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Netbook makers face a challenge when trying to develop machines that are both light weight and whcih get decent battery life. Because batteries aren’t exactly light. Many netbooks come with three cell batteries, which weigh around half a pound or less. Mini-notebooks with 6 cell batteries weigh a bit more, but get as much as twice the batery life. And the 4-6 hours of battery life you get from a netbook with a 6 cell battery like the MSI Wind U100, Asus Eee PC 1000H, or Samsung NC10 is probably enough for most people.

But there are always a few folks who want even more. And for those folks, there are 3rd party batteries that promise 7-10 hours of use. They often have as many as 9 or 10 battery cells, and promise to provide up to 12000mAh of juice. They’re big, and kind of ugly, and in some cases capable of increasing the weight of your netbook by as much sa 25% to 50%. But if they let you type away for 10 hours, who cares, right?

Well, that’s the catch. Sometimes things that sound too good to be true really are. A few weeks ago Liliputing reader Scott Kuban picked up a high capacity, 12000mAh battery for his Eee PC at what seemed like an amazing price of just $62. After charging up the battery and running a few tests he found that he actually got less battery life from the new battery than he did from his standard 6600mAh battery. He contact the retailer’s customer support department, but the response has been less than satisfactory.

So what gives? It’s possible that the battery is actually made up of recycled batteries that aren’t capable of holding a full charge. And that would mean you get a larger, heavier battery that isn’t even as good as the standard battery. It’s also possible that this is just a single defective unit, but the lesson is clear: buyer beware. If you’re picking up accessories for a netbook, there’s always a chance that third party items aren’t going to work as well as accessories provided by your computer’s manufacturer. That’s part of the reason they’re so much cheaper.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to take the risk, 3rd party manufacturers are taking the lead on high capactiy 9 cell batteries, while I’m not aware of any netbook maker that sells such a super high capacity battery. Here are a few examples:

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5 replies on “High capacity netbook batteries – The Good, the bad, and the ugly”

  1. The problem is a $62 netbook battery probably has not been tested and doesn’t meet quality and safety certifications of FCC, CE, UL, and RoHS standards. There are alot of cheap batteries out there. You need to question the quality of the battery you are purchasing.

  2. A couple of things. How does one comment on Scott’s site?

    This battery fiasco is a good example of what happens when you don”t use a credit card to make the purchase.

  3. A couple of things. How does one comment on Scott’s site.

    This is an example of why it is a good idea to make purchases with a credit card. If the product is not what it is said to be just put the charge in dispute.

  4. I JUST finished surfing about looking at after market batteries for my AAO (came w/the 6 cell). What I found left me in wait-and-see mode. In the almost 5 weeks I’ve had my AAO I’ve seen an EXPLOSION in accessories for it. I’m hoping that time will be the break we all want for better after market or manufacturer batteries, and other “stuff” too.

  5. I wish netbook manufacturers would start offering factory-designed all day batteries as an option. I’d prefer to get a factory-engineered battery at that size so I know what I’m getting.

    A 5-6 hour 6-cell is the smallest I would even consider, and even then, an aftermarket 8-10 hour battery is markedly better. There are a lot of uses, like as an ebook reader, where even 6 hours isn’t really good enough.

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