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A Thorough Guide to Buying the Right Laptop Batteries for Your Laptop

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A Thorough Guide to Buying the Right Laptop Batteries for Your Laptop

When it comes to buying a laptop,, consumers obsess over which model has the fastest processor, highest resolution and biggest screen. They do not often stop to think about the battery when the truth is that, without a battery, a laptop is little more than a desktop. Laptops are meant to be portable, which means they can work anywhere, even in areas where there is no electricity, by running off their battery.

Not all laptop batteries are made equally, and even if it is a manufacturer's battery, this alone does not mean that is the best battery for the job. Consumers are often faced with buying replacement batteries from the electronics store, or an online at website like eBay that often come with limited warranties and do not last long. Experienced consumers need to learn what to look for in a laptop battery and how to use them properly to extend their lifetime.

Battery Basics

A battery produces electricity due to a reaction inside its cells. The stronger the reaction, the more powerful the battery. Therefore, batteries are measured in watts, which takes into account volts and milliamperes (mAh), as well as how many cells it uses.

Battery Power

The power of a battery is measured in watt- hours, or how long it can last unplugged. Most manufacturers list their batteries by volts and milliamperes instead of watts, which can be slightly confusing. However, by multiplying volts and amperes together, consumers can quickly determine the power potential of the battery. Volts are merely a measurement of voltage, while milliamperes measures the current.

For example, a laptop battery is listed as using 14.4 volts and 42000 mAh . One thousand milliamperes equals one ampere, so in this case the battery has 4.2 amperes. By multiplying 14.4 and 4.2 together, this battery has a total of 60.5 watt hours.

Cell Power

A battery's cells are a measurement of how much capacity it has; in other words, how long the battery can run by itself without needing to be recharged. Laptop batteries run the gamut from as low as three cells , to as high as 12 cells . A six cell battery has 50 percent more capacity than a 3 cell battery that uses the same amount of watt hours. Pay attention to cell power along with watt hours since they are both measured to get an accurate comparison.

Consumers who are often on the road away from any electrical outlet need powerful batteries. Therefore, their best choice is to purchase one that has a high watt-hour rate along with large cell capacity. Keep in mind that some of the largest batteries do not fit with smaller laptops. Many road warriors go ahead and purchase a second battery that plugs into an expansion slot on the computer, doubling battery life. For some, this is a worthwhile expense, but for those who are not running their computer off of their battery all the time, simply having one should be enough.

Battery Types

Now that consumers understand how battery power is measured, it is time to take a moment to examine different battery types. Several new technologies have vastly improved upon laptop batteries, and modern models are quite different from those produced even ten years ago.

Abbreviation

Full Name

Power Rating

Ni-Cad

Nickel Cadmium

Poor

Ni-MH

Nickel Metal Hydride

Medium

Li-Ion

Lithium Ion

Best

Li-Poly

Lithium Polymer

Better

Out of these four types, the Ni-Cad battery is almost obsolete. The only reason a consumer would ever purchase a Ni-Cad battery, is if they are still using an older laptop that requires one. Laptops only work with specific batteries, so if one laptop requires a Ni-Cad, it always needs a Ni-Cad.

Ni-MH

Ni-MH batteries are still being produced, but they are mainly found on older and less expensive laptops. They are heavier than the Lithium batteries, yet despite the extra weight they are not as powerful. Many electronic stores no longer sell Ni-MH batteries for laptops, which means a consumer needs to purchase them online from eBay.

Li-Ion

Li-Ion batteries are king when it comes to laptops. They are lightweight, but since they also have the greatest electrochemical potential they are also quite powerful. They require little maintenance, and are more environmentally friendly than the Ni-Cad or Ni-MH batteries.

Li-Poly

Li-Poly batteries are a more advanced version of the Li-Ion. While they are not as powerful as a Li-Ion battery, they are smaller. This makes them ideal for ultra-thin laptops where internal space is a luxury.

Disposing Batteries

It is worth taking a moment to note that all laptop batteries should be recycled. Some types, especially the Ni-Cad, are harmful for the environment and should never be thrown away. When an old battery is no longer working, take it to the local recycling centre. Many businesses also have laptop battery recycling programmes.

Manufacturer's Batteries

The importance of buying manufacturer batteries cannot be underestimated, especially when it comes to the warranty. Once upon a time, the only way to buy replaced batteries for a laptop was to purchase the specific replacement battery made for that particular model. This is changing in part due to how batteries are made. Today's laptop batteries, for example, may state the manufacturer's name on the outside, but open up the plastic cover, and sometimes it is a different story inside. Many manufacturers have outsourced their battery production, and so while the plastic cover is still made by the parent company, the battery is made by a different company.

Warranty

The problem with outsourcing batteries is that some companies simply do not do a quality job of ensuring that their products live up to the manufacturer's standards. For example, it was once standard practise to get a battery with a one year warranty, because manufacturers made the batteries and they wanted to produce a high quality product in order to entire new customers. Many consumers are in for an unfortunate shock when their computer battery breaks down, and they call up the company for a replacement only to be told the battery had a mere three month warranty.

The best way to avoid this trap is to purchase batteries that come with a longer warranty. Think of a warranty as a guarantee that the product is good. On average, most laptop batteries last between one to two years, so try to find a warranty within that time frame. Third-party batteries that are not specifically made for any manufacturer tend to have the longest warranties, and are often less expensive than manufacturer-specific batteries.

Battery Accessories

For those who are heavily reliant on laptop batteries, there are several accessories available to help. As briefly mentioned above, purchasing a laptop that has the potential plug-in for an add-on battery is a must for anyone who is constantly on the road. This back-up battery combined with the main battery, provides up to 10 hours of power, long enough to get plenty of work done on flights. Another option is to purchase a battery plate that increases the size of the battery storage. Owners have to add on a few pounds to their laptop, but on the plus side they get hours of extra juice.

How to Buy Laptop Batteries on eBay

eBay is the place to go for all your electronic needs, and it is the ideal place to search for small electronic parts such as laptop batteries. The selection is astounding, and it is possible to find batteries for older laptops. Keep in mind, however, that while some sellers do offer used batteries, purchasing one is not always a good idea. Batteries tend to deteriorate quickly, so it is best to spend a little more money on a new model.

Do a search for 'laptop batteries'' in order to pull up a long list of results. At this point, the list is likely overwhelming, so you can opt to search in several different ways. If you are looking for a specific manufacturer battery, type in the model such as ' laptop battery for Dell Inspiron '. If you would rather shop by power, you can search by mAh, such as ' 4800 mAh laptop battery '. Play around with the different combination of search terms until you find the battery that suits your needs.

Conclusion

Laptop batteries do not last as long as laptops, and chances are that every owner must purchase a replacement battery or two for their laptop at some point. With these batteries being so expensive, it is important that consumers shop the right way in order to find the best laptop batteries for sale in stores, or online through eBay. The first feature to look for is the power of the battery.

The strongest models provide extra juice for longer periods of time, and they tend to last longer than weaker models. The second step is to ensure that the battery fits the type associated with the laptop, such as Li-Ion batteries for Li-Ion battery-powered laptops. The final step is to select a battery that comes with a good warranty of one year or longer, even if it is not made by the manufacturer of the computer. Combine all of these steps together, and buying a decent battery becomes a very simple task.

 
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