Sealed battery (non-removable) concerns

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by fcoliver, May 26, 2012.

  1. fcoliver

    fcoliver Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    15
    Shopping for a notebook, I've all but ruled out the ultrabooks, because I'll be using AC power 80% of the time and believe I should remove the battery when plugged in (to prolong battery longevity.) It also seems the replacement cost for a flat (sealed) battery is more outrageous than a 'standard' laptop battery.

    Samsung has 'BatteryLife Plus' - I gather this stops charging at 80% full, reducing heat and prolonging life (?). Is that the same as removing the battery? I've read that Lenovo has a battery management plan that does something similar.

    I've also had some difficulty determining which models have a removable battery. (It's easy in the store, not so easy on the manufacturers' web sites or online reviews.)

    I like the Samsung Series 7, but they all have sealed batteries. Best I can tell, so does Sony Vaio (most models anyway.) Since I want a 15.6" matte anti glare 1600x900 screen, I'm currently leaning toward the T520 (or will wait for the T530), or the HP dv6t.

    Any ASUS models I should check out, or Toshiba?

    Thoughts and suggestions are very welcome.

    Maybe I am over-thinking this, and it's not such a big deal.
     
  2. Andrew Baxter

    Andrew Baxter - Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    4,292
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    8,981
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    206
    If you focus your search on business notebooks you can pretty much be 100% sure they'll have replaceable / easily upgradeable batteries. No IT department would buy hundreds of laptops for their employees knowing they'd have to deal with replacing sealed batteries.

    The T530 or W530 might be good options, I've used (and reviewed) the dv6t Quad Edition and like it with the 1920 x 1080 screen -- note the 1366 x 768 screen is glossy.

    Do you have a specific budget to stay within? If not, the EliteBooks from HP might be another option, pricey though.
     
  3. fcoliver

    fcoliver Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    15
    Thanks, Andrew, for your suggestions. I had read your dv6t review, and just read it again; thanks for your very thorough and helpful coverage.

    I 'built' one of these (w/ FHD matte, 750GB 7200 hybrid drive, backlit KB, Intel wireless) applied a coupon that knocked off 33% ($460) and brought the price to about $920 (+tax.) The next day I (drove an hour and) looked at a dv6 at Best Buy, deciding the Beats audio and keyboard were acceptable.

    Went to order and the coupon had expired. (Waiting to find a similar deal.)

    The T520 is probably my second choice right now, but I may as well wait for the T530. On your suggestion, I'll take a look at the EliteBooks.

    I don't have a budget, but as a retired person (and tightwad) it would seem foolish to go over $1K just for sitting in my easy chair surfing the web and checking email. i7 is overkill for my needs, i3 would probably suffice, but I've settled on i5 as the best bang for the buck.

    Main priority is the 15.6" 1600x900 matte screen. I suspect the integrated Intel 3000 (and certainly the Intel 4000) would be more than adequate for me, but I don't know how long before the i5 IB will be prevalent.

    Thanks, again, for your input.
     
  4. fcoliver

    fcoliver Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    15
    Surprisingly few responses.

    Are people buying the smaller thinner notebooks just for their size and weight, without regard for the difficulty and/or cost of replacing the battery in a couple of years?

    I've actually seen only one other person make any reference to the sealed battery being a negative.

    I assume the really, really thin notebooks are selling well, based on the number I see in stores (not to mention in TV shows). Best I can tell they all have sealed (non-user-replacable batteries) and the replacement voids any remaining warranty.

    (Or is this simply a non-issue for the person that wants thinner & lighter?)
     
  5. danishh

    danishh Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    42
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    the batteries will still be 'replaceable', you'll just have to take apart the computer/send it in for servicing.

    for most people, doing that once 3-4 years from now doesnt present a huge issue, and manufacturers are banking on people deciding to just buy a new computer at that time. Ideally most manufacturers will have implemented charging technology to negate or mitigate the ill effects of keeping the battery in while plugged in at 100%, so the whole point will be moot.

