Blue Raven PSP 15 Hour Extended Battery review: Blue Raven PSP 15 Hour Extended Battery
Blue Raven PSP 15 Hour Extended Battery
The Sony PSP includes a rechargeable 1800mAh battery that delivers about anywhere from 4 to 6 hours of gameplay or video playback. If you're looking to get more juice, the easiest option is to simply buy another battery, which will run you anywhere from $20 to $40, depending on whether you buy the official Sony-branded battery (such as the 2200mAh PSP-280) or one from a third-party manufacturer. However, the idea behind Blue Raven's 15 Hour PSP Extended Battery (4500mAh) is that you'll get the equivalent of two and a half extra standard PSP batteries in one clip-on attachment that mounts to the back of your PSP. The Blue Raven battery costs about $75 online and almost doubles the PSP's depth and weight--but it's still a potentially attractive option for fanatical gamers or those expecting to take a long plane ride where a power outlet isn't available.
Installation is easy: just snap the Blue Raven battery on the handheld's back side. It fits over the existing battery and locks down with the flip of a switch on the battery's top edge. The battery blocks access to the PSP's UMD drive and Memory Stick Duo slot, so make sure you've got both in place beforehand. Likewise, any PSP cases--such as our favorite Logitech PlayGear Pocket--will need to be removed. But everything else--including the headphone jack and USB port--remains accessible when the battery is in place.
A couple of other things worth noting: the battery clipped on snuggly and has an on/off switch and one small LED light that lets you know whether the battery is charging or the battery is actually on and providing power to your PSP. (Keep the switch off, and PSP draws power from its default battery instead.) You use the default PSP charger, so there are no extra cords to lug around--and the Blue Raven battery can juice up whether it's connected to the PSP or not. An inexpensive carrying pouch is included to protect the battery when not in use.
Aside from the actual battery life it delivered, our biggest concern with the unit was how the extended battery might affect the ergonomics of the PSP once it was clipped on to the bottom of the console. The bad news is that it does make your PSP pretty beefy, almost doubling its size (the battery weighs 5 ounces). That said, the battery has a nice, rubberized feel to it, and the PSP--while it certainly feels heavier--doesn't sit awkwardly in your hands, causing potential hand or finger cramps (If you play for a while, you will get cramps regardless, but that's true whether the Blue Raven battery is attached or not). For movie watching, it would have been nice if the battery had a built-in kickstand for propping up the PSP. But we suspect the company thinks most people who buy the battery will be playing games on their PSPs rather than watching them.
As for battery life, we drained the extended battery twice--once playing a game and once looping a UMD movie. We managed just less than 11 hours with the movie and slightly more with the game (MLB 07). Blue Raven says you can expect to get 8 to 15 hours, depending on the game you're playing. All in all, we were pleased with the performance.
The big question is whether it's worth buying this large battery or simply buying a couple of extra small PSP batteries. The problem with the smaller batteries is that you have to charge them one at a time in your PSP--and that can be bit of a drag. By contrast, the nice thing about the Blue Raven battery is that once you juice it up (most likely overnight), you're good to go for a whole day. For most people, that's overkill--but if you have the need to play for hours on end without having to stop for a recharge, the Blue Raven 15 Hour Extended PSP Battery will get the job done.