Laptop Battery Question

So I have a Dell Inspirion e1505 laptop that is 2 1/2 years old. The orginal battery is basically dead at this point and not holding a charge for more than 15 minutes. From the stories I have heard it has actually lasted longer than I expected. Now I am shopping for a replacement battery. On the Dell website they will sell me one for $155. After doing a web search I have found several vendors who will sell me the same battery for $55 - 70 depending on who I get it from.

My question is - what the heck is the deal here? The cheaper batteries appear to be the same and the vendors all have good feedback. Is it a bad idea to go with something not from Dell or is Dell just ripping people off? I suspect it is the latter but I thought I would put this out there for any insight my fellow Dopers have to offer.

Check to be sure the cheaper batteries have the same capacity (usually listed in mWh) since they are sometimes cheaper due to lower capacities. Sometimes they’ll have a higher capacity than the manufacturer’s. If you’re the type to value a warranty, check for similar guarantees.

Other than that… I would take the cheaper third-party option.

How “same” is it? Have you seen pictures or does the ad specifically state it’s manufactured by Dell?

My Olympus DSLR came with a battery. I also bought a Chinese made one “for Olympus” because the charger takes 5 hours and I thought having two, I could keep shooting while the dead one charges.

An OEM extra/replacement would be $40 but the Chinese one was like $5. Of course if the Chinese one ruins the charger or explodes in the camera etc. that would be my fault. The complaints I’d read about the Chinese batt was that it worked for a month or two then stopped taking a charge.

If, OTOH, you’re talking about a non-Dell batt with a good brand name (e.g. Duracell, Energizer), I wouldn’t even hesitate.

ETA: Oh, and the Chinese one isn’t rated as high for mAh or whatever, but it works fine…doesn’t last as long, but serves its purpose.

I am on my early 2006 Inspiron E1505 right now. About once a year I buy a new power adapter from a non-Dell seller - although the adapter still says Dell. It works fine, for about a year, whereas I have had two purchased directly from Dell -for twice the cost - fail within 3-4 months.

I realize that you are asking about batteries - this is just my experience with a non-Dell vendor for the same computer. YMMV.

The batteries I am seeing on Amazon have the same capacity (80-85 wHr) but are not made by Dell and honestly the manufacturers names are not ones I recognize. Amazon does offer a guarantee for some of them and some of the sellers state that the batteries come with a 1yr warranty.

Laptop battery Hack on YouTube. Even if you’re not up to soldering, you can see what’s inside a laptop battery.

Run a Google search on"Dell Inspiron e1505 OEM battery"

Plenty to be had for a third of the price quoted by Dell.

Nice if you can get a battery that will “pry apart” like the one in the video, however, almost all the notebook batteries I’ve seen are ultrasonically welded shut and nothing short of dynamite or a Dremel cutting wheel is going to open them up.

Dell does not manufacture any batteries at all. Everyone they sell has been built by some other company, who then prints the Dell name onto it. So it’s quite possible that the non-Dell ones came off the same production line as the Dell ones.

Pick your battery by price & specifications, not by brand name.

I’m always a bit leery of youtube “hack” videos. Nothing in that video sets off my BS meter, but it is very common for people to post fakes just to see what other people will believe.

Last night, I went and found my old battery, that I saved because I save everything, and yeah, you’re pretty much spot on here.

Surely, this one isn’t fake…? If I can ever get my laptop battery apart, I’ll report back if it looks similar to the video.

I had a dead battery for my old laptop, and was thinking about rebuilding it. At the very least I can confirm that yeah, a laptop battery looks like that on the inside. I never got very far on the project, since the laptop itself died soon after. But I did price replacement cells, and I could get them for something like $30 if I wanted.

Yeah, I imagine you’re right. I guess it would be better to say “Dell approved battery” or something. It’s possible some of the batteries manufactured will work but don’t quite meet Dell’s QC, much like blemished and irregular stuff is often discounted.

This, and the reputation of the retailer who is selling to you.

Update: It’s wildly inaccurate that these only last one month or two…turns out mine lasted four and a half it will no longer take a charge—just suddenly, it won’t.

The question, economically speaking, is whether my Oly batt is likely to last 5 or 8 times longer (I’ve seen it advertised for $25 but that’s an outlier and I think there must be a catch).

If I had been on some important shoot, what a drag that would be! If you do find a dirt cheep batt, OP, might I suggest you pick up about three?

I’m leaning toward picking up a $20 widget from Olympus that will let me load up three CR123A batteries. Man, I wish mine took rechargeable AAs.