    I understand your concern, but for the majority of consumers, it's just not that big a deal.
     
  6. fcoliver

    fcoliver Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    15
    Thanks, danishh. That makes sense, and I wondered if I was overthinking this whole sealed battery thing.

    The ultrabooks and the really thin & light notebooks sure are sexy, and I'm always drawn to them in the stores (despite the prices.)

    OTOH I'm too tight-fisted to buy a new computer in 3-4 years because the battery died, and I really don't like the idea of sending one back for a battery change. (Not to mention the cost of those sealed batteries.)

    Has anyone had actual experience with (or thoughts about) the 'new' battery saving technologies? (BatteryLife Plus with Samsung and some other name with Lenovo.) Or enough experience to know if it is effective?
     
  7. Andrew Baxter

    Andrew Baxter - Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    4,292
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    8,981
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    206
    The 3rd generation Intel Core i5 will be available starting next week, I'm guessing HP will update their "Select Edition" and regular dv6t line once that happens, so if you don't need the Quad Core power from the dv6t but would rather spend less I'm guessing by mid-June you'll have other options.

    Apple was the first to start selling sealed battery notebooks, I'm not entirely sure but you can just take your MacBook Pro / Air into an Apple store and have them replace the battery right there, which kind of mitigates the concern. It costs $129 or so though (at last check). However, if you have to mail your laptop to a manufacturer expect a minimum of 3 - 4 business days turnaround. To me that's a big hassle and I think laptop manufacturers are relying on the human weakness of figuring they shouldn't care about something 2-years from now. It's a big PIA when the time comes though.
     
  8. fcoliver

    fcoliver Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    15
    I took a look at the EliteBooks. Hard to justify the price.

    Guess I oughta' check out Asus. I'll bet they have something that would suit, but there are so many different series and models I get overwhelmed. I haven't figured out the secret code for which is what.

    Either I'm stupid, or these manufacturers haven't done a very good job of explaining their different lines and series of notebooks.

    That would be a great thread (sticky) - and incredibly helpful for many of us - if someone familiar with all this stuff explained, for example, the differences between ThinkPads and IdeaPads, with a basic description of the different series.

    Just sayin'
     
  9. firecatcher

    firecatcher Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    This link should help out for the Asus models:
    ASUS Notebook Brand Models Explained
     
  10. KLF

    KLF NBR Super Modernator Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    2,523
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,284
    Likes Received:
    292
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Elitebooks and Thinkpads are made for work :) You can throw and drop them, pour water/coffee on keyboard, drive a car over them or just stand on one for fun.

    In addition they have good warranty services, docking ability and other features. For me it's hard to justify a consumer grade laptop for every day carry. I don't need my laptop every day at work (I have a desktop) but when I need it on the run, it has to be working.

    175 lbs (80kg) of weight standing on HP EliteBook - YouTube
    A LENOVO NOTEBOOK CRASH TEST BY ME - YouTube
    ThinkPad X1 - YouTube
    Lenovo ThinkPad X1 laptop gets dropped from ceiling - YouTube

    Of course you can break a business grade laptop, it just needs a little bit more effort. While I wouldn't stand on my elitebook, it could be in my bag and I could drop the bag on the floor or perhaps I'll trip and decide to use my bag as a cushion...

    Ideapads, pavilions, asus, acers and whatevers, they are just meant to withstand some light facebooking at home or typing a word document at work :p
     
Similar Threads: Sealed battery
Forum Title Date
What Notebook Should I Buy? What is the best specced 17 inch gaming laptop could I get by trading/selling a brand new sealed macbook pro retina? Oct 16, 2012
What Notebook Should I Buy? Laptops --Factory sealed vs Store sealed? Dec 6, 2009
What Notebook Should I Buy? Newegg sealed laptop return policy Jul 1, 2009
What Notebook Should I Buy? Laptops with sealed keyboards? Feb 4, 2009
What Notebook Should I Buy? looking for cheap portable laptop with good battery life Friday at 1:00 AM

Share This Page