Power Gorilla on Lenovo W510

I’m hoping this will be of help to searchers of google
The question is does the powergorilla work with the ThinkPad W510 and other 135W Lenovo Laptops?

Quick Answer

Yes, far better than you could hope

Long answer

Recently I have upgraded my old compal FL92 to a Thinkpad W510. I then noticed with some dismay the 135Watt power brick that came with it, and thought my existing power gorillas would no longer work.

I phoned up powertraveller and after a quick chat to one of the techs (no, I have not forgotten your name I’m just not posting it) she said she would post the 2 tips needed and a y-cable out to me for free, this was without prompting! The power traveller lot have always seemed genuinely interested in the use you put their products to.

The tips all arrived and I sat down to what I thought would be a night of experimentation with multiple Y-cables and up to 3 powergorillas in parallel. This proved to be unnecessary due to the way ThinkPads handle the fact that there are 3 20V thinkpad power supplies but only 1 connector type.

These are:

Full speed and battery charging – if you use a 135W power supply
Throttled speed but battery charging – if your use any main charger less that 135W power supply (even the 120W onces you can get trigger throttling)

The power gorilla gives out 2.5A at 20V so about 50W, so you would expect a throttled result, and believe me you don’t want the throttled option, I tried it with a 90W travel power supply and it throttles the processors so badly that even a movie stutters, but when I plugged in the power gorilla, it just “paused” the internal battery and ran of the gorilla, ehh? Why would it do that? I spent some time trying all variations of 65W/90W/travel 90W/135W/and Gorilla, and it always behaved the same, I think that because of the 27++ bolt on battery, the modern ThinkPads can detect if a battery is plugged into them, and is treating the powergorilla as such.

OK so a great solution, but how long does it keep your laptop going?

A powergorilla at the 20V (19v in reality) setting produces 55Wh

The 3 batteries that are compatible with the W510 are:

55+ (6 cell battery, the one that is flush with the back of the laptop) at 57Wh
55++ (9 Cell Battery, the one that sticks out the back of the laptop) at 94Wh
27++ (9 Cell Battery, the extra one that hangs off the bottom) at 94Wh

After playing around charging and discharging, the times all came down to the expected pro rata times (1 power gorilla lasts just under the full time of a 55+ and about 2 thirds of the time of a 55++/27++ )

And here is the bonus, if you have a power gorilla already, you will know that you can charge and use it at the same time (providing they both are on the same voltage), this means you can use travel power supply (or any 20V power supply less than 135W) to run your laptop un-throttled. I have tried this and it works (I have never seen the power meter on the w510 go above 90W, and even then it would probably just be a spike) so you can finally go back to using your sparkly new laptop on planes/cars.

All in all a perfect solution, an excellent product and fab customer service (well done to Lenovo for the smart power management as well)

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