Laptop Battery Replacement – The In’s and Out’s
This article answers many questions you may have regarding laptop battery replacement; how to remove a laptop battery; how much does a laptop battery cost; how to make a laptop battery last longer; how to replace a laptop battery; where to buy laptop batteries and can you replace your laptop battery yourself?
Need for a Laptop Battery Replacement or Other Problems?
Whether it’s a Windows-based device or Google Chromebook (one manufactured by Lenovo, HP, Dell, ASUS, Acer, etc) or an Apple MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, an integral part of this kind of computer is the use of battery to allow you the flexibility and mobility that this offers – not being dependant on using a power socket in your home, office, whilst you’re travelling, etc, to power your computer.
A failure to charge or recharge may be the sign of a faulty or failing battery and a laptop battery replacement may be in order. However, it could also be an indication of problems associated with your computer’s motherboard (“logicboard” on a Mac) or AC socket (MagSafe DC-In board on an Apple MacBook) or charger.
Types of Laptop Batteries
There are two main types of laptop battery commonly in use today: lithium-ion and lithium-polymer. Nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride laptop batteries have all-but been phased out by now, replaced by their more reliable and efficient lithium cell counterparts. Lithium-ion and lithium-polymer function in very similar ways, despite employing technological differences. Like most things, they both have their various strengths and weaknesses.
Internal or External Laptop Battery?
Laptop battery replacement cost depends upon whether you have a system with a battery that can be easily removed and replaced (ie. one that is externally mounted) or one that is installed inside your computer (requiring a degree of disassembly to remove and replace the battery).
If you use an Apple MacBook, MacBook Pro (Unibody or Retina) or MacBook Air, or; a compact, light-weight Windows notebook, like one of the many varieties of Ultrabook or 2 in 1/ convertible designs, your system will have a system with an internal battery, making laptop battery replacement a little more involved and complicated.
How to Remove and Replace a Laptop Battery?
If you are lucky to have a laptop with an external battery, you will usually find two latches (one used to lock the battery in place) on the underside of the computer. Slide the latch to the opposite side and hold it in that position to release the battery. Sometimes, manufacturers resort to using screws (usually 2). If your battery is internal, then the number of screws you will need to remove will be considerably more, in addition to disassembling the computer case or housing – without destroying cables and connectors, etc.
How Much Does a Replacement Laptop Battery Cost?
The cost of a replacement laptop battery depends very much on the age, make and model of your laptop, along with the location of the supplier. Some types of replacement batteries support a range of different models and occasionally across brands. OEM or “genuine” replacement parts will often be more expensive than something marketed as “clone”, but will usually be of better quality, have a longer service life and more reliable.
To get an idea about the cost of a replacement battery for your Apple MacBook, try MaxFixit or for your Windows laptop from one of several different suppliers like AU Batteries. There is always eBay as well that you can use to compare prices, but be sure you compare apples with apples, not apples with pears.
How To Make a Laptop Battery Last Longer
Consult the relevant manufacturer’s information that came with your computer or go to the support section of their website to find the relevant service information relating to the care and maintenance of your computer. A common question that keeps being asked: Does running your laptop on AC power damage the battery? Should I remove the battery to increase its serviceable life?
There are ways to make your laptop battery last longer through care and practical every-day maintenance. Although opinions differ, some of the more credible advice includes:
- Never (intentionally) allow your battery to completely discharge;
- Always partially discharge, then recharge
- Only use partial discharge cycles — 20% to 80 or 85% is an optimal range
- Avoid extensive exposure to high temperatures (avoid using your laptop on surfaces with poor heat dissipation);
- Remove the battery (if this is possible) during prolonged AC power connections, and
- If storing for long periods, charge to around 40%, and then periodically recharge the battery when possible.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Laptop Battery?
If your situation is one where the original battery can be easily removed, it will be easy and the laptop battery replacement cost is limited to the replacement battery. If however it can’t be easily removed (involving a degree of disassembly of your laptop, and you’re not confident of doing it yourself, (and you live in Brisbane) contact us at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service to get a quote.
Can I Replace a Laptop Battery Myself?
Yes, you can replace a laptop battery yourself. Be sure that you are ordering the correct battery for your particular brand and model. Confirm that the battery replacement has the same specifications as your existing computer (ie. voltage, watts, amps). Your existing battery should list this information somewhere on the batteries casing. If you’re not confident to do this work yourself, contact us at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service. Be advised that if your laptop is a MacBook Pro, late-2012 Retina (13 or 15 inches) or later, you will find that the battery is glued to the inside of the upper case assembly. This makes battery replacement for these devices more complex, time-consuming and more expensive than it needs to be.
Where to Buy Laptop Batteries?
To find a replacement battery for your Apple MacBook, you can go to Macfixit or for your Windows laptop from one of several different suppliers like AU Batteries. There is always eBay as well, but choose your supplier wisely as ordering from the “wrong” supplier
Can I use my Laptop Without a Battery?
Many current designs allow you to use a laptop without a battery fitted or at the very least, a “dead” or unserviceable battery. Given that many people use their laptops more like a compact desktop computer – with portability only a secondary or occasional concern – that may not be an issue.
What are the Signs that my Laptop Battery is Failing?
The best way to assess whether or not your laptop battery is beginning to fail is to measure the amount of time you can run your computer before you need to recharge. Compare these time to what you are getting when you first got your laptop, or consult the manufacturer’s specifications if these are still available.
Of course, if you are running on DC or battery power, and your computer shuts down after 15, 30 or even 60 mins after initially indicating a fully charged battery, you can be safe to assume that your battery is failing.
Laptop Battery Replacement Summary
If you still have questions regarding laptop battery replacement, even after reading all of the above, you can call Mark, a Brisbane computer technician on 3397 1215 or 0409 974 707.