updated 03:20 pm EDT, Fri May 16, 2008
Accessory and peripheral maker FastMac has announced a new external battery charger for Mac notebooks, the U-Charge. The unit is a 45W adapter that bridges from an AC outlet directly to a battery's terminals, eliminating the need to have the notebook itself present. As a result the U-Charge also consumes less energy than some adapters, having no need to power the computer at the same time. Indicator LEDs mimic those of Apple's, and safeguards are installed against overcharging, overheating and power surges.
The design of the charger ensures that it is compatible with a wide range of Apple notebooks. Aside from modern MacBooks and MacBook Pros, it works with 12-inch iBooks, 12-, 15- and 17-inch PowerBook G4s, and Bronze- or Pismo-edition PowerBook G3s. The U-Charge ships in 30 days, but can be pre-ordered for $70.