01-26-2009 09:46 AM - edited 01-26-2009 10:01 AM
I think you make some good points...
New batteries purchased as Options don't provide for the return of an old battery because the assumption was that this was an additional battery and there would be no core.
When one orders a service part or FRU battery (which is also new), then provision for prepaid return is provided and Lenovo does the sound environmental thing. So, there is a planned process in place to handle this.
I can understand the suggestion to add the ability to provide for a return of the old battery through the Option sales process, but suggest that the costs would have to be built into the process which would increase the effective price of the batteries. Return shipping and logistics to handle, account for, post a credit back, create additional costs.
If the costs were amortized across all new battery sales, (much the way that tire disposal fees are now added to the sale price of new tires in the US, at least in my state, regardless of whether you are turning in any old tires) it would penalize those who were just buying a new battery.
One of the larger issues I see is that batteries last varying amounts of times. While all are warranted 1 year, most will last several years or more which is the general expectation. Against this expectation, a battery failing at 15 or 18 months may be seen as a disappointment. In the automotive world, batteries have a prorated warranty - often 72 months with free replacement during just the first year in most case. After the first year, the customer pays a prorated amount for the replacement, and there is a core trade in as you suggest.
My personal opinion is that this could make a lot of sense in the PC and larger personal electronics industry.
Another observation is that battery prices seem fairly flat while system prices vary more broadly. For example, a $135 6-cell battery option for an X301 system that starts $2500 - the battery is about 5% the value of the system. On a S10 IdeaPad netbook, a spare 3 cell battery goes for $109 while the entire system is just $349. Here, the battery is 31%.
I wonder how these fairly different cost ratios will affect market conditions and behaviors in the future?
With regard to use of 3rd party batteries - your mileage may vary. Lenovo can't say what protections are or are not included in these batteries, or what materials they are constructed from. We do recommend you use Lenovo batteries.
01-26-2009 11:07 AM - edited 01-26-2009 11:09 AM
I can understand the suggestion to add the ability to provide for a return of the old battery through the Option sales process, but suggest that the costs would have to be built into the process which would increase the effective price of the batteries. Return shipping and logistics to handle, account for, post a credit back, create additional costs...
There's no need to reinvent the wheel. When my T60p battery got recalled a couple of years ago the replacement came with instructions to either return the defective battery to IBM/Lenovo or take it to a local Rechargable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) location. These include major retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot and Staples.They not only accept notebook batteries but also all other types of rechargables including cellphone batteries.
It would not only be more expensive for Lenovo to set up their own battery recycling program but it would also be a greater strain on the environment (assuming you visit any of the participating retailers from time to time for other reasons.)
02-08-2009 09:19 AM
Different battery cells made by different company have slightly differen battery discharge behaviour, as determined by the exact battery chemistry, regarding the purity and concentration of various chemical components.
However, it should be noted that name brand battery cells used in OEM battery, usually have fine fault tolerance during the manufacturing process, especially in chemcial purity used in cell construction, certain impurity shortens battery life, while other impurities cause an increase in current flow resistance. While, in certain cases due to the aging of battery after repeated cycling, the internal resistance increases as the various eletrolyte and anodes/cathodes materials are depleted or deterioteriates. However, in cases with some new generic battery cells having electrolyte with large concentration of impurities (many generic batteries using cheap cells have), with the cathode and anode are in new condition. Then during the discharge/charge cycle, the current flow will cause the battery to heat up, in newer Lenovo batteries with the fuse and temperature monitoring probes (there are temperature probes mounted on the cells), the onboard chip in battery will automatically cut power to prevent melting and explosion. However, in most generic batteries these safety features are not present, and with many poor quality cells, this can cause real danger of explosion and injuries to end user during discharge.
You wouldn't drive on untested generic tyers in cars, why would you risk with generic batteries????
08-01-2009 08:02 AM
I too am suffering from this message. Would it be so hard to have a checkbox on the popup that said "Do not show me this message again", or even (if Lenovo still wants to kvetch) "Do not show me this message again until my next reboot"?
I did try to buy a genuine Lenovo battery, but failed because Lenovo sent it "signature required". Since I was away for a week when the battery arrived, the delivery failed and the battery was returned to Lenovo. The only way to get it back was to buy a new one. Of course then I would be out the $17 restocking charge. I thought it was really daft to send a $123 item "signature required", so I bought a battery from www.northparts.us via Amazon for $50, and so far so good. Except for this blasted message, of course.
