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TECH THURSDAY: The portable battery packs you never knew you needed


Designer Connor Byrne's new technology column in CM Life


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Have you ever spent a long time getting ready for a fun night out, only to realize just before leaving, your phone battery is at 15 percent?

Battery drain is the most pressing usability issue with our favorite mobile devices. Until a more efficient solution is developed, students with tech like tablets and smart phones will want to invest in an important tool: Portable battery packs.

These easily chargeable battery devices are imperative for students, especially freshmen. As a student and graphic designer, I’m constantly transporting my computer, mouse, books, and other technology.

One thing I make sure to keep with me at all times is a portable battery. Whether I’m working, at school, on the road or at my own house, my portable battery has come to my aid at all the right times.

Depending on your usage, there are three great options for Central Michigan University students to choose from.

For light mobile users, I recommend Anker’s Astro E1 5200 mAhbattery. With an amplitude a little over 5 milliamps and a slim form factor, this pack is perfect for charging a phone once. Just don’t expect a second full charge.

Despite these limitations, you’ll have a little charge left over from your first power up for other tech that needs an extra boost. This battery is small enough to grabbing on the way out the door, especially after forgetting to charge up the night before. You can find it online for an average price of $14.99.

For users with moderate energy needs, you can’t go wrong with a Kmashi 10,000 mAh battery. This is a pack I personally use every day, and it has yet to disappoint. Like a lot of students, I’m really rough on my electronics, so I need a portable battery that can take a beating.

My Kmashi battery handles the wear and tear in stride, all while boosting my phone to full charge up to three times before the pack dies. From my own personal experience, this is a perfect option for students. It is priced online at $13.99.

Heavy users running a lot of apps at one time are going to need a whopping 20,000 mAh. Luckily, Kmashi makes a fast-charge battery variant. It’s more expensive than the lighter Kmashi, but this behemoth battery pack touts Qualcommquick charging. Quick chargers allow phones to charge from 0 to 50 percent in around 30 minutes.

Fast charging, coupled with an impressive supply of power, make this battery a worthwhile investment. The online price is $32.99.

Remember, your phone can’t charge without a cord either. Instead of going into a retailer for a cheap one, you can have one delivered to your door if you purchase these packs through Amazon.com.

For iPhone and Android users, look for the two pack of 2-in-1 braided cables from Cable Creation, priced at $9.99.

In 2016, phone, tablet and home technology has consumers excited for improved performance. Still, issues like battery life keep some devices from reaching their full potential.

Don’t let something like battery prevent you from chronicling that perfect night out on social media like Facebook or Snapchat. Get a portable battery pack to make those moments last.

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