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Old 11-10-2008, 05:50 PM   #1
McCall St. Brewer
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Whenever SWMBO gets a new laptop computer, I inherit her old one. This normally means I get a computer with a battery that's shot.

It just seems to me that laptop batteries in general just suck, as does the way that the machines are designed to utilize the batteries. I just read somewhere that most laptop batteries are good for about 500 charges. It said that the problem, though, is that when you have your computer plugged into the wall all the time, that you are burning out the battery because it is getting charged all the time. They recommended taking the battery out unless you need to actually use it. But who does that? And why should you have to?

Why isn't it easier to just set the computer to charge only when you want it to charge? I imagine you can do that on some models, but the ones we've had either won't do it, or I have no idea how you set it that way.

Lastly are there any good sources of replacement batteries that anyone can recommend?

 
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:01 PM   #2
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I think you can get a replacement battery at places like Batteries Plus at a substantial discount. Might be worth checking.

Somehow I've had great luck w/ laptop batteries. The HP I've had for about 6 years still has a 3+ hour life and I use it all the time. I know that's not typical.
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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What's worse is that on my current laptop, tha battery serves as part of the support for the computer. So even if I take it out it's all lop sided and the cooling fans don't have adequate airspace.

I have seen some aftermarket blanks, to replace the battery for desktop use, available but they were model dependant and none were available for my model. Batteries are available in a number of places but, IMO, are too pricey for how quickly they cycle out.

My current battery will hold charge for 5 minutes. Pathetic and useless! The least expensive aftermarket battery I found for my HP was $95 wholesale. Geesh.

 
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:07 PM   #4
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Laptop batteries have evolved over the years. Some kinds are best on a constant charge, others prefer cycling. Your charging system should trickle charge at a rate that is best for the battery nowadays. They have sensors that limit the amount of current that the charger supplies so that the battery doesn't heat up too much and ruin the chemicals inside the battery.

I'd look around for cheaper replacement batteries too. Some are better than others, but in general, you can find them cheaper than OE.

 
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:11 PM   #5
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I think some laptops have to have the battery in to even run... I believe mine is like that. u are best to when its fully charge unplug from the wall and kill it almost then plug it back in. But yes LiIon is a charge based lifetime where as standard batts have a memory based thing to where if u charge it all the time with barely any use on them u will kill the battery quick.
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCall St. Brewer View Post
They recommended taking the battery out unless you need to actually use it. But who does that? And why should you have to?
I've heard this is true for Dell laptops, which I have one. The replacement battery for my Inspiron is $140 and I currently have about a 5 min charge. I just replaced the battery in our ibook and I'm not about to buy another freakin' battery. My Dell is now a "desktop" laptop.
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:38 PM   #7
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Somewhat related, there is a bill the EU is kicking around that will require battery-powered devices to use standard-sized batteries and they be easily replaceable. I've been running my Dell laptop on its docking station sans battery for five years. It uses six 18650 cells, so it wouldn't be tough to fix it. I just can't be bothered.

There's absolutely nothing to prevent laptop makers from building the battery so the cells can be replaced.

(Oddly enough, 18650 is also my street address.)
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
There's absolutely nothing to prevent laptop makers from building the battery so the cells can be replaced.
As an integration engineer I'm going to have to disagree. A laptop, like an advanced technology car, includes a lot of things in a very small space. Dictating the dimensions of the battery would increase the packaging difficulty and the cost of components.

However, having standardized batteries would be awesome. I gave an old laptop (Toshiba Satellite) to my mother a number of years ago. She still uses it for trips, but it has to remain plugged in. If I could actually get a battery for her at a reasonable price, I would.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:00 PM   #9
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My Dell is now a "desktop" laptop.
Mine too.

 
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:50 PM   #10
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I take my battery out on a regular basis, as well as battery refresh (Thinkvantage technology). My extended battery which is over a year old can hold 3+ hours on maximum performance and I've stretched for about 5 hours.
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