Ultrabooks are slim notebooks with Intel processors that, among other things, tend to measure less than eight tenths of an inch thick. While many ultrabooks are thin, light, and reasonably powerful laptops, there’s not a lot of room in such a svelte laptop case for things like user-upgradeable memory or storage or replaceable batteries.

So most laptop makers leave those features out of ultrabooks.

That doesn’t mean you can’t perform some minor surgery yourself though.

s9 upgrade_02

I picked up a Samsung Series 9 ultrabook in 2012 and I’ve been pretty happy with the way the 2.4 pound notebook has held up… except for the battery. The laptop used to run for up to 6 hours on a charge. Now I’m lucky if I can squeeze 2.5 hours of run time out of the built-in battery.

A while ago I bought an external battery pack which can more than double the laptop’s battery life. But that battery weighs about a pound and gives me yet another item to keep charged.

So I decided to open up the case of my laptop and see if the battery could be replaced… and it turns out it can.

Note that while many laptops have batteries that can be pulled out and replaced in a matter of seconds. Replacing the battery on the Samsung Series 9 is a bit more complicated: you have to remove 10 screws from the back of the case and then remove 5 more screws holding the battery in place.

Once that’s done though, you can easily slide out the battery and put in a new one.

This won’t let me keep a spare battery in my bag and swap them out on the road. But it did let me replace my dying battery with a fresh one which should offer at least twice as much run time. And that can help me hold onto this aging laptop a little longer.

Samsung doesn’t sell official battery replacements for this model, so I had to pick up a third-party battery. I found one at Amazon for about $40. That’s a lot less than the price of a new laptop, so if this replacement battery lets me hold onto my Series 9 for another year or two it could save me some money. By the time I’m ready for a new laptop, hopefully I’ll be able to either get a model that’s significantly better than what’s available today for the same price… or get an older laptop at a deep discount.

Keep in mind, not every ultrabook will be easy to open up with just a screwdriver, and not every ultrabook will have a battery that’s so easy to replace. But if, like me, you find that it is possible to open up the case and slide out the battery, it might be worth searching to see if there’s an affordable way to order a replacement battery as a way to breathe a little new life into an older ultrathin notebook.

Another thing to keep in mind? You may be on your own if you break your device while performing this sort of operation. If your laptop doesn’t come with an easily user replaceable battery, odds are your warranty won’t cover any damage resulting from an attempt to replace it yourself.

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12 replies on “Replacing the battery for a Samsung Series 9 ultrabook”

  1. Hey everyone,

    I have the same model Samsung Series 9 from 2012. Same resolution and same i5 prossesor. I am considering buying a new one but as mentioned, this laptop still performs reasonably well. Now (November 2019), it is almost 7 years old but performs decent for my needs. My complaints are about two things fan sound and battery life. The fan sounds a bit when plugged into the power and I assume it is annoying for the people next to me in the library…but who cares they should just were some headphones haha (it is not that annoying really :)). The battery last on every cycle probably 2.5 hours. It is a problem for me because I am currently coursing a master and have some times two or more lectures in a row and the laptop is my tool for note taking (the most of my subjects are lectures with lots of slides).

    I could buy another laptop but I simply developed some kind of attachment with my old series 9. My question here is, do you think based on your experience that the battery replacement is worth it? Please consider that the OS I upgraded to is windows 10. I would be happy if it lasts with the battery replacement at least 4.5 – 5 hours.

    I would be so glad to hear your comments. Thanks!

    Jhon

    1. I mean, if you can find a battery that’s compatible it might be worth a try. When I did this battery replacement a few years ago, I’m not sure it led to much of a change in battery life. But your battery is older than mine was at the time, so the gains might be bigger.

  2. I have had the same almost dead battery problem for a year now, and am so glad to see your video. Problem is, mine is a Samsung Ultrabook NP900X3A, not NP900X3B like yours apparently is. Do you think the batteries are compatible?

  3. I have the same (or very similar) laptop and the battery has never lasted more than 4 hours even when it was brand new. I suppose you didn’t run any tests to compare the batteries. Do you notice a significant improvement?

    1. Mine got around 5 – 5.5 hours when brand new. It’s degraded pretty significantly over time. Since performing the upgrade, I’ve only gone through one complete discharge cycle, but it looks like the new 5200 mAh battery will probably be good for around 4.5 hours of battery life.

      That’s not stellar, but it’s about 2 hours better than I was getting from my old 5880 mAh battery.

      It means that I’ll be able to leave my 1 pound external battery at home a little more often or use it more sparingly on the road.

      I’m also hoping it means I can resist the urge to buy a Broadwell-based ultrabook this year and pick up something with a Skylake chip in 2016. Or maybe score a really great deal on a Broadwell system in 2016. Either way, my next system will likely be more powerful and more power efficient than this Sandy Bridge laptop.

      One thing that bugs me is the prevalence of 1080p screens on 13 inch ultrabooks though. I really like the 1600 x 900px display on this model which I find to be less squint-inducing. But there are very few models with that resolution. So I might have to get a system with a 3200 x 1800 pixel display, which will have an effective 1600 x 900px resolution.

      1. https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Samsung-ATIV-Book-9-Plus-Signature-Edition-Laptop/productID.306279800
        I got this one when it went on sale, it’s probably the same one. One of the reasons I bought it was the 8 hours battery promise of Haswell but I get more like half of that. There’s not much to complain about this laptop although I wish there were cheaper and lighter options. There are great netbooks at the $300 mark and great ultrabooks at >$1000 but not much inbetween, It makes most sense to buy portables on Intel’s “tock” cycle when they scale down to a smaller process. Or better off wait for the tick cycle and buy discounted tock models.

        1. Yeah, you got the model that’s about 2 years newer than mine. Higher-res display, twice the RAM, and a Haswell processor instead of Sandy Bridge.

          I love the form factor, and honestly, it’s fast enough for most basic use. My only real complaint is the battery life. It was never stellar, and it got much worse after a year or so of regular use.

  4. The problem is when you are shopping for a new laptop you don’t know;
    1) if it can be taken apart relatively easily and
    2) if batteries will be available down the road
    If manufacturers would make laptops so they could be taken apart and standardize on a few battery shapes/sizes it would be great, but then they would sell fewer devices so there in no incentive for the manufacturers to do to this. The amount of electronic waste will grow at an expanding rate but their profits will continue, so there is that. :-/

    1. Well put sir! User replaceable batteries and user upgradeable/replaceable components should be at the front of any article on a site like Lilliputing. But instead, these points are largely ignored.

  5. I’m glad you were able to replace your battery. I despise disposable tech. Even if I don’t want it anymore, I want to be able to give it to someone who can use it. Who wants a laptop with a dead battery? Unfortunately, the trend is not headed in the direction I prefer. Tech is quickly becoming less user serviceable.

    1. Yep, that’s why I wanted to document this. I figure there might not be all that many people with this particular laptop looking for instructions… but I wanted to point out that at least on some models that aren’t *designed* to have their batteries replaced, you *can* replace the batteries and get a little extra life out of your device.

      One of the things that attracted me to the Series 9 was its super-compact design: it has a netbook-like weight, but a much more powerful processor than any netbook. At the same, time, I knew when I bought it that the slim design meant it’d have a non-replaceable battery, which is why when the battery started to fade I bought an external power pack.

      I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could just about double my battery life by opening up the case and replacing the battery with one that sells for about $45.

      While I bought the battery for my own use, I figured it’d be a good idea to shoot a little video of the upgrade process that I could share with others who might be wondering if this sort of thing is even possible.

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