Archive for the 'Mobile Gadgets Living' Category


Leaving Electronics Plugged In Leads To Wasted Electricity


The environmental benefits of rechargeable batteries is undeniable. But recent reports on how “vampire electronics” — devices and cables that are left plugged in on a regular basis — can waste much more energy and money than what rechargeable batteries can save.

Once consumers get past the initial “sticker shock” of rechargeable batteries’ price tag, it becomes apparent that a quality set of rechargeables can save you a lot of money. 3 AA rechargeable batteries, which might run you AUD$21.99, pay for themselves after just a few recharges. Battery chargers can be a bit expensive at the outset, but it doesn’t take long before your battery charger becomes a money- and environment-saving machine.

However, no matter how good your environmental and money-saving intentions are in investing in rechargeable batteries and battery chargers, “vampire electronics” can erase any savings that you might gain from using renewable energy in your electronics. Continue reading ‘Leaving Electronics Plugged In Leads To Wasted Electricity’


Hydrogen-Powered “Reactor” Offers Perhaps The Cleanest, Greenest Battery Power Yet

brunton hydrogen core

To be sure, there’s a lot of continued debate over the use of nuclear power in generating electricity. Whilst some people say that it is by far the “cleanest” form of power available — in that nuclear reactions don’t belch smoke — others say that the nuclear waste is a major problem in disposing of, and the possibility of a core meltdown is just too risky.

Fortunately for us, this new concept in battery power technology is not exactly “fission” or “fusion” — even though the name might suggest it. Continue reading ‘Hydrogen-Powered “Reactor” Offers Perhaps The Cleanest, Greenest Battery Power Yet’


Thinner iPad 5 To Start Production In June; Apple Adjusting Design for Battery Life

ipad 5 and ipad mini 2

Reports of a much thinner iPad 5 set to begin production in July have users worried that Apple will downgrade the tablet’s battery life.

The past two iPhone releases have not fared well in terms of battery life — issues began with the iPhone 4S, which did not feature a sizable battery upgrade from the iPhone 4, and problems have persisted with the iPhone 5. The main culprit with the iPhone 5 is that its thinner design led to a thinner rechargeable battery with less capacity.

Fortunately, the iPad has never had this issue: its beefy chassis has always had ample room to house its large battery, and for the most part, users have been happy with the iPad’s battery performance. However, steady reports indicating that the iPad 5 will be much thinner than its predecessors has users wondering: will a thinner iPad battery mean poorer battery life? Continue reading ‘Thinner iPad 5 To Start Production In June; Apple Adjusting Design for Battery Life’


Recent High-Profile Fires Draw Concern Over LiON Rechargeable Batteries


Sanyo Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries x 4 AAA


LiON rechargeable batteries have been believed to be the next generation of rechargeable batteries that will come to replace NiMH. But recent high-profile LiON battery fires on jetliners has tech analytics questioning the long-term safety and viability of the technology.

If you follow tech news, then you know that LiON rechargeable batteries have quickly become the gold standard in the world of consumer electronics. The vast majority of mobile electronic devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and laptops all use powerful, high capacity LiON battery packs to run their systems, while even some of the top battery manufacturers now offer LiON batteries in AA and AAA varieties for digital cameras, camera flashes, and other high-profile electronics.

The reason for the rise in popularity of the LiON is simple: it is a high-output, high-capacity battery that gives complex electronics the sustained power they need to run powerful onboard processors, high-resolution displays, and other hardware components. But while all of these benefits of LiON rechargeable batteries are indeed true, the safely and stability of the LiON battery cell is now being called into question. Continue reading ‘Recent High-Profile Fires Draw Concern Over LiON Rechargeable Batteries’


Power Outages From Bushfires Underscore Need For Rechargeable Battery Power

Recent power outages caused by bushfires spreading across Australia this season underscore the importance of having rechargeable battery power on hand.

