay at home. While you may not need all the add-ons salespeople recommend, these two accessories are a good idea.

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