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Why don’t iMacs have batteries?

iMac BatteryYes, I really asked that question. Why don’t iMacs have batteries?

The reason I ask is because things happen. Someone is building a building and cuts the power to a whole city block. Oops. Or a storm brews up and knocks down a tree and the lights go out. It happens, the power goes out and then my iMac goes dead. So why don’t desktop computers have batteries?

Now, I’m not asking for much. Just a small battery that lasts maybe 10-30 minutes. Giving the user just enough time to save everything and shut down the computer safely. I’d think there would be enough room for a mini battery inside my iMac.

Or maybe, someone like Griffin Technologies could come up with a battery pack accessory. It could plug into your USB or Firewire slot and keep you safe.

Granted, I don’t even know if this is possible for a third party accessory, but I thought I’d ask as I’ve had the power go out a couple of times in the past few days and it’s really annoying. I haven’t lost anything, but even five minutes is enough time for me to save whatever I need and shut down.

Now buying a big UPS backup is overkill in this situation. So don’t even suggest it. I want something small and handy for just a few minutes of power.

What do you think?

9 Responses

  1. Bryan says:

    Well, I hate to say it, but…buy a UPS. You can get one for much less than $100, and many will have a usb connection for the computer. With the right software, the UPS will tell the computer main power is off so that unattended computers can automatically shut themselves off.

    I would suspect OSX has drivers for this available, if not built into the OS, since it is also the basis for OSX Server edition. Apple would be making pretty weak server software if they couldn’t communicate with a UPS.

  2. Thomas says:

    Thanks for the tip. 🙂 I still think Apple should put one inside.

  3. Chris says:

    Man I’ve been thinking this for years.

    Although the UPS covers your concerns, it still doesn’t over mine.

    iMacs are marketed as portable, but you have to shut them down and unplug them. Why isn’t there a tiny white box that plugs into the port on the iMac, and then the power cord plugs into that? When you want to move it, you just put it to sleep, unplug the power cord and go.

  4. Jeff says:

    Thomas and Chris, you both echo my thoughts. I’ve been searching for a little battery backup that would be attached to the back of the iMac and would provide a very small (maybe 5 min) backup for the iMac. I already have mine attached to a big UPS so my reasoning isn’t for power outages but rather (like Chris says) for portability. I often want to move my iMac from room to room or desk to desk but I usually have so much stuff open that I’m working on or I’ll have multiple users logged on. Shutting down just to move the iMac 20 feet (which is otherwise so portable) is just such a huge pain.
    So what I’d like to see is just a small little power brick that attaches to the back of the iMac where the power cord plugs in. The brick would plug-in the power cord socket on the iMac instead of the cord. The power cord would then in turn plug into the power brick. Voila. Now you can unplug and re-plug in without any shutting down.

    • Bill says:

      You guys want portability? Why in the world did you buy a desktop computer for crying out loud? The market is loaded with wonderful laptops with their built-in batteries.

      • Thomas says:

        Everyone on here is talking about 5-10 minutes of battery life. Mainly for power outages, or possibly when moving the computer from one desk to another. No one really thinks the iMac is portable. 🙂

      • C_Wayne says:

        Most people are stuck in a paradigm of a 90’s desktop computer being so heavy, numerous plugins and components etc. One of the first things i noticed about my iMac was how portable a 21.5″ could be. I am w8th you guys, there has to be something out there to jist allow enoigh power to transition between outlets; it’s 2016 for crying out loud.

  5. maharawj says:

    I landed here searching exactly for an external battery pack for an Imac.
    UPS are not really portable. They don’t have lithium-ion batteries.
    I think a flat lithium ion battery pact which can sit behind the monitors(vesa mounted)
    Would be a great idea.
    If you look at laptop batteries they only take 1/5 of the space of the entire laptop. You could just take the same thing multiply it by 5 and it could power a imac easily for atleast 2 hours or more.
    Did I just give a mutlibilloin dollar product idea for free 😛
    Royalty please. Cause I got more ideas 😉

  6. maharawj says:
    Check this a 222watt per hour external battery for Macbooks.
    Can power a macbook for 45 hours.
    I am sure this could easily be modified to power a Imac for say 5 hours at least.
    The size is only 10.1 x 5.91 x 1.34 inches. You could easily make it a square 10 X 10 of 15 by 15 to sit behind a 20 inch Imac and it could easily power it for a 10 hours. You could take your macbook to the beach who knows.

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