Buying Generic vs. Brand Name Laptop Batteries

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Buying Generic vs. Brand Name Laptop Batteries

Many people ask themselves what the differences are between a brand name and a generic. In many cases, there are no differences and a generic can be purchased with the same confidence as a name brand. There are some things that have to be looked at before purchasing a generic brand laptop battery for a name brand laptop, however. The OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, usually produces batteries to the exact specifications of an original laptop. A generic is often made to fit a variety of different laptops.

There are quite a few things to consider when making the decision between a generic and brand name laptop battery. Most of the considerations have to do with specifications and battery life. Many laptops are proprietary, meaning only certain batteries fit. This is why it is important to be sure of a few things before ordering a laptop battery from eBay or purchasing one from an electronics shop. A consumer must be sure the specifications match, the battery is the same size, and the connectors match.

Specifications of Laptop Batteries

The specifications of the power needs of a laptop and the power supply of the battery must be compatible. If a consumer is ordering a brand name laptop battery, this is not normally a concern. The brand name battery usually fits the make, model, and specifications of the laptop of the same brand. There is no need to make sure that the specifications match because the battery is made for that specific laptop.

When purchasing a generic battery, specifications need to be carefully examined to make sure that the battery powers the laptop. Providing too much power, or too little power, can be detrimental to the computer. On one hand, a battery may not work, and on the other, providing a laptop with too much power at any given time can damage the internal components of the laptop.

When checking the specifications, there are a few things that need to be examined. The dimensions of the battery compartment need to be exact. Since laptop batteries are very specific to laptops, there is no universal size. A generic replacement battery needs to be the exact size for the laptop.

Another consideration is the chemical makeup of the battery. A laptop that is designed for a nickel battery does not run off of a lithium ion battery, for instance. A laptop needs the same chemical type of battery for which it was designed. The brand name battery may be the same chemical type, while a generic may not.

The last things to check regarding specifications are the voltage and amperage of the batteries. Although these are the most important specifications to verify, they are also the broadest ranged. Most laptops have the same, or very similar, voltage and amperage levels. This means that most of the generic and brand name batteries can match in this respect. Despite this, it is still a good idea to check to make sure that they do, in fact, match one another.

Battery Connections, Fuses, and Charges

Surprisingly, there are a lot of different types of connections for laptop batteries. Each connection, fuse, and charge amount must match between the battery and the laptop. Using an OEM or name brand battery is easier in this respect. With a battery that is specifically made for a type of laptop, there is not any difference in the connections, fuses, or charges; each of these match.

When it comes to a generic battery, the battery connections need to be checked before the battery is installed and used. This can be done by simply looking at the battery and matching it to the battery slot on the laptop. The spacing between, and the size of, the connections must be the same. Also, from what the connections are made must also match. If the connection is copper, then the battery must also use copper, the same goes for other types of metal connections.

Almost every laptop or laptop battery has some form of fuse. This is to prevent the battery from harming the laptop should there be a power spike through it or from it. The fuse types and levels of resistance must match in order for the fuse to be effective. If it does not match, the fuse becomes useless. It either trips at too low of a surge or allows the laptop to become damaged by the surge.

Another aspect that must match is the charge. Just like the fuse, too much of a charge can harm the laptop, and too little of a charge causes the battery to be ineffective. The charges must be the same on both the laptop and the battery. Fortunately, most of the batteries that are made for laptops and most of the laptops have the same, or similar, charges. This is one of the few features that is cross-compatible, unlike size and shape.

Pros and Cons of Generic vs. Brand Name Laptop Batteries

There are many reasons why someone would choose a generic or a name brand laptop battery. Many of the pros and cons are very similar between the two. The reason most cited for choosing a generic over a brand name laptop battery is cost, but there are other reasons for choosing one over the other.

Feature

Generic

Name Brand

Price

Traditionally less expensive

Traditionally more expensive

Ease of use

May be an exact match or state compatibility

Is compatible with the laptop

Connections

Have to be carefully checked

Do not have to be checked if ordered for specific laptop

Fuse

May be replaceable

Is compatible with the laptop

Voltage

May have a range

Is compatible with the laptop

Amperage

May have a range

Is compatible with the laptop

Firmware

May have to be loaded

Is already loaded

Size

Has to be closely checked

Is compatible with the laptop

Shape

Has to be closely checked

Is compatible with the laptop

It may seem as if a brand name battery is the way to go for a replacement battery in a laptop. This is not necessarily true. When a battery is purchased, it is not always ease of use that is the deciding factor. Yes, they are more likely to be compatible with the laptop, but some studies have shown that an aftermarket or generic battery is the better choice in the long run especially for older laptops. Some generic batteries last longer, are more powerful, or have a higher usable time than the original batteries. This is particularly true for the older, less advanced laptops. The laptop maker has no reason to advance technology on replacement batteries, whereas a generic company does. Many times, they are compatible with many older laptops but with more advanced technology built in. In this, and other respects, a carefully checked generic battery may be a better decision.

Generic batteries can be compatible with more than one laptop. This improves their versatility if more than one of the same brand, but different model, of laptop is owned. Most people upgrade office laptops or even personal ones with the same brand that they have previously used. Having a replacement battery that fits different models of laptops may be beneficial in cases like this.

Buying a Generic or Brand Name Laptop Battery on eBay

A good place to search and compare a generic versus a brand name laptop battery is eBay. The popular auction website has both listed for sale. In order to search for a specific battery, type the name, model, or type of laptop battery into the search box, and then click on search or hit enter. This populates a list with all of the auction listings that match the terms for which you searched. Browse through this list that contains both brand name and generic batteries, and carefully compare the different types.

Once you find a battery in which you are interested, click on the listing itself. This displays a detailed description of the battery chosen. Read this description carefully. After reading, it is good to check the other aspects of the detailed listing. These aspects can help you make a decision whether or not to buy a particular battery from a particular seller. The detailed description page also contains information like the seller's return policy and how they ship. There is also a place to ask the seller a question about their battery or their policies. It is highly recommended that you ask any questions that you may have prior to purchase.

Conclusion

It is important to consider both the generic and the brand name laptop batteries. Each of these batteries have their own pros and cons. Many times, a brand name battery is easier to fit to a particular laptop but is more expensive than its generic counterpart. Sometimes, although it has to be carefully matched to a particular laptop, a generic is less expensive and sometimes longer-lasting than a brand name battery. There many differences between the two types of batteries that need to be considered before a purchase can be made. A good way to compare these two choices is on the auction website, eBay.

In some cases, a generic battery or aftermarket battery may be the only choice. After a certain period of time, many laptop manufacturers stop making parts for the older styles of laptops. In this case, the same precautions need to be taken when selecting a battery, but a compatible battery, not an OEM battery, must be found.

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