External batteries for our Apple notebooks aren’t cheap, but they’re hugely worthwhile if you’re frequently on the road with little access to a power outlet. But before you shell out $250 for a ready-made solution, why not make your own for less than $60?
We love Sanho’s line of HyperMac products, which allow you to juice your MacBook or iOS device with an external battery pack… but when Cupertino C&D’ed Sanho over Hypermac for using Apple’s patented MagSafe connectors, the future of the product line seemed in doubt.
We needn’t have worried. A couple of weeks ago, Sanho announced their new line of HyperMac batteries, which use Apple’s own airline adapter to connect to your MacBook via MagSafe, a solution that deftly sidestepped the legal problems.
The only problem with the new HyperMac batteries? While they’ll keep your laptop going, they won’t actually charge them… kind of a bummer.
Luckily, Sanho’s just announced a new HyperMac battery conversion gift that lets you modify your existing MacBook power adapter to not just hook up to your laptop as usual, but also to connect to your external battery. Sanho claims there’s no soldering or complex rewiring required, and that the instructions are easy to follow.
We’ve got a review copy on the way, so we’ll let you know if those boasts pan out, but we’re tentatively excited. The new batteries and the modification kit should be available at the end of the month, with prices starting at just $100.
Earlier this year, Sanho — makers of the super useful Hypermac line of batteries — found themselves in a pot of hot water boiled by Apple’s legal team, who objected to Hypermac’s use of repurposed (and patented) MagSafe cable connectors to juice up hungry MacBooks.
You can’t keep a good product down, though. HyperMac has just relaunched the HyperMac line, this time working around their reliance upon old MagSafe cables so as not to draw Cupertino’s ire once more.
Last time we heard about the iControlPad, the long-delayed physical gamepad for the iPhone and iPod Touch had finally completed its two-and-a-half year journey from the brainpan of its makers to their hands as the very first model dropped off the production lines… now boasting a modular design that would allow the iControlPad to be easily updated to support future iOS handhelds. Since the official site was about to start taking preorders for the first 3,000 units, we imagined that the iControlPad was pretty much done.
Apparently not, though. As fallout to Cupertino’s recent decision to sue Sanho for using repurposed MagSafe adapters and iPod Dock Connectors in their line of HyperMac batteries, the iControlPad team has apparently gotten nervous about connecting the gamepad through the iPhone’s dock connector. Instead, they are looking to switch over to Bluetooth support.
Much to the chagrin of consumers who want a cheaper alternative, Apple is notoriously protective of its MagSafe patent… so much so that they have a rich history of suing the third-party builders of MagSafe knock-offs.
Now it appears that Cupertino is going after another one, having filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the Sanho Corporation in the California Northern District Court. Details are still sketchy, with the actual complaint part of the lawsuit as yet unrevealed, but Patently Apple speculates that this is all about the MagSafe connector baked into Sanho’s third-party HyperMac batteries.
Sanho seemed to think they’d dodged Apple’s MagSafe patents with the HyperMac line, since their products are actually made of recycled official MagSafe products… but Apple may well see things another way… a shame, given the amazing charging capacity and stellar quality of the HyperMac line, which can juice up a MacBook Pro for up to 34 hours.
If you’re looking to buy a HyperMac, then, best get one now. If previous MagSafe lawsuits are anything to go by, they’ll be C&Ded into extinction soon enough.