Batteries are Disappointing in Laptops


Some batteries for laptops have design problems.

One (at least) came with instructions telling me that it could explode or something.

You’d think you shouldn’t need instructions for a battery. But if there are instructions, you’d better read them. I wouldn’t care to have one of my legs cross the street without me. You probably can’t replace the cells inside a battery. One place says they might do it but it won’t save money and you should ask them only if the original manufacturer no longer makes the battery. Some of the instructions are putatively in English. I hope they did not use Google Translate to produce the English, because if they did, that would mean the original language was also awful.

Their lives get shorter even with recharges. They wear down when I’m not even using them, and when they’re not even in a laptop. It takes longer to recharge during a computer’s sleep mode than if the computer is off. And, no, during sleep there’s no major saving of files and no hookup to a printer, fax, or anything else likely to use the hardware intensively.

Meanwhile, my cell phone’s spare battery may go unused for a year or more with no sign of its life being shortened. And my spare cell phone’s battery may get an hour of use twice a year, with no sign of difficulty. These cell phones cost ten dollars each, new, and the battery maybe $3. Why can’t some laptop batteries perform as well? I know, it’s easier to design a better CPU million-transistor microchip or a double-speed computer every couple of years than a dull but better battery. It was a while from living in our first cave until we had our first log cabin and we could choose either dwelling, but I hope it won’t be as long before batteries become marvels we can admire.