Caring for your laptop battery

Tips & Hints

Updated 13 August, 2007

Update: New Toshiba Recall

Toshiba have announced another recall for batteries. At present we aren't sure if this recall applies to Australian laptops.

Batteries are the most common item that laptop users complain about, so we aren't surprised by the current battery recalls.

Some six weeks after the Dell exploding laptop erupted into the media, Dell decided to recall over four million batteries. While it's the biggest recall we've seen, it isn't an isolated case. In the last year we have seen Apple, HP and Dell have smaller recalls.

If you own a Dell portable it is essential you check your computer is not affected by the recall. Dell have set up Dell Battery Program website to deal with battery recall issues and to identify the affected batteries.

Lithium Ion batteries are precision instruments, they are designed and manufactured to high standards and tolerances. Damaged, badly built and designed batteries increase the risk of failure.

Damaged LiOn batteries are a risk, if you think your phone, laptop or cordless drill's battery may have been damaged. Buy a new genuine one from an reputable outlet.

If you notice the battery is misbehaving by discharging quickly, getting unusually hot or becoming mis-shapen or starts bulging then stop using it and contact the manufacturer.

Heat is the biggest enemy of all computers, and portables are more prone than others, some other general laptop safety hints include:

Battery recall links

Dell Battery Recall
Apple Battery Recall
Toshiba Battery Recall

It's not just laptops, here's a camera battery recall as an example. But Lithium Ion batteries are also used in cordless power tools, mobile phones and most other portable electronic devices. What we need to keep this in mind is that tens, if not hundreds, of millions of these batteries have been sold and only a handful have had a problem.

Originally posted 22 September, 2006.

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