Imagine this nightmarish scenario: You are on a long flight and stuck in a seat without a personal entertainment system. The center aisle display is showing the opening credits for Gigli. Luckily, you have your trusty laptop preloaded with the Star Wars trilogy (the original one of course) and an extra battery in your carry-on.
Fast-forward three hours. Halfway through Empire Strikes Back, the dreaded “low battery” message pops up and you reach for your backup battery, only to be presented with a dilemma. The battery in your hand is fully charged, but there is no way to feed this charge to your laptop without first shutting it off. Shutting off the laptop means having to wait for the boot, restarting the movie and then scrubbing to the exact same spot in the movie; in other words a hassle.
It seems that the engineers at Lenovo have faced this exact scenario, or one like it, and have come up with a solution: Power Bridge hot-swap battery technology. The idea is this: the new Lenovo T-series laptops can operate for a brief window of time without any batteries in their bays. You can swap the battery without ever shutting down your computer.
So, you might ask, how does a laptop run without electricity? The short answer is: It doesn’t. Lenovo actually put two batteries into its T-series: one large removable, and one small built-in battery. When the large one is removed, the small battery provides enough power to keep the laptop alive for a few minutes. Long enough to swap in a fresh battery.
Lenovo’s innovation goes somewhat against the grain, as most laptop manufacturers are designing their ultrabooks with built-in, non-removable batteries. (That includes Lenovo’s newly announced Yoga 2 Pro series.) The non-removable typically minimize the size and weight of a laptop, which is obvious when comparing the rather chunky T-series to most laptops featuring built-in batteries.
So which is more portable, the T-series or the Yoga 2 Pro? Well, the term “portability” can be interpreted in two ways: small and light, or long-lived without plugging it in. Lenovo is opting to aggressively pursue the latter with the T-series, so if you agree with their interpretation, the T-series and an extra battery will serve you best. If not, you may risk being stuck in a confined space, clutching a flat and pretty paperweight with no means of escape.