Sometimes I receive review units of items I've never requested or completely forgot about. Newer Technology's NuPower Video+ iPod battery is one of these. It came a few days before I left for Boston and I didn't have much time to play with it. I grabbed it, took it on the plane and that was that. It gave me a little juice, my iPod lasted the entire trip – I was happy. Upon my return, however, I decided that I should give this thing a real go to see if it really performed as well as the packaging said it would. The results were incredibly surprisingly.
First off, this is nothing more than a compact battery pack for 5G iPods. As the owner of a 5G 30GB iPod Video, this is right up my alley. Included is the battery attachment, a belt clip and a silicone case for protecting both the iPod and battery pack. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. As you can see in the picture below, my iPod fits like a glove into the silicone case along with the battery pack. Some additional screen protection would have been a great idea on Newer Technology's part, but overall the iPod is still usable and protected.
Probably the greatest feature you'll find on the NuPower Video+ is the way the device is charged. On the back, below the power button, is a slot for the standard iPod connector. Hook it up via USB or Firewire and your battery is charged. It's very convenient that I can just throw it on my desk and start charging it without the need to fumble around for, say, a mini USB cable.
Although the NuPower Video+ is compact and somewhat attractive, what good is it if it can't let me watch the entire first season of Arrested Development in one sitting? So I set out a few days ago to perform a test of endurance. I drained my iPod completely so that it wouldn't even turn on in any way, shape or form. I then charged the NuPower Video+ up to maximum capacity, which only took about three hours, and turned it on.
After plugging my iPod in, I'd throw on all the albums by a particular artist and let it sit. This means if I brought up Coldplay, I'd have about six or seven albums to go through before I'd change over to say, The Beatles. Through this method, I feel I was able to simulate as if I were casually listening to my iPod on a long journey. In the real world, you don't just let your iPod sit there for hours on end to run out a battery, you switch songs, listen to different tracks, etc.
I did this Friday at 1:30pm. Keep in mind, fully drained iPod, fully charged NuPower Video+ battery pack. By Sunday afternoon, around 4:30pm, the damn iPod was still playing music. To boot, it hadn't even switched off of the “charging” icon yet. Now it's Monday afternoon and you know what, this iPod is still chugging along. Newer Technology claims on the packaging that its battery pack will provide you with up to 16 hours of video or 80 hours of music, thanks to a powerful Li-ion battery. I have a feeling it's going way longer than 80. Add this battery pack on top of a fully-charged iPod and you could go on a week-long vacation without the need to bring your iPod charger.
Usually at the end of every review, I pose the question of “Is it worth buying?” to you, the reader. Except this time, it's not even a question of buying. If you own an iPod that will fit into the NuPower Video+ (5G models are the only ones officially supported), you have to get this gadget. For a mere $49.99, you'll enjoy the luxury of having to charge your iPod once a week max. It's also nice that the casing that holds both the battery and the iPod is durable, so you basically get a free case out of the deal too. Clearly one of the emerging names in technology accessories is Newer Technology and it looks like they're here to stay.