Shopping for a replacement laptop battery can be challenging
for first-timers. This article will familiarize you with the primary battery
technologies that will help you comparatively shop.
How are Batteries Rated
Batteries are typically rated on Voltage (V), milli-Amp
hours (mAh), and Watt-hours (Wh).
Wh and mAh are both measurements of battery capacity. When
comparing two batteries, their Wh can be directly compared. The higher the
number, the higher the capacity, meaning the battery will last longer on a full
charge. This is because Wh is a unit that accounts for voltage, as seen in the
When comparing mAh, one must also consider the voltage. mAh
can only be directly compared when the voltages are the same.
A battery's voltage is the difference in electric potential
between its positive and negative terminals. What is essential to know
regarding voltage is that your replacement battery must match exactly, or be
very close to, the original battery's voltage.
How are Individual Battery Cells Applied to Make Up Laptop Battery Packs
Laptop batteries are composed of packs of multiple
individual battery cells, similar to how our battery-powered household
electronics may take multiple AA-cell batteries.
The two pictured above both have individual cell ratings of
3.7 V and 8.14 Wh. Rearranging the above formula to solve for mAh, we see they
are 2200 mAh cells.
These batteries can be arranged in series and parallel
configurations. When batteries are in series, their voltages are summed to
yield the voltage of the whole pack. When in parallel, their mAh (capacity) is
summed. Two of the most common are 4-series and 3-series-2-parallel.
In the 4-series configuration, four cells are placed end to
end. All four cells together yield a 3.7 *4 = 14.8 V battery with 2200 mAh
In the 3-series-2-parallel configuration, three cells are
placed end to end and then put parallel to another three cells end to end. This
yields a 3.7 * 3 = 11.1 V battery with 2200 * 2 = 4400 mAh capacity.
3.7 V is the most common voltage for laptop battery cells,
but 3.6 and 3.65 are also used. That is why 10.8 V (3.6 V * 3) and 14.4 V (3.6
V * 4) batteries are also standard. A 10.8V battery can be used for a laptop
that originally had an 11.1 V battery without concern. However, a 14.4 V should
not be used for an application that had a 10.8 V battery originally.
Voltage Must be the Same - Capacity can Differ
It would be best if you were careful to understand how your
replacement laptop battery's capacity compares to the original's capacity. Third-party
battery manufacturers typically use the least expensive materials available, usually
the 2200 mAh cells in most cases. 2200, 2600, and 2800 mAh are the most
commonly used capacities in laptop batteries. If your original was a 14.8 V,
2800 mAh (41.44 Wh) battery, replacing it with a 2200 mAh (32.56 Wh) battery
would yield noticeably shorter battery life.
Conversely, upgrading your original battery is also an
option. If a third party manufacturer is creating replacements with higher mAh
cells, you may be able to upgrade your battery life. Upgrading in this scenario
is perfectly acceptable and does not have any ramifications for the rest of
your unit or AC adapter. Check
out our selection of replacement batteries and search for your laptop's
model number for compatibility information.
Need Help Deciding?
If you are interested in increasing your laptop's battery
life, upgrading, or replacing, your battery from an old one may be the
necessary fix. To ensure you're getting the correct battery for your machine,
please stop into any of our locations. Any of our highly experienced staff
would be happy to look at your device and help you pick the perfect part to
suit your needs. Find
a store near you today!
This reminds me, I have some late 90s laptops that I need to dig around for parts for. I can guarantee batteries will be on the list. Super helpful!
This is super helpful, considering finding a battery can be a nightmare of a process if they're not properly labeled!
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