The Complete Guide to Buying Laptop Batteries

Like if this guide is helpful
The Complete Guide to Buying Laptop Batteries

Laptops were created as a personal computer for mobile use. Laptops are powered by main electricity through an AC adapter and can be used away from a wall outlet by using a rechargeable battery. The primary advantage of a laptop over a personal computer is that the laptop can be transported and used wherever the user wants to go. Oftentimes, the laptop outlasts the battery life, and eventually the battery needs to be replaced. The laptop can still be used once the battery dies, but it defeats the purpose of utilising the computer for mobile use. Therefore, a new laptop battery needs to purchased.

Laptop batteries can be purchased from manufacturers, shops that specialise in electronic services, and the online auction website, eBay. Finding the correct laptop battery can seem like a daunting task. There are many factors that help smooth the purchasing process, including: understanding battery life, quality of the laptop battery, type of battery, power rating, and how to purchase a laptop battery on eBay.

How Long Does the Laptop Battery Power the Computer?

The main question of a majority of consumers is: how long does the battery last before he or she needs to plug in the laptop? Unfortunately, there is not one clear answer to this question. The answer depends on the exact laptop model. For example, some laptop models can last for up to five hours without recharging, whereas when it comes to other laptop models, the battery needs to be recharged after two hours. Factors that influence how long the battery can power the laptop include: the size of the screen, the power of the processor and hard drive, which programmes are being run, such as DVD, CD burning, and word processing.

After the battery has gone through a single full charge and the power plug is unplugged, the average battery life is anywhere from one to six hours. This time is dependent on the battery, its capacity, for what the laptop is being used, and how old the battery is. If battery time is an important factor when purchasing a battery, it is recommended to contact the laptop manufacturer to receive an estimate time of battery life. There are tips to extend the laptop battery life, which include: dimming the screen, cutting down on programmes running in the background, cutting down external devices, setting up and optimising power options, and taking care of the battery. The battery metal contacts should be cleaned every couple of months with an alcohol wipe, keeping the transfer of power more efficient.

Quality of Battery

The first step is making sure the battery is a quality battery. Usually, if the battery is manufactured by the same manufacturer as the laptop, the buyer can purchase at ease. Although, just because the exterior packaging of the battery may say a particular name brand does not mean that the interior of the battery was manufactured by the same company. For example, Dell may have manufactured the plastic casing around the battery and placed a Dell logo on the packaging, but if the battery were to be opened, the power cells could have been manufactured by another company, such as Sony. One suggestion is to purchase a laptop battery from a third party because, typically, they are lower in price than manufacturer batteries, and the warranties tend to be longer.

When purchasing a laptop battery, it should include a minimum of a one-year warranty because there is a chance that the battery can die within the first three months and the buyer would find himself in the same situation searching for a new battery. Typically, a new battery should last anywhere from two to four years depending on the type of battery, how the battery is used, and how it is charged.

Type of Battery

There are four main types of batteries including: Ni-Cad, Ni-MH, Li-ion, and Li-poly. Ni-Cad and Ni-MH are hardly used by major manufacturers anymore, because Li-ion and Li-poly are lighter and much more efficient.

Types of Batteries

Features

Ni-Cad

Worst energy density, stable, and typically stored fully discharged

Ni-MH

Newest, most similar competitor to Ni-Cad, higher capacity, less toxic, and more cost effective

Li-ion

Best energy densities, no memory effect, and only a slow loss of charge when not in use

Li-poly

Desirable in applications where small form factors and energy density outweigh cost considerations

Most laptops need to be replaced with the same type of battery with which it initially came. For example, if the laptop came with a Li-poly, the replacement battery must be a Li-poly.

Power Rating of the Battery

The two main ratings on batteries are volts and milliamperes. When it comes to purchasing a laptop battery, it is recommended to purchase the battery with the greatest number of milliamperes. When comparing different types of batteries, it is useful to compare watt-hours. Watt-hours are a simple rating system and calculated by multiplying volts by amperes. Once all of the different types are being compared on the same level, then it can be determined which type is the strongest. Most advertisers do not advertise the amount of wattage, rather they list the number of cells inside of the battery.

Selecting the Right Number of Cells

Batteries are available in two cell, three cell, four cell, six cell , eight cell, nine cell, 10 cell, and 12 cell . Most batteries come in three-cell, six-cell, or nine-cell packs. Long battery life is directly related to how many cells are in the battery pack. The higher the number of cells, the longer the battery life should last. Batteries with larger than six cells are referred to as extended batteries. Extended batteries may add extra bulk and weight to the laptop. If the person using the laptop does not have access to recharge the battery for long periods of time, then it is recommended to purchase extended batteries. Typically, overtime laptop batteries lose their ability to retain a charge. Usually after one year, the battery loses 15 per cent of its initial capacity and declines after. There are some manufacturers who are manufacturing batteries with oval-shaped prismatic cells that maintain their ability to hold a charge over time.

Steps to Consider Before Purchasing a Laptop Battery

Laptop batteries vary based on which type of laptop a buyer has. The buyer must first write down the laptop's model number and brand, typically this is located on the bottom of the laptop. Next, remove the battery and write down the model number of the battery and the type of battery, such as Li-ion or Li- poly. If the paperwork that came with the laptop is still available, locate it to check for a warranty card, order number, and proof of when the laptop battery was purchased. If the battery is still under warranty, the manufacturer can send another for free. If an extended warranty was purchased with the laptop, check to see if the extended warranty covers a replacement battery.

How to Buy Laptop Batteries on eBay

After the type, quality, and power rating of the laptop battery has been decided upon, the shopping process can begin. Purchasing items on eBay is easy, as long as the buyer knows where to begin. There is a search box located on the top of every eBay page. Simply, type "laptop batteries" into the search box, and thousands of search results appear. In order to yield fewer results, type more specific keywords into the search box, such as " Dell laptop batteries ".

Before the buyer makes the purchase, it is important to have a good understanding of the seller. Ways to evaluate the seller include: evaluating the seller's feedback rating, number of completed transactions, per cent of positive remarks, and finally, read past buyer's comments regarding interactions with the seller. Feedback is an essential part of evaluating sellers. The feedback is beneficial to sellers and buyers. Sellers benefit by receiving positive feedback because buyers read the positive feedback, and may be more likely to purchase an item from that particular seller. Buyers benefit by reading the feedback because they are able to decide if it is a better idea to purchase the item from another seller with positive feedback.

Conclusion

Understanding cells and milliampere hours sounds difficult at first, but with the right amount of research and knowledge, selecting a laptop battery should be easy. The perfect laptop battery is ultimately the buyer's decision. However, there are many factors that need to be evaluated before the purchasing process begins, consisting of understanding battery life, the quality of the laptop battery, type of battery, power rating, and how to purchase a laptop battery on eBay. The battery life varies based on specific factors, such as screen size, power of the processor, and which programmes are being run.

Understanding the quality of the battery encompasses buying a reliable manufacturer battery or ensuring the battery comes with at least a year warranty. The power ratings on laptop batteries are calculated based on volts and amperes. The battery life is typically expressed in capacity based on mAH, milliampere hours. A higher mAh rating means the fully charged battery can power a device that consumes more power and for a longer amount of time before needing to be recharged. With the right research, the consumer can ensure he or she has made the best choice when it comes to purchasing laptop batteries.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides