Laptop batteries like any other electronic peripheral require proper handling and maintenance to last longer.
Laptop owners know that one of the most expensive component to replace is the battery. These require specific voltage, wattage and exact pin measurements to work. Without which, the gadget will be prone to electrical surges or lack of power. Below are some easy and practical tips to prolong the serviceable life of your laptop battery.
Did you know that heat and duration of use can affect the life and charging capacity of your battery? One of the more typical questions raised by laptop users is whether the battery should be removed from its socket when the A/C adapter is plugged in. Well, the answer is both a YES and a NO.
Whenever the A/C adapter is plugged in, it does not in any way cause harm to the battery. That’s because the battery automatically stops receiving electrical charges as soon as it reaches a 100% full charge. The current will now flow as power supply fed directly to the laptop. So when does the battery become harmful? It happens when the PC starts heating itself due to length of use. Heating of hardware happens during intensive usage of the laptop such as in the course of intense gaming.
• For regular usage or when the laptop doesn’t go above 40ºC to 50ºC, keep the battery attached to its socket.
• When the laptop is new or when a replacement battery is initially installed, be sure to fully charge it before usage.
• Do not keep the battery and the A/C adapter plugged in too frequently and during intensive use. This will cause chemical reaction which reduces the battery’s capacity to hold charges. What’s worst is that eventually, it won’t be able to hold any charge without the AC plugged in.
• The battery should be in low charge levels before recharging. This significantly increases the likelihood for a longer serviceable life.
• Do not leave it plugged in all the time.
**Replacing a Laptop Battery**
Typically, laptop batteries have 1-2 years life span or equivalent to 400 recharges. After this period, it becomes defective and its run time starts to deteriorate. Once the battery no longer serves its purpose, it is time to get a replacement. But what should you look for in a replacement battery?
• Voltage. It is important that you get the same and exact voltage as the laptop battery you are disposing. A higher or lesser voltage can cause damage to your computer’s internal components or even burn it at the very least.
• Wattage. The wattage determines how much energy is needed to power the laptop. Expect a longer battery life for your laptop with a higher watt-hour capacity.
• mAh (Milliamperes). This refers to the amount of power of a battery pack by means of voltage and amperes ratings. One thousand milliamperes is equals to 1 amperes. This means that you should go with the battery with a higher mAh rating. On the average, a 4000 mAh allows 3-4 hours of battery life.
There are two probable ways to get a replacement for the battery:
• Purchase from the laptop/battery manufacturer. This will guarantee that you are in fact replacing the battery with the standard battery designed for your laptop. However, most OEM battery replacements are expensive and may even be overpriced.
• Search for third-party options. Independent manufacturers distribute compatible replacement batteries and universal replacement batteries that are offered at more affordable prices. They even tend to last longer than the one’s distributed by OEMs.
Compatible and Universal Replacement Batteries:
Compatible batteries – These are replacements that have the same specs and brand as the OEM. However, their pricing makes all the difference. Compatibles tend to be sold at a much cheaper price. These batteries also passed safety standards and often use the same components used by the OEM. However, the most important thing to remember when shopping for a replacement is to not settle for just any battery – a 3-inch Toshiba replacement battery will never work with a Dell that has 2-inch battery slot.
Universal batteries – A universal laptop battery is generic and an external one. This means it can be used and works with different models and brands of laptops. They come in different sizes and specs (voltage, wattage and mAh) and different sizes of pins to fit the laptop charger and the laptop; so users can choose which suits and is compatible with their gadget. These are also produced by third party manufacturers but without specific brand and compatibility. The brand name and universal batteries have little difference.
So it’s up to you whichever you would prefer.
Pay attention to the manufacturing date of the battery. As mentioned, laptop batteries have a lifespan and shelf life of up to 2 years. A replacement battery that is more than 18 months old is not a good purchase and definitely a waste of hard earned cash. When buying online or from third party retailers, always ask for the manufacturing date.
Whether coming from OEM or a third party manufacturer, laptop batteries don’t come cheap; so shop for batteries with warranty. An OEM battery may offer a 1-year warranty. On the other hand, some third party manufacturers offer the same warranty coverage. Avoid purchasing from resellers that offer only less than 3 months warranty. You could end up using a defective replacement just after a few uses.