There is no question that the recent spate of bushfires across Australia has caused an immense amount of damage to people’s lives. The fires themselves have destroyed a countless amount of natural land as well as houses and investments. But the fires have also been reported to have caused power outages, due to electrical poles catching fire and burning is critical electrical junctions for communities.

The Geelong Advertiser reports that: “Powercor this morning confirmed more than 3000 homes and business were affected between about 11pm and 3am. Damien Batey from Powercor said the outage was caused by a change in weather which sparked the fire, causing extensive damage to the power pole.” with dry weather conditions and wind blowing bushfires in a random and unpredictable manner, more and more residents are finding themselves with out power.

Now more than ever, having rechargeable battery power on hand is critically necessary. Continue reading ‘Power Outages From Bushfires Underscore Need For Rechargeable Battery Power’


Mixed Reviews For iPhone 5 Battery Life

New iPhone 5 users have complained about a wide range of hardware and software issues with the iPhone 5, one of which has been the battery. But is the battery life of the new iPhone as terrible as some users claim it to be?

There’s no doubt that the rechargeable battery on a smartphone is one of the most underrated components. While no one would deny that, of the new features on the iPhone 5, the battery ranks low in terms of excitement compared to the new form factor, display, 4G, and iOS 6, the bottom line is that without solid battery life, the mobile computing experience is greatly diminished — even on an iPhone.

Early reports from iPhone 5 users suggest that the battery life is a problem, just as it was for the iPhone 4S last year, which we reported on about a year ago. According to PC Advisor, “Some iPhone users and bloggers are reporting that older iPhones updated to iOS 6 are draining their batteries much faster than before, and sometime heating up during or after recharging. Based on posts at Apple’s online support boards and other online forums, it’s difficult to know what the cause or causes are, and how widespread the problem is. The boards are replete with complex experiments by users trying a wide range of fixes to the battery life problem.”

The sense among users is that the rechargeable battery itself was clearly not upgraded enough to support the new A6 processor, larger screen, and 4G LTE connectivity. We reported on the marginally upgraded battery pack back in August, and how the mAh was only marginally upgraded. That was a rumor at the time, but it turned out to be true.

At the iPhone 5 announcement on September 12th, however, Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted of the new rechargeable battery technology on the iPhone 5, claiming that the new battery adds 2 hours worth of life to the phone, compared to the iPhone 4S. Also, independent tests are beginning to reveal that the iPhone 5’s battery actually performs quite well:

To get a worst-case estimate, I set the Pandora app to play Web radio nonstop, then disable the phone screen’s auto-lock option to keep the display lit. For a best-case data point, I’ll leave the phone on a desk with the screen off, mobile broadband active and Bluetooth and WiFi powered up but not linked to anything; 24 hours later, I’ll check its battery status. I don’t look at talk time, because we increasingly use smartphones for things other than calling. By those metrics, the iPhone 5 is terrific — but not by a huge margin. In the Web-radio test, it lasted 7 hours and 44 minutes; in the second, its onscreen battery gauge read 85% after 24 hours idling away. Each figure beats any Android phone I’ve tested on an LTE signal, although some 3G models have done better.

So, which is true? Is the iPhone 5’s battery a success or a failure? Some believe that the answer lies in what users do with their iPhone, and how many apps they leave running all the time. This explanation fits in more with Apple’s explanation of battery issues — that it is more of a software issue than a hardware issue. And Apple has a degree of plausible deniability here: would Cupertino invest so much into their research and design for the iPhone 5, only to purposely equip it with a bad battery? Wouldn’t that seem foolish?

Perhaps not. The fact is that the types of users who post in tech forums and write blog articles about the iPhone 5 battery life tend not to be “average users.” Instead, they tend to be avid tech enthusiasts, who most likely push their mobile devices a lot harder than average users do. For as much as the geeks of the world lie to believe that they fuel the tech market, it is the average user who is buying the iPhone 5 in droves — and quite frankly, their bit of texting and web surfing may not have warranted a bigger, bolder, more expensive battery for the iPhone 5.

In future releases of iOS 6, expect to see Apple address battery life at the software level. But they will certainly never admit that there is any kind of hardware design flaw.

