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dwilt
Paper Tape
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-17-2009
Location: Maryland
Views: 7,629
Message 1 of 26

X61 battery life

I am yet another X61 customer who is extremely disappointed in the short battery life of this model.  Our company previously had 35 of the X30/X31 model, and all of those batteries lasted four to five years.  We now have 39 X61's.  Imagine my surprise when multiple users started notifying me that the batteries were dying after only 16-17 months of use.

 

Here's my question:  I have two users whose four-cell lithium ion enhanced batteries died after 16 months of use.  One user reports that he uses his laptop on battery power twice a day every workday during his train ride to and from work.  The other user reports that she rarely if ever uses battery power since she's in the office virtually all of the time.  Why did both batteries die within weeks of each other, when one had heavy use and the other had virtually no battery use?

 

My only consolation is that I located new generic Li-ion batteries from an eBay seller for less than half the price that Lenovo is asking, even at Lenovo's sale price.  I just ordered my first dozen; I'm sure I'll be ordering a couple dozen more in the coming months.   

   

dwilt
Paper Tape
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Registered: ‎03-17-2009
Location: Maryland
Views: 7,557
Message 2 of 26

Re: X61 battery life

I was told that Lenovo monitored this forum, yet I've received no answer to my inquiry from them or from any volunteers.  How do two X61 batteries die within a week of each other, when one had heavy use and the other virtually no use at all?  Anyone?  I have 39 of these laptops and don't wish to buy batteries for all of them every year if I can avoid it.  The lithium ion batteries in the X31s lasted four to five years, so what's the difference?
Community SuperMod
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Posts: 3,956
Registered: ‎11-20-2007
Location: US
Views: 7,550
Message 3 of 26

Re: X61 battery life


dwilt wrote:
I was told that Lenovo monitored this forum, yet I've received no answer to my inquiry from them or from any volunteers.

 

Welcome to the forum!

While there are a few Lenovo employees roaming around in here helping out on a volunteer basis, this is not an official support channel. Instead, this is designed to be a user-to-user support and discussion forum. You may or may not get an answer directly from one of the Lenovo employees as there are way more of us than them and all of them, even Mark, have full-time jobs doing other things.

 

It's likely that no one who knows the answer to your question has seen it.  There are a number of variables to consider when trying to determine why a battery may have died.  How long is user #1's train ride, and what was the cycle count on it?  Did he drain the battery twice a day 5 days a week for 16 months?  User #2's battery was never used but stayed the notebook doing short cycles which tends to kill a battery.  On the other hand, she probably never lost any data during a power outage because the battery was there to keep the system running until she could gracefully power it off.

 

Notebook batteries are consumables just like the batteries in your car and flashlight, and usage patterns play a big part in how long they'll last.  The fact that these two died within a week of one another is probably just a fluke.


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Jane
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2015 X1 Carbon, ThinkPad Slate, T410s, X301, X200 Tablet, T60p, HP TouchPad, iPad Air 2, iPhone 5S, IdeaTab A2107A, Yoga Tablet, Yoga 3 Pro
I AM one of those crazy ThinkPad zealots!
If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"!

I am not a Lenovo employee

dwilt
Paper Tape
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-17-2009
Location: Maryland
Views: 7,546
Message 4 of 26

Re: X61 battery life

Thank you for your input.  How can I determine the cycle count?  Also, what should I advise my users who are like user #2 where they mostly work off of AC power?  Should they remove their batteries to help them last longer?
SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,761
Registered: ‎12-22-2008
Location: CA
Views: 7,535
Message 5 of 26

Re: X61 battery life

> How can I determine the cycle count?

 

Go to ThinkVantage Power Manager and click on the Battery tab. If  there's a battery icon on your Windows Taskbar you can right-click on it to start Power Manager. Otherwise look for it in the ThinkVantage folder in your Start menu.

 

> what should I advise my users who are like user #2 where they mostly work off of AC power?  Should they remove their batteries to help them last longer?

 

One enemy of battery life is heat. Users who are mostly or exclusively on AC power should remove their battery from their ThinkPad when they don't need battery power. Another enemy is storing the battery at full charge and/or constantly recharging it to full charge. Battery University explains the characteristics of Li-Ion batteries and provides suggestions for extending their life. I've linked to Part II -- Getting the most from your batteries but if you have the time read Part I as well.

 

Also, Power Manager lets you set battery recharging thresholds and other settings to help you squeeze the most life from your batteries.

