In-Depth Review of the MiFi 4510L on Verizon 4G LTE

Battery Duration andBatteryCharging on the MiFi 4510L Mobile Hotspot

To test the battery duration of the 4510L in a way that would be measurable and objective, we used the LAPTOP battery test while connected to the 4510L with our Toshiba Satellite C655 laptop running over Wi-Fi G. Utilizing the LAPTOP testing tool in “Wi-Fi/web surfing” test mode. Over the course of three tests, we logged 3 Hour 11 minutes, 3 Hours 17 minutes, and 3 Hours 17 minutes respectively. Compared to the Samsung SCH-LC11’s overall average of 2 Hours 57 Minutes, you will see the two are pretty close, but the 4510L consistently edged out the SCH-LC11. The 4510L also never experienced any conditions where the battery will suddenly get “uncomfortably warm” as did the Samsung’s SCH-LC11, which we suspect may have led to the lower reported battery duration on the LC11.

Given the similarity of the hardware and battery inside the MiFi 4082 (for Sprint) which generally logs over four hours of battery time per charge, we might assume that the LTE signal is allot  more taxing on the batteries power output, especially on the cellular radio side, as opposed to the Wi-Fi radio.

Battery Charging Issues

One pretty significant disadvantage we encountered with the 4510L is that the hotspot cannot be used if charging the hotspot’s battery via a USB cable that’s plugged into a laptop.

When the 4510L is connected by USB to the laptop, the device’s Wi-Fi  radio shuts down. Because a standard USB 2.0 port on a laptop can only output a modest amount of milliamps of power, the laptop’s USB port cannot supply enough juice to keep charging the battery in a positive net charge AND fire the Wi-Fi circuitry at the same time. If the battery is depleted on the Samsung SCH-LC11, you can simply plug in the USB cable to a nearby laptop and at least be able to power on the LC11 and get back to work using the hotspot. Don’t expect the battery to actually take a much of a charge though (if any), as nearly all the voltage from the USB cable will be used just to keep the SCH-LC11 up and running.  

It’s evident how essential a feature this is when out on the road and want to use your Wi-Fi  iPad to get online, but aside from your laptop, you have no other source to power up the mobile hotspot – which unfortunately has a drained battery.

Mobile hotspots are one of the most battery intensive mobile devices around –remember, it has the WiFi radio, the cellular 4G/3G radio, as well is it’s onboard processor that need a steady supply of battery power to stay up and running.  The good news is that there is a cottage industry of retailers out on the market that specialize in oversized, custom fitted batteries that are made for each specific mobile hotspot. These batteries can allow up to 12 hours of continuous use.

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