Like the Powertraveller Powergorilla, the Powertraveller Minigorilla is a primate power pack designed to supplement the internal battery of a laptop, extending life when you're away from the mains.
Where the Powertraveller Minigorilla differs is in simple size - the original Gorilla is a 0.6kg slab 220x130mm, while the Minigorilla weighs only 0.27kg and takes less space.
The application is straightforward enough: netbooks. In the Powertraveller Minigorilla, Powertraveller has come up with a power pack sized to match the smaller notebook.
The Powertraveller Minigorilla takes the same tough rubberised exterior, looking like it will take knocks without complaint. Mains plugs fit UK, US and European walls, and an outlet socket connects to netbook or iPods or mobile phones that need a power top-up.
A USB port is just the ticket for the many appliances that charge over USB. On our sample Powertraveller Minigorilla, this port was not aligned correctly, and required care in inserting a plug.
Adaptors can be found in the box to fit many different brands of laptop - ‘Gorilla Nuts' and ‘Monkey Nuts' is Powertraveller's name for the assortment here - although Apple MacBooks are excluded. If you carry a Mac laptop, add £28 to the price to buy an airline adaptor directly from Apple.
On top of the Powertraveller Minigorilla is a blue-backlit LCD display, which shows voltage level - choose between one of five to suit your needs.
Powertraveller claims the Powertraveller Minigorilla will give up to two hours use on typical netbooks requiring 19V. We tested the Minigorilla by seeing how it extended the uptime of a Packard Bell dot s netbook. Its own 6-cell battery provides over six hours life, says our MobileMark 2007 productivity test.
The internal battery was drained, and then we timed how long it would run with just the Powertraveller Minigorilla on power detail. With the netbook left idle and wireless on - actually an easier ride than MobileMark - it ran for 2 hours 40 minutes on this external power unit. We noted that the stepped six-level power gauge was not especially useful here, as the netbook keeled over with three bars still lit.
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