Review: nupower video+ rechargeable battery

Add battery power to your iPod video. (May 25th, 2007)

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Product Manufacturer: newer technology, inc.

Price: $49.95 us

The Good

  • Over 300% increase in battery life. Charges internal iPod battery and VIDEO+ together. Acts as a stand.

The Bad

  • Heavy. Bulky. Some accessory incompatibility. No screen protector.

When you want to use your iPod video and fly halfway around the world, head off to backpack in Alaska, or spend an extended period off the power grid, your battery life may not be up to the task. To use your iPod video continuously for many hours, the NewerTech NuPower ViDEO+ may be just what you need.

battery life

The NuPower ViDEO+ includes claims that it extends the 5th Generation iPod run-time from Apple's estimated 20 hours by 400%, to a whopping 80 hours of music listening or 16 hours of video viewing. My tests on a 5th Generation 30GB Video iPod extended music play time by over 300%, from 12 hours to 40 hours with the ViDEO+. Battery mileage varies depending on the audio output device you use, but NewerTech's claim is very reasonable.

bulk and weight

When installed the slim Lithium-polymer rechargeable battery pack increases the weight of your iPod video by 70% to 80%, depending on whether you use the 30 or 80GB models. It adds a whopping 4 ounces to the package and fattens up your fashionably slim iPod into something comparable to the clunky, first generation antique iPods. White this is not a product you want to carry around all the time, it also acts as a stand, so you can actually watch your iPod without holding it.

The good news is that you do not have to leave the ViDEO+ affixed to your iPod; you can use it to charge the iPod and then remove it. When you turn on the ViDEO+, juice flows through to the iPod, just as it does when it is connected to your computer. The best news is that a fully charged ViDEO+ supports up to three iPod recharges.

Accessible Dock Connector

The ViDEO+ has a power switch and little red LED battery status lights. The NuPower ViDEO+ rests snugly against your iPod and connects easily to the iPod Dock connector. It allows other devices to use the dock via its own pass thru Dock connector. You can connect a standard iPod USB dock connector cable to charge or sync, plus it charges both batteries at once.

Supports Most accessories

The ViDEO+ docking port works with most iPod accessories, such as FM transmitters, car chargers, speakers, wireless headphones, and in-house audio transmitters. Surprisingly, however, the iPod cannot connect to a camera via an iPod Camera Adaptor through the ViDEO+ docking port. Contact with Newer about this problem resulted in learning that the ViDEO+ and Camera Adaptor are not compatible and prompted a change in NewerTech's advertising. I also discovered that the ViDEO+ docking port doesn't pass video signals through to the Monster iTV Link for iPod video and iPod photo either.

Minimal Protection

The ViDEO+ comes with two carry options: a rotating plastic belt clip that adds another 1/2" to the thickness of the iPod/battery bundle, and a relatively unattractive silicone sleeve through which either a belt or lanyard can be threaded. The ViDEO+ and belt clip add 1-1/8" to a 1/2" 30GB iPod, making it more than three times bigger. Neither solution includes a screen protector. There are iPod pouches you may want use for protection, but the increased thickness of the iPod with the Video+ means you must be careful to order one large enough to handle the increased size.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by ed noonan


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