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Squeezing More Life Out of Your Notebook's Battery Part I

Buyer Beware 1: Old Battery In A New Notebook

Those for whom long battery life is important should steer clear of refurbished notebooks with already-used batteries. If you absolutely must buy a refurbished unit for budgetary reasons, it's essential to buy it a new, virgin battery to replace the old one. Otherwise an apparent bargain will turn out to be anything but cheap. That's because the cost of a new battery will run you anywhere from $80 to $150, depending on its capacity, the vendor and where you buy it.

It's also interesting to observe the phenomenon that notebook batteries are often sold more cheaply in North America than in Europe. The primary reason for this doesn't stem from quality issues with batteries. Rather, it seems that marketing strategists among battery vendors have discovered that battery life is worth more to European customers. As a consequence, many battery prices are simply corrected upward to reflect where they're sold.

Buyer Beware 2: Differing Warranty Terms And Durations

Many notebook novices fail to notice that different warranty terms and durations apply to notebook computers and the batteries they contain. While the mandated warranty period for systems differs somewhat from vendor to vendor and country or continent, it's usually somewhere between two and three years. Batteries, on the other hand, are usually subject to much shorter warranty periods that may be for only six months. When shopping for a notebook, buyers are wise to acquaint themselves with all of these terms and periods from prospective vendors before making any purchases.

The warranty terms (taken from a Gigabyte product): Whereas the notebook itself is warranted for one year, the period of coverage for its battery is only six months.