It is always interesting how something that should be insanely simple can turn out to be a complex and frustrating endeavor. Such is the case if you have ever found yourself in the position of needing a new battery for your laptop. If you’re like many people, you will inevitably turn to the Internet for some basic instruction and advice; as handy as the Internet is, in cases such as laptop batteries, you will find that your simple search can quickly turn into a nightmare because one of two things will likely happen. Either you are hit with a mirage of unrelated and useless articles about everything to do with your laptop when all you need is a battery, or your search will land you among hundreds of thousands of results that you have to now sift through. Finding direct information about how to buy a laptop battery should be simplistic in an otherwise chaotic world. Here is what you need to know.
The first step in purchasing a new laptop battery will be for you to know the Brand, Model and Part Number of the new battery you will need. Since each laptop has unique components, knowing the specifics of yours will ensure you buy the correct battery. When laptops are manufactured they are given a specific and unique part number that the manufacturing plant assigns. Without the right part number you will inevitably end up with the wrong battery for your particular laptop.
Also essential is locating what the make and model of your laptop is as every brand utilizes batteries that are manufactured for that brand. The make of a laptop is the actual company name that has designed it: Dell, Mac, and Gateway to name a few. You have to make sure when buying a battery that you do so. For example, if you own a Mac laptop but purchase a battery produced by Dell, they will not be compatible and thus it will be useless to you.
The model number is also essential when buying a laptop battery. Every company produces hundreds of batteries for laptops each year and in order to distinguish one from the other as well as their functions and components, they assign a model number. This number will determine which battery you specifically need for your individual laptop. The model number can usually be found on the side or the bottom of your laptop and will include a series of numbers and letters following the brand name. One example of this is Dell PU563. Some model numbers are longer so don’t be thrown off it there are more numbers and letters than that.
If you can’t find the model number on the laptop itself it is likely that the number is within your computer. Simply hover your mouse over the ‘start’ menu and click on the tab that says ‘programs.’ Then click on ‘system accessories’ followed by ‘tools.’ You will see ‘system information’ there and that will give you the make and model numbers you need to correctly identify the battery you want to purchase.
Your Battery’s Capacity
If you use your laptop quite frequently (and even if you don’t) another important aspect to consider when buying a new laptop battery is its capacity. The capacity you want and need is dependent upon a few things but the most important variable is how often you use it and how long you want to be able to use it when you are not connected to an outlet. The freedom to take your laptop with you wherever you go and the invention of free Wi-Fi are amazing things that particularly speak to owning a laptop in the first place.
The capacity of a laptop’s battery is measured in an ampere which is essentially the amount of electrons that travel through the electrolyte system in the battery itself and the speed at which it does so per second. The amount of capacity you want for your laptop battery can only be determined by you and what your needs are, as well as taking into consideration what kind and how many program applications you run on it. Depending on the program, they will absorb energy from a battery differently.
Batteries for laptops aren’t cheap on the whole and the larger the capacity, the more you will ultimately spend. Therefore, realistically assess first how much you have to spend, but then how often you use the laptop, what programs you need to run and for how long and the overall expectation you have of the battery’s lifespan.
Choosing which type
There are many options when choosing which type of laptop battery to buy. Some of your choices will include: Ni-Cad, Li-Ion and Nickel Cadmium. The Nickel Cadmium however is quickly fading out of the top choices as it doesn’t hold the battery life as well or for as long as the other types, but they are also less expensive. Ni-MH batteries are fairly popular, however they are pricey and they weight a considerable amount more than other batteries which may not be conducive if you travel with yours.
Also another important consideration when purchasing a new battery is the watt hours. This can be figured out mathematically by multiplying the laptop’s voltage rate by its amperes. The number you are left with will tell you how many amps of power your battery will receive steadily. The higher the number, the more surges your battery will receive and the stronger the charge will be. The higher numbers will mean that your battery will last longer in hour long intervals or durations.
The Bottom Line
Once the schematics are figured out with the laptop battery the last area of consideration is much easier to digest. You want to consider the obvious things such as price so it matches your budget. You also want to inquire about the warranty that comes with your battery as this may differ immensely depending on the retailer. And of course, you want to choose a retailer that is reputable so that if you do come across issues, they will be quick to help and service you.
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