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Help Me Choose

Help Me Choose: Battery

Battery life, or how long your battery will last between charges, and battery weight are the most important factors to consider when you’re buying a replacement or backup battery.

• Are you always on the go? Working long hours unplugged on the road, in the air, or in coffee shops? 

   o If this sounds like you, try a large-capacity battery (6-9 cell up to 90WHr).

• Are you usually plugged in to a power source or desktop? Or looking for a light laptop that’s easy to pack?

    o If this sounds like you, try the mid-capacity battery (4-6 cell or 48-60 WHr) with an optional travel AC/DC adapter.

• Are you looking for the thinnest, lightest possible version of a laptop, even if it means having a battery with less unplugged runtime?
   
    o If this sounds like you, try the base-capacity battery (2-4 cell or 32-45 WHr) and an optional travel AC/DC adapter.

Longer battery life usually means a heavier and larger battery, so you’ll also need to decide if weight and size matter when you’re traveling with your laptop.

Note: If your laptop has a built-in battery, you must contact Dell Technical Support at 1-800-357-3355 to buy a replacement. We’ll arrange for one of our experts to replace your battery at your home or at one of our service centers. Check your limited hardware warranty* to determine whether battery replacement is covered.

Dell laptops come with one of two kinds of batteries:

Swappable
A swappable battery is made of lithium-ion cells and you can easily remove and replace it with a fully charged spare battery when you run out of power. This battery is a great option if you’re a road warrior who needs to stay up and running no matter where you are.

Select your laptop model on the Batteries & Adaptors page to view Dell-certified batteries and adapters that are compatible with your laptop.

Built-in
A built-in battery is usually made of lithium-ion polymer and is designed to fit the nontraditional shapes of thin and light laptops, such as the XPS and Inspiron 7000 series. This battery is a great option if you want to pack light.

Although you can’t remove or swap out a built-in battery yourself, you can buy a travel adapter or a second power adapter that stays in your bag to stay productive when you’re on the go.

To view Dell-certified adapters that are compatible with your laptop, select your laptop model on the Batteries & Adaptors page.

Battery life is how long your battery will last between charges. Battery life is based on a battery’s capacity, or the number of cells or watt-hours (WHr) of a battery.
The general rule is that the more cells or the higher the watt-hours powering the same laptop under the same operating conditions, the longer the battery will last when unplugged from an outlet.

Battery Capacity

Battery Life

