11-30-2011 04:26 PM
11-30-2011 07:57 PM
There are many threads on many sites that mostly state to keep it OEM for the least aggravation.
12-07-2011 04:49 AM
I bought a generic extended life (9-cell) battery on Ebay for about $30. I've been very happy with it especially considering Lenovo wanted at least $50 just to upgrade from the regular (6-cell) battery to the extended one. I've been using it for almost 2 years now. It doesn't last as long as when new, but it's still giving about 2 hours of use. The original OEM battery doesn't even give 30 minutes of use and it's not that much older. For $30 it was a bargain. Unfortunately I don't know exactly which one I bought and I'd like to buy another one, but compared to $150 (6-cell) and $180 (9-cell) for OEM batteries a generic battery is worth a try.
12-07-2011 10:22 AM
12-07-2011 01:28 PM
I recommend the OEM battery. You may get a good non-OEM battery or you might get a horrible one. If you buy direct, you know you'll get a good one and they normally come with a 1 year warranty in case something happens. I have heard some good things about the batteries from Dr. Battery, and they even have something called a green battery that they warranty for 3 years. Even though I had that option, I bought my replacement battery for my T400 from Lenovo.
As to what killed the original one, batteries die over time. Depending on all kinds of factors, most of which you cannot control as a consumer, they tend to die over a 1-2 year time frame. What you can control are:
1. Battery cycles
A battery cycle is how many times it is run down and then charged backup again. Running it down from 100% to 5% and then fully charging is more work on the battery than going from 80% to 40% and then back to 80%. So, try to stay plugged in and not run the battery down all the way.
2. Charging thresholds
The last 10% or so of the charge makes the battery wear out faster because it heats up more. If you set your charging threshold to stop charging at 90% or even at or under 80% the battery will last longer.
3. Level of charge when not in use
Most people recommend to keep the battery around 35-45% charge when it is not going to be used for a long time.
Heat kills batteries. Try not to put the machine in a closed container and leave it on. For example, don't put the machine in a backpack while it is running. This may cause it to heat up a good bit.
As you will see, starting battery capacity has an impact on 1 & 2. For example, lets say you take it to a 2 hour class everyday and you have the choice between a small battery that lasts 2 hours, a medium one that lasts 3 hours, and a large one that lasts 4 hours. If the machine is on and not allowed to sleep for the entire two hours min, you've used an entire cycle and 100% of charge on the small battery, only 2/3 of the charge on the medium, and only half of the charge on the large battery. This means that you are forced to set the small battery to fully charge or you run out of power. Running it down all the way and charging fully is one of the fastest ways to kill a battery. You could set the large battery to something like an 80% threshold for max charge. That way it would be going from 20% to 80% and would be more healthy for the battery.
My advice is to either buy the largest (most cells) battery you can find, or purchase a small one and plug in all the time.
12-09-2011 10:29 AM - edited 12-09-2011 10:30 AM
Echo what Nibs said. Instead of messing with charge settings, I find the easiest solution when the unit is desk-bound and plugged in for weeks at a time, is to remove the battery completely. Store it in a cool, dry place and install when needed for travel. That's what I do, and my T-60 and T-510 batteries are as good as new.
12-09-2011 10:48 AM
Corky, I did that once. I put it in my desk drawer for about 3 months. Upon putting it back in, power manager said it was broken. What I did next was drained the battery as much as I could, then some more with a flashlight bulb (per a blog post I saw) and repeated the process.
So for me, pulling the battery caused me to have to manually reset it. That was two years ago and it still shows healthy now.
12-09-2011 03:12 PM
Interesting, Killjoy. Mine gets put back in for travel about 3 times a year. It has never given me any grief that way. It was last installed the first week of november for a long weekend. Next will be a two week trip in mid-January. Then back in the foam bag until April. It is now 2 years old and still happy.