 

__________________________________________________
Cheers... Dorian Hausman • ca.gif English community
X1C6, E470, Y900s, [R.I.P. X1C2, T430s, TPT2, SL500, X61s, T60p, A21p, 770, 760ED... 5160, 5150... S360/30]
Moto Z3 Play, G6, [R.I.P. KRZR K1]
Community SuperMod
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Message 6 of 26

Re: X61 battery life


hausman wrote:

> what should I advise my users who are like user #2 where they mostly work off of AC power?  Should they remove their batteries to help them last longer?

One enemy of battery life is heat. Users who are mostly or exclusively on AC power should remove their battery from their ThinkPad when they don't need battery power.


 

FWIW, even though I'm almost always on AC power, I never remove my battery because preserving my work  in case of power glitches and the convenience of being able to get up and move without having to fetch a battery is more important to me than whether or not I can squeak out a few more month's worth of battery life.  As with most things, YMMV.


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Jane
nonnymouselenovoff1.gif

2015 X1 Carbon, ThinkPad Slate, T410s, X301, X200 Tablet, T60p, HP TouchPad, iPad Air 2, iPhone 5S, IdeaTab A2107A, Yoga Tablet, Yoga 3 Pro
I AM one of those crazy ThinkPad zealots!
If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"!

I am not a Lenovo employee

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,761
Registered: ‎12-22-2008
Location: CA
Views: 7,524
Message 7 of 26

Re: X61 battery life

> I never remove my battery because preserving my work  in case of power glitches

 

My two main ThinkPads sit on my desk, running on AC, at least 99% of the time. They're both protected by an external UPS, as are critical accessories like DSL modem, USB hubs, external disk drives, etc. The cost of a replacement UPS battery is lower than the cost of a replacement ThinkPad battery so I can protect more data at lower cost. But then my ThinkPads tend to stay put, except for the occasional road trip. I've tailored my solution to meet my situation and its requirements.

 

> As with most things, YMMV.

 

Absolutely! Not only mileage but also requirements Smiley Wink

 

 

__________________________________________________
Cheers... Dorian Hausman • ca.gif English community
X1C6, E470, Y900s, [R.I.P. X1C2, T430s, TPT2, SL500, X61s, T60p, A21p, 770, 760ED... 5160, 5150... S360/30]
Moto Z3 Play, G6, [R.I.P. KRZR K1]
Community SuperMod
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Message 8 of 26

Re: X61 battery life

As hausman says, everyone tailors their solution to meet their situation and its requirements.

 

I think it should be mentioned though that removing the battery reduces the maximum CPU speed by half. This is a characteristic of most modern laptops. The power brick and battery are part of an integrated power supply system, and when the battery is not doing its part, the CPU is throttled back.

 

My situation is that my laptop is a portable tool in almost constant use, on and off battery several times a day. I don't try to optimize the life of my batteries, and as a consequence they last 12-18 months. The run time slowly declines, then one day they go over a cliff.

 

Unfortunately Mankind has not yet invented a battery which will last as long a laptop, but we're working on it!

Message Edited by bananaman on 03-23-2009 09:36 PM
I don't work for Lenovo. I'm a crazy volunteer!
Community SuperMod
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Posts: 3,956
Registered: ‎11-20-2007
Location: US
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Message 9 of 26

Re: X61 battery life


bananaman wrote:

I think it should be mentioned though that removing the battery reduces the maximum CPU speed by half. This is a characteristic of most modern laptops. The power brick and battery are part of an integrated power supply system, and when the battery is not doing its part, the CPU is throttled back.


 

Good point - I hadn't even thought about that aspect!

 

To the OP, as you can see, we can't even agree on a common solution among just the three of us because all our needs are different.  What you end up doing will ultimately depend on your individual users' requirements.  Let us know what solution you decide on and how it all works out, please.


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Jane
nonnymouselenovoff1.gif

2015 X1 Carbon, ThinkPad Slate, T410s, X301, X200 Tablet, T60p, HP TouchPad, iPad Air 2, iPhone 5S, IdeaTab A2107A, Yoga Tablet, Yoga 3 Pro
I AM one of those crazy ThinkPad zealots!
If you find a post helpful and it answers your question, please mark it as an "Accepted Solution"!

I am not a Lenovo employee

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 1,952
Registered: ‎12-02-2007
Location: AU
Views: 7,508
Message 10 of 26

Re: X61 battery life


dwilt wrote:

The lithium ion batteries in the X31s lasted four to five years, so what's the difference?


The best life that is typically achievable with any Lithium Ion rechargeable battey technology in any application is about 3 years.  Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries chemically degrade over time, even if not used.

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

------------------------------
I don't work for Lenovo

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