Thanks for reading our article! Are you looking to purchase rechargeable batteries? Electronics Warehouse has a wide selection of the finest rechargeable batteries in Australia! .


Are Hybrid Cars Really Greener?

hybrid carsTrying to go green is always a challenge. There is a sea of information – and misinformation – to be had on what choices are actually greener, and which just seem that way. Hybrid cars are one such item.

Hybrids were advertised as the salvation of the auto industry. As gas expenditures were choking the world, and oil companies were returning record profits, Hybrids burst onto the scene claiming that they could save the consumer money, and keep the Earth alive a little longer than their straight gas counterparts.

The detractors were quick to appear, namely because those that did not have hybrid technology in development did not want their customer base to flee to greener pastures. One of the biggest claims that held water was that producing a hybrid car caused so many emissions that even if you drove one, there was still more pollution being pumped into the air, between the emissions of the car and the emissions of production, than if you were to just buy a standard vehicle. Continue reading ‘Are Hybrid Cars Really Greener?’


Should Australia Follow the Lead of California Regarding Battery Chargers?

battery chargerCalifornia is always the pace-setter for the United States when it comes to being energy efficient, and their newest law continues the trend. The new regulations will be imposed on battery chargers that are used repetitively for electronic items, such as smartphones, computers, and other devices. Essentially, the lawmakers contend that these chargers aren’t efficient enough at charging the devices, take longer to fully charge, continue to consume massive amounts of energy while not in use or once a mobile phone battery or other battery is charged, and more. Because of this, the new regulations will require that these same battery chargers are made with modifications that allow them to charge more quickly, more effectively, and don’t use as much energy when not in the process of charging. According to proponents of this new standard, the amount of electricity saved could be enough to power 350,000 homes – that’s a lot of electricity when you think of it in those terms.


Did Apple Improve the Rechargeable Battery on the iPhone 4S?

Apple’s new iPhone 4S uses the same form factor as the old iPhone 4, while boasting some powerful, new components. But did they increase the power of the battery to handle the new performance levels?

This week has been a disappointment for Apple fans worldwide. The announcement of a refreshed iPhone 4S instead of an iPhone 5, together with the death of Steve Jobs, has cast an unusual pall over the usually optimistic glow of Apple. For iPhone users, the death of Steve Jobs perhaps helps to put Cupertino’s decision to merely refresh the iPhone into better context, assuming that his passing will undoubtedly have some short term negative consequences on the image of the company he helped to make so successful.

In spite of the disappointment,  the iPhone 4S is an impressive new iPhone, to be sure, much in the same way that the 3GS improved on the 3G’s design performance-wise. The inclusion of iOS 5 and iCloud, as well as Siri and the A5 processor, all make the iPhone 4S the most powerful, versatile iPhone ever.

Granted, iPhone users really wanted a larger screen more than anything: most of the iPhone’s natural competitors all boast 4″+ screens, and many expected the next iPhone to be an “iPhone 5” with a larger screen and new form factor. But that’s not what we got. Perhaps one of the reason — from a technical perspective — why Apple was reluctant to increase the iPhone’s screen size this time around was their unwillingness to overhaul the rechargeable better on the iPhone?

From our observations, the iPhone 4S not only borrows the form factor of the iPhone 4 — it also uses essentially the same LiON rechargeable battery pack. Comparing the battery specs for the iPhone and iPhone 4S side by side, they read almost the same: talk time on the 4S up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM), which is a one-hour increase from the iPhone 4 for 3G; video playback up to 10 hours; and audio playback up to 40 hours.

There are, however, some areas where the iPhone 4S has seen a reduction in its battery performance as well. Whereas the iPhone 4’s specs for internet use boasts up to 6 hours on 3G and up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi, the 4S is rated at up to 6 hours on 3G, and up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi. And while the iPhone 4 offers 300 hours of standby time, the iPhone 4S only features “up to 200 hours.”

Why has Apple gone backwards with battery technology on the iPhone 4S?

