HP iPAQ 210 Mugen Power Extended Battery Review

by Reads (12,825)

Those who are looking to increase the battery life of their iPAQ 210 can turn to Mugen’s extended battery. At 4400 mAh, it has twice the capacity of the standard battery.

This battery, at least the model sold directly by the company, comes in an unassuming plastic blister-pack. The same battery is also sold both by HP under its brand, with Mugen as the manufacturer, and by Mugen’s retail store, Lion Battery.

An extended battery cover is included to accommodate the larger size. This is so close to the texture and material of the one that comes with the iPAQ 210 that you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.

The directions that came with the battery said to charge it, then run it down, several times for maximum utility. This isn’t due to battery "memory," since Lithium Ion cells don’t suffer from this — they just don’t reach maximum capacity until they’ve been in use for a little while, and cycling them a few times is the fastest way to get them up to speed.

Mugen Extended Battery for iPAQ 210

(view large image)

Anyway, not being one to ignore the directions on a review unit, I decided to try cycling it using an approximation of normal usage: reading, music, Wi-Fi, some documents, etcetera. It may not be ready for timed tests yet, I figured, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t get a feel for it.

I started this process on a Saturday afternoon, casually browsing and reading to my heart’s content.

It took some doing, but the battery finally ran out Saturday night. That is to say, the NEXT Saturday night, 7.5 days after I started using it.

I began to get the feeling that this review might take awhile.

I wasn’t wrong. As I was coming up on two weeks since I’d received the battery, and I was still only about half-way through the second charge, I started to worry about how long this might take to complete. If battery life was what I expected it to be, a simple casual use test would take 16 hours or more. Turns out, it was a little bit more than I expected it to be.

Mugen Extended Battery for iPAQ 210

(view large image)

Fair warning: these test numbers are a little bit vague, if for no other reason than I couldn’t watch the thing the entire time.

I used the same three basic tests as in the original iPAQ 210 review. Brightness was set at 50% for all three tests; actual times may vary, depending on usage and the backlight settings.

The High Drain test consisted of streaming high-quality video from my Slingbox over Wi-Fi, taxing both the processor and the wireless module constantly for the duration.

The Casual Use test is intended to be reflective of the level of use you’d see in reading, basic organization, use of Office documents, and generally most activities not Wi-Fi intensive.

Lastly, the wireless test reflects the use of basic Web browsing, email, and other light Internet, rather than the heavy constant activity of the high drain test.

So how well did the Mugen Power battery perform? Well. Really well. Obviously, these figures may vary for other people, and other devices, but on the whole the Mugen battery actually performed a bit better than its capacity boost over the standard battery would imply.

 

Casual Use Test

  

Wireless Test

  

High Drain Test

HP standard battery, 2200 mAh

8 hours

 

5 hours

 

3.5 hours

Mugen extended battery, 4400 mAh

~17 hours

 

~11 hours

 

8 hours

 

Even I, knowing more or less what to expect, even I am impressed by these results. This thing packs a lot of wattage. 8 hours of streaming TV, or 10+ hours of general WiFi, is truly excellent for any battery powered device. And if you’re talking about something light like playing music with the screen off, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see 24 to 30 hours.

Conclusion

The Mugen Power 4400 mAh battery for the iPAQ 210 (HLI-IP210XL) offers a lot of capacity for what is, surprisingly, not that big a penalty in size and weight. It’s not super sexy, but relative to the iPAQ itself the added bulk is quite manageable.

If you’re a heavy Wi-Fi user, or want to absolutely guarantee getting through a work day no matter how hard you use your device, it’s absolutely worth it.

The only real downside of the battery is the inability to use some custom-fitted accessories, as well as the high price.

At a suggested retail of $83, this isn’t for the casual user, but those who do need it will appreciate it regardless.

Pros:

  • Vast power capacity
  • Longer than expected runtime
  • Not that much bulkier than standard battery

Cons:

  • Doesn’t fit most cases and cradles
  • Expensive

Bottom Line:

About as close as you can get to having a miniature power plant in your mobile device, if you don’t mind the price.

The extended battery for the iPAQ 210 can be bought directly from HP, at the Mugen Power website or the Lion Battery online store.

 


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