Lenmar’s ChugPlug ($160) was one of a handful of Best of Show Award-winners at the 2014 International CES, and the only solely Mac-focused product of the bunch. Up until now, the only real option for providing portable power to a MacBook has come in the form of Sanho’s HyperJuice, an accessory that requires physical hacking of the power supply. ChugPlug offers up to four extra hours of use without having to tear apart a wall adapter. Originally posted in January 2014, this article was updated May 27, 2014 with hands-on impressions and testing results!
The large white accessory connects to an 11” or 13” MacBook’s power brick. The MacBook’s rounded square adapter fits onto one of ChugPlug’s ends, while Apple’s wall plug extension cable goes on the other. The idea is that you’ll charge your computer with ChugPlug in place, and then it can be used for power on the go as needed. Although a mAh rating isn’t listed, Lenmar claims four additional hours on the 11” MacBook Air, and three hours on 13” Macs.
At 9” long, 3” tall, and 1.125” wide—the same width as Apple’s chargers—ChugPlug is pretty darn big, especially considering it packs a relatively small 4,000mAh battery—the same capacity can often be found in pocket-sized USB-based chargers. That said, it works just as advertised: we were able to juice up a fully-depleted, 11” Mid-2011 MacBook Air to 88% in just about two hours, not bad given the laptop’s 4,680mAh battery capacity. Newer and larger machines likely won’t see the same high percentage because they have larger capacity cells, although they’ll still get an appreciable amount of time that can’t otherwise be achieved without plugging into a wall.
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- Apple hires hint at improvements in encryption, health monitoring
- Hyundai adds CarPlay support to more vehicles
- Plaintiffs file new motion to keep ‘Error 53’ Touch ID lawsuit alive
- Report: Apple developing Siri home speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo; will release Siri SDK at WWDC
- iOS Spotlight search now offers relevant results for some emoji
- Cook discusses ambitious plan to beef up Apple Watch’s health monitoring
- New leak shows dual camera exclusive to ‘iPhone 7 Plus,’ but no Smart Connector
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)