The answer is simple: they have sacrificed battery power for performance. The A5 chip, iOS 5, and the new Siri Voice Assistant technology all sap the iPhone 4S of its battery juice, in spite of Apple’s impression LiON technology. In particular, the A5 chip really puts a lot of pressure on the battery while the iPhone 4S is on, which is why there is such a dramatic difference in standby times.

It remains to be seen what the unintended consequences will be for the iPhone 4S with less rechargeable battery power. It very well may be that the 4S will have significant rechargeable battery issues, in spite of the fact that Apple is boasting of the A5 chip’s ability to run on a moderate amount of power. And because the iPhone still does not allow users to easily replace the battery, having spare rechargeable batteries for the iPhone 4S is still not an option.

Only time will tell.

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Rechargeable Batteries & mAh: What a Higher mAh Means For Your Digital Camera

Sanyo Eneloop AA Rechargeable BatteriesWhen researching rechargeable batteries, the term “mAh” gets bandied about quite often. Read about how a higher mAh can have a tremendous impact on the performance of electronics like digital cameras.

Anyone who owns a digital camera — particularly one that takes AA batteries as its power supply — knows that they have the capacity to suck battery power like a vampire. It is not uncommon for a digital camera to completely drain its batteries after just an hour of heavy use, which often comes at the most inopportune times, leaving you with no digital camera when you need it the most.

If you rely on AA rechargeable batteries for your digital cameras, then the most important consideration is investing in rechargeable batteries with the right mAh. Of course, if you have no idea what mAh is, then it might be a bit confusing to determine what level of mAh you need for digital camera, and why.

Rechargeable Batteries and mAh

“mAh” stands for “milliampere-hour.” But if that definition is somewhat lost on you, then think of it another way: mAh is all about battery capacity — kind of like the size of the petrol tank on your AA rechargeable batteries. So, it is easy to imagine that the higher the mAh on your AA rechargeable batteries, the higher performance for your digital camera.

Vapex Instant AA 2500mAh NIMH Rechargeable Batteries

However, it can be particularly helpful in understanding the battery draw of your digital camera when you go shopping for rechargeable batteries, and determining if you’ve got the capacity you need for the kind of camera and picture taking you normally engage in.

What Components on a Digital Camera Use the Most Power?

Simply put, there is no set answer to this question, since digital camera features vary from model to model, and depending on the performance level of the digital camera, you’ll need to take that into consideration when shopping for rechargeable batteries. The good news is that, for the vast majority of digital cameras, they draw very little power when simply turned on — most cameras have idle currents of 1 mA.

However, it is all the “bells and whistles” on a digital camera that start to push the levels of power that drain rechargeable batteries. Actions like encoding a JPEG, manipulating sensor data, driving the LCD screen, or charging the flash, all draw high currents. And considering that these are commonplace operations on all digital cameras, you can begin to imagine why your rechargeable batteries drain so easily.

rechargeable batteries in a digital cameraHow Much Juice Does a Digital Camera Need?

Let’s go back to the definition of “mAh,” and hot it relates to your digital camera’s performance. Think of it this way: if the rating of your rechargeable batteries is 2500 mAh, then you can draw 100 milliamps for 25 hours, or 50 milliamps for 50 hours etc. When you think of your digital camera “idling,” then you’d imagine that you could get a lot of endurance out of rechargeable batteries rated at 2500 mAh. However, this would only be when a camera is  in standby mode. When you’re running all of your camera’s components, it is more realistic to pull about 200 mAh, and when you take a picture, it can draw anywhere between 1.2 and 2A!

The best approach is to invest in the highest mAh possible for your digital camera’s rechargeable batteries. Vapex’s 2500 mAh instant rechargeable batteries are a great value, and come pre-charged. Sanyo Eneloop‘s pre-charged AA rechargeable batteries are rated a bit lower at 2300 mAh and priced a bit higher, but their production quality can make up for the slightly lower rating, with Sanyo Eneloop claiming their AA’s can take up to 500 photos.

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