08-19-2009 12:15 PM - edited 08-19-2009 12:50 PM
Well, I really can't believe this.
After all the discussion about how third party batteries are so poor, it turns out the reason my battery had issues in the first place (before the time of my original post) is it is defective:
My x60's original battery was 93P5028.
If it makes anyone feel any better, the reason I'm back in this sorry position is the third party battery appears to have died after 8 months (it won't charge at all. The Lenovo battery claims a < 5 min charge, a bit worse than January).
Unfortunately, when I run the defect detection / replacement application on the original battery, it tells me I am not eligible because I'm out of warranty. If only I could go back in time to when the battery was clearly suffering from the defect and the computer was still under warranty!
I really want to stick with this computer till January, but I don't want to pay $150 for a new Lenovo battery (I've already wasted money on the third party replacement).
Can someone at Lenovo back me up to get a replacement battery? I'm trying really hard here to be a Lenovo fan (great keyboard and decent Linux support), and I really think this replacement should apply.
12-15-2009 06:42 PM - edited 12-15-2009 06:48 PM
I spent $180.00 a year ago for a genuine Lenovo battery. After a year, it only held a charge about 5 minutes. Now I have an aftermarket battery for $40.00 and it lasts all day. I can buy one of these every three months and still be cheaper than the genuine Lenovo ones. I don't think there is any way a third party battery could wear out any quicker than the genuine one I just retired. Like some of the other users here, I don't think the "warning" is based on any real danger, rather is more harassment to buy a $180.00 battery from Lenovo. I spend enough money at Lenovo, I don't need a little blip harassing me all day to spend more.
This would be like buying a Ford car, and then Ford telling me that I can only install Ford batteries, and buy my tires at Ford, and buy Ford antifreeze. That's silly.
By the way, I also threw out the "Lenovo" hard drive and installed a 500Gb aftermarket drive; am I supposed to be harassed and "warned" about that too?
If Lenovo wants consumers to buy their batteries, they should put a compeditive battery product on the market. That would be better than the current tactics.
01-15-2010 09:26 AM
I too was a little disappointed that the Lenovo US website was offering specials on battery replacements yet Canada was charging full price. Aside from that I would like to know if someone has opened one of the lenovo batteries to see the protection components contained in it?
02-11-2010 07:32 PM
yeh, i have. i've taken apart lenovo batteries and aftermarket batteries. all batteries have a smart interface chip which in turn has an eeprom in which it keeps track of the battery. most aftermarket batteries connect the smart battery chip to the battery so as it always has power. however, on a lenovo there is another chip that disconnects the smart chip from the battery if it thinks something bad is happening. for example the battery is running down. So, you can corrupt your eeprom by unplugging the battery when the eeprom is being written by the smart chip. that's okay because the smart chip can rewrite the eeprom under instruction from the computer. except that on lenovo batteries, this feature is disabled. hence, you have batteries that seem to work one day and the next day they are just dead. won't hold a charge, battery manager says they're defective. all this is contained on a fairly sophisticated board inside of the battery. i have rewritten the eeprom and made dead batteries work again. i have 3 x40s and 2x41s and they are all running very well on batteries that i have resurrected from the dead. and i didn't even have to replace any cells.
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02-11-2010 07:47 PM
for the most part, that extra chip in there is a good thing to have. if the smart battery chip acts up, your battery could charge into oblivion and possibly cause overheating or worse. I have seen worse. its not pretty. but with that extra chip in there its kinda easy to mess up the eeprom and then the battery is junk unless you know how to take the battery apart and rewrite the eeprom. the best way to not mess it up is not to disconnect the battery when the ac adapter is attached .
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02-12-2010 06:37 AM
Sounds like a defect to me, unless this is supposed to be an industrial product, in which case there should be a big yellow warning DO NOT DISENGAGE BATTERY WHILE PLUGGED IN. I sure didn't enjoy all the inconvenience and aggravation I had to go through after replacing my initial battery that barely lasted a year with a cheap replacement that died, only to find out the original battery had been subject to a recall I'd barely missed the terms of.