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Laptop battery advice


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#1 computergeek522

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 05:09 PM

So apparently, the battery in my Dell Inspiron 17R is dying. According to the diagnostics I've run, the battery is now at only 21% of its original power. It still holds a bit of a charge, but nothing compared to what it used to (these days it only usually lasts for about 20 minutes before I have to plug back in.). The laptop is two years old and is heavily used, so I'm not surprised.

I'm just not sure what to do in terms of replacing the thing. I can get a 9-cell L-ion replacement battery direct from Dell, but it will set me back about $150 plus tax and shipping (they no longer have the original 6-cell that my laptop came with.) I also tracked down a generic-brand 6-cell L-ion battery that is compatible with my Dell that I can get for $112.

I guess what I'm worried about is whether a non-"brand name" battery will be as "good" as a Dell-branded one. I know, I know, the extra that Dell is charging is at least partly for the name...but I don't know a hell of a lot about batteries and so I figured that someone here might have some insight into the issue.

So what about it? Would I be wasting my money buying an off-brand battery? What's the difference between a 6-cell battery and a 9-cell battery (will the 9 give me noticeable battery life over the 6?)

Thanks for any input!

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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 10:47 PM

I have a Compaq Cq60 battery that went bad and bought mine on Ebay for $17 plus free shipping and it works fine. Even if it didn't last as long as the OEM, I can buy 4 for what HP wanted for one.

 

Check out Ebay for your battery. Just make sure you get the correct number. It should be on your battery.

 

http://www.ebay.com/bhp/dell-inspiron-17r-n7110-battery



#3 Kilroy

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:37 AM

I'd recommend getting the Dell battery.  It isn't worth the money saved if the battery explodes.  You may be able to pick up the Dell part from another source, New Egg, Tiger Direct, CDW, Batteries.com (this may be an off name, but they give you a one year warranty, same as Dell)

 

I know these are all US companies, but there should be similar companies in Canada



#4 computergeek522

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 12:15 PM

I'd recommend getting the Dell battery.  It isn't worth the money saved if the battery explodes.  You may be able to pick up the Dell part from another source, New Egg, Tiger Direct, CDW, Batteries.com (this may be an off name, but they give you a one year warranty, same as Dell)

 

I know these are all US companies, but there should be similar companies in Canada

I have a link to a Canadian company that offers an "off-brand" battery for $50, with a two-year warranty.  That's better than the warranty Dell offers.  Basically all I was looking for was advice on whether an off-brand would be okay to use.  :)  


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#5 Kilroy

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 12:27 PM

The only concern I would have is the battery overheating and leaking or exploding.  The manufacturers have had issue with this and it is their machine.  If you're comfortable with the company go for it.



#6 dc3

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 01:49 PM

A lot of batteries are branded for OEM companies, so there shouldn't be any problem with purchasing a battery from a vendor associated with the OEM.  There are some things which need to be observed when purchasing the battery, the DC Voltage, the mAh (milliamp hour) figure .  The voltage has to match the original battery, you don't want to go any lower on the mAh figure of the original battery, but you can go higher.  The higher the mAh figure the longer the battery will hold a charge.

 

As for batteries exploding or catching fire, the type of batteries that are experiencing these type of problems are lithium-ion.  In 2006 there was a major recall of this type of battery, companies initially  involved with these recalls include Dell, Apple, Toshiba, and Lenovo.  Sony manufactured all of these batteries.  In a lithium-ion battery there are pressurized containers which house a coil of metal and a flammable lithium-containing liquid.  Under certain conditions these batteries can overheat and cause burns, in extreme cases they can even cause fire.  As for the batteries exploding, this is not accurate.  The batteries being described don't explode, they burn.  There are videos online where batteries have been set in circumstances where a failure in very likely, but there is no explosion involving the battery.  These fires are not common place, the probability of this happening is very low.

 

There are newer versions of lithium-ion batteries which don't contain the volatile liquid found in current production.  Hopefully in the near future these batteries will be available and will reduce the possibility for these types of fires. 


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#7 computergeek522

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 02:15 PM

Hmm.  The battery that's currently in my laptop is Li-ion; I personally have never had a problem with it overheating (or even getting *warm*, for that matter.)  I mean, I normally keep my laptop on a cooling pad, but even during the times when I've had it on my lap for an extended period of time, I've never noticed the laptop or the battery feeling warm.  o_O

 

Right now I'm leaning towards this specific battery: http://www.battdepot.com/us/model/notebook+battery/dell/inspiron+17r/lde240-ap.aspx It's a decent price, matches my current battery in terms of voltage and all, and has a 2-year warranty.  And I know it's compatible with my laptop because the original part number from my dead battery is listed at the bottom of the page.  

 

Thanks for all the advice! I appreciate it. :)


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#8 rotor123

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:41 PM

FWIW, You may have problems with a non Dell battery. If You go into the BIOS for example. Press F2 when the Dell logo appears.

Go to the battery section. It will tell You battery condition, AC adapter too.

 

The Problem with non Dell parts is they may not work right. They may not charge or have other problems.

 

The Dell battery is not just a set of rechargeable batteries in a plastic case. There is some electronics in there too. The Laptop and the battery communicate with each other.

 

Make sure whatever Non Dell battery You buy is returnable.

 

Sometimes they work and sometimes they do not.

 

I fixed one persons battery charging problem with his Dell. He had bought a generic AC adapter = not charging. I sold him a Dell AC adapter and showed him that now it charges. Not a surprise to me, it was to him that a generic would not work right.

 

Cheers

Roger


Edited by rotor123, 06 December 2013 - 03:41 PM.

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