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Computer Battery
Old 09-05-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
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Computer Battery

I got some good advice on this forum concerning cables, so I thought I'd try batteries.

I have an older Dell laptop that needs a new battery.

Dell's website has replacements for $136. They are listed as 6 cell, 53 watt-hour.

eBay has "buy it now" sellers listing "new" batteries, 6 cell, 52 watt-hour, for my Dell model, for $15.

The price differential is ridiculous, but I found the same differential on cables and had no problems with the cheap variety.

So, any thoughts on cheap batteries?
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:09 PM   #2
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My strategy has been to buy the cheaper ones, and replace them after about a year. I've had two fail prematurely, and they were replaced with not problems. I haven't noticed any difference in behavior between these and the originals.

They usually have three-year warranties, but they don't last that long, and it's not worth sending in for a replacements.

I just bought this for Lena's computer:

Laptops-home Customer Care9 Cell Battery for DELL Inspiron 1525 1526 1545 M911G (290415467267)
Paid on Aug-31-11Price: $28.99, Qty: 1$28.99Estimated delivery: September 02 - September 09, 2011
Standard ShippingFREE


<img border="0" height="3" width="0">



Subtotal:$28.99Total:$28.99
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:09 PM   #3
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I would check the ebay seller's reputation . Read their feedback and see if they seem reliable . Ebay now offers 100% guarantee so if you are not satisfied you get your money back . I would buy the cheaper battery .
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:12 PM   #4
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Sorry, no tips on the best way to buy batteries. But, one thing we did determine during a previous discussion here--if you normally leave your laptop plugged in, the Li-Ion battery will likely have a much longer lifespan if it is charged up to about 75% and then removed from the machine until needed. It does put your work at risk if you lose power while working, but the battery will still be serviceable for many long years.

Now, back to your actual question . . .
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Sorry, no tips on the best way to buy batteries. But, one thing we did determine during a previous discussion here--if you normally leave your laptop plugged in, the Li-Ion battery will likely have a much longer lifespan if it is charged up to about 75% and then removed from the machine until needed. It does put your work at risk if you lose power while working, but the battery will still be serviceable for many long years.

Now, back to your actual question . . .
Yes, and the annoying thing is that software on the computer could optionally do that automatically, but there is no option for this.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:21 PM   #6
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First, check to see if your old Dell battery might be in a recall.

I bought a used Dell laptop on Craig's List 4+ years ago. It came with 2 batteries. Recently, neither was holding a charge for very long, so I decided to bite the bullet and order a new battery. As I Googled for Dell replacement batteries, I noticed there was a site for a Dell Battery Recall which has been going on for several years.

On a whim, I decided to check the 2 batteries I had on hand. Lo and behold, the larger battery was included in the recall. I filled out the online information request and they sent me a new battery within 2 weeks! I merely had to return the old one battery using the same packing material that the new battery came in. They even included a postage-paid address label!

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Old 09-06-2011, 07:17 AM   #7
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If the expensive batteries were less prone to explode or catch fire then that would be a reason to favor them. I don't have any evidence that this is true though. You'd expect the major vendors to enforce better quality control but whether that is a reality or not is the question.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
if you normally leave your laptop plugged in, the Li-Ion battery will likely have a much longer lifespan if it is charged up to about 75%
Yes, and the annoying thing is that software on the computer could optionally do that automatically, but there is no option for this.
I did try to search for this earlier, and came up empty. I'm going to give it another try.


It seems so obvious to simply allow the user to set a default of 75, or 80 or 90%, and easily over-ride it if they know they will be away from power. I can't see a downside if the out-of-the-box default is 100%, and only '(low?)power users' would go in and change it - they would know what the downside is.


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Old 09-06-2011, 09:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I did try to search for this earlier, and came up empty. I'm going to give it another try.


It seems so obvious to simply allow the user to set a default of 75, or 80 or 90%, and easily over-ride it if they know they will be away from power. I can't see a downside if the out-of-the-box default is 100%, and only '(low?)power users' would go in and change it - they would know what the downside is.


-ERD50
Okay, I found it (setting for max battery charge level), at least for those running Windows 7. Woo-hoo!

START-->All Programs-->the utility folder for your brand laptop --> rummage around for the Battery Life extender, Battery care, etc. This lets the user select the max charge level.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Okay, I found it (setting for max battery charge level), at least for those running Windows 7. Woo-hoo!

START-->All Programs-->the utility folder for your brand laptop --> rummage around for the Battery Life extender, Battery care, etc. This lets the user select the max charge level.
Which specific laptop do you have?

I did do some googling, and was reminded that this is very tightly integrated in to the specific hardware - that makes sense, you can charge your laptop with it totally OFF, so the OS has no direct role in it. So the question seems to be - does the hardware/firmware support this function, and can you access the firmware settings from your OS? Looks like you can for your model.

I saw that some ThinkPads and some Sony Vaio's support this, maybe a few others, but it is far from universal (unfortunately). There are several feature requests posted in this for Ubuntu, but I think the hardware variances are going to make this tough to support.

-ERD50
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:00 AM   #11
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Apologies--I spoke too soon. I have a (cheap) ASUS laptop. In their "control deck" function I found something that looked right, but it only had the normal power-saving functions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
So the question seems to be - does the hardware/firmware support this function, and can you access the firmware settings from your OS? Looks like you can for your model.

I saw that some ThinkPads and some Sony Vaio's support this, maybe a few others, but it is far from universal (unfortunately). There are several feature requests posted in this for Ubuntu, but I think the hardware variances are going to make this tough to support.

-ERD50
Yes. Seems like the problem is simple, but I can't find a way to adjust the settings, even in my BIOS. I guess I'll keep taking the battery out when I'm at home.
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Old 09-06-2011, 06:23 PM   #12
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Thanks for the responses. I'm going to think about running without the battery in some circumstances.

I think I'll try one of the eBay batteries. I figure it won't destroy the computer. First, I'll stress test this one and see how much time it can really run the machine so I have a baseline to compare the new one.
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