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How To Charge a Laptop Battery June 14, 2009

Posted by laptoppartsexpert in Battery.
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I get asked all the time what is the best way to charge a laptop battery. There are many schools of thought on this but I will explain what the best battery manufacturers have told me.

First, when you receive a battery, it will not have a full charge. The reason for this is that the Lithium cells inside the battery pack are highly volitile and you do not want to transport the battery this way. When you install the battery, you can do two things. You can either charge it up overnight and then drain it down completely or you can drain it completely and then charge it up fully for 8-12 hours. I am not sure there is a difference between the two but most manufacturers say you should do this three times when you get your new battery.

Lithium batteries are only good for about 300-500 charges. In my experience though, they seem to last longest when you charge up the battery fully and drain it fully once a week. As mentioned earlier though, do not leave the battery fully charged if you plan to store it for a while. You may leave it in your laptop while plugged in but you should drain it at least once a week for maximum usability.

For additional information on battery safety when traveling on an airplane, go to the Department of Transportation website: http://safetravel.dot.gov/index_batteries.html

Jeremy Schwaeber

IBM Thinkpad G40 G41 Battery Blowout May 14, 2009

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Unfortunately, I got stock with an overstock of IBM Thinkpad G40 and G41 batteries a while ago and I have to blow them out. So if you have either of these models, I recommend you take advantage of our loss. These are from a Taiwanese manufacturer so the quality is higher than a Chinese battery you would see at a similar price.

IBM Thinkpad G40/G41 Li-Ion Battery

IBM Thinkpad G40/G41 Li-Ion Battery

The price on this battery is an astonishingly low $39.50 until supplies last. You also get free shipping when you buy two and it comes with a 1-year warranty. You can find it here:

http://www.laptoppartsexpert.com/i-59089-battery-6-cell-li-ion.html

Remember, this is only while supplies last so if you have a Thinkpad G40 or G41 make sure you get a new battery before they are all gone.
If you have any questions about this battery you can email me at jeremy@laptoppartsexpert.com.

Which Netbook Should I Get? May 6, 2009

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Netbooks seem to have replaced the Swine Flu as the hot topic these days. I think I will get one myself in the next couple weeks. In the next few months, cell phone carriers will be offering them for very low up-front costs with mobile broadband subscriptions. The one thing I do not hear people spending significant time talking about is the importance of battery life. The whole point of getting a Netbook is ultimate portability. You can take it anywhere, it will fit inside almost any carry bag and with the right Air Card, you can connect to the Internet from nearly any location.

What I have discovered is that you have to look for a 6-cell battery at the very least when shopping for Netbooks. Many of the Asus and Acer come with them and I have even seen some with 9-cell batteries. You should be able to get at least six hours for a 6-cell battery but you are only likely to get three hours with the standard 3-cell battery and that just defeats the purpose of getting a Netbook. Email me if you find a good deal for a 6-cell or 9-cell package in Acer, Asus or Toshiba at jeremy@laptoppartsexpert.com.

How’d They Make That May 5, 2009

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I seem to have caught HP in a math mistake today. Now if you aren’t impressed by math, this may not interest you. But I will attempt to pull back the curtain on what makes a battery rated for the capacity it is rated and why it is important to know the rating of a battery before you buy one. This is the listing on the HP website that was presented to me:

Battery (Primary) – 6-cell lithium-ion (Li-Ion), 14.4VDC, 2.20Ah, 47Wh

This is a Compaq/HP Business Notebook battery and it just doesn’t add up. See, every battery has voltage cells and amperage cells. The voltage cells are usually 3.7V and the amperage cells range from 2200mah up to 2600mAh in capacity. Most batteries are 11.1V or 14.8V and 4800mAh or 5200mAh. If you put three voltage cells together and two amperage cells together, you get a 6-cell battery. If you put four voltage cells and two amperage cells together, you get an 8-cell battery. Simple math, for example:

3.7V X 3 = 11.1V
2200mAh X 2 = 4400mAh
3V X 2A = 6-cell

This is the 6-cell version of the above mentioned battery I sell. But HP lists this as 14.8V (4V) and 2200mAh (1A) which makes it a 4-cell battery. As our former President might have said, “This is fuzzy math.”

Now, lets talk about why this is important. We all want our laptops to run as long as possible but battery life is limited. Typically Lithium batteries, the current standard, are good for about 300-500 charges. They work best when you charge them up, drain them down and repeat at least once per week. They can also run longer if you lower your screen brightness and lower your hard drive spin time. But the higher the cell count, the bigger the battery, the longer the laptop will run on a single charge. Of course they get heavier the longer they last, but who cares, you want to finish that long Martin Scorsese epic. If you want a good battery, you want an 8-cell minimum. If you want the biggest battery, you need a 12-cell, if offered for your model. I am only aware of one 16-cell but that is for the mammoth Dell Inspiron 9100/XPS. You also want to make sure you are getting a higher amperage rating because they will be newer cells. You want something divisible by 2400mAh or 2600mAh.

One more equation for you. If you know the Watt-Hour rating of the battery, a new labeling requirement, you can get the amperage rating by dividing the Watt-Hour rating by the voltage. For example:

48Wh / 11.1V = 4400mAh

This is the rating of the battery above. Ultimately, the higher the battery Watt-Hour rating, the longer it will last between charges. If you have any questions about battery ratings or you want to tell me I finally made math interesting for you, you can email me at info@laptoppartsexpert.com.

Battery Help April 27, 2009

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Got a call from a customer today about a problem with a battery that they received. For the unfamiliar, I should make it clear that if you ever get an extended life battery and it has an angle in it, the battery usually goes in with the extension at the bottom. It makes the laptop sit up at an angle.

It is common with Windows 2000, XP and Vista for the laptop to fail to charge the battery when you replace it. This is because Windows needs to install the new battery before it can start charging it. This means you have to remove the old one from the device manager first. This is not always the problem with a battery not charging but if you buy a new battery, this is the first thing you will want to check. For the exact device manager removal procedures, check our FAQ here:

http://www.laptoppartsexpert.com/ft-46-batteries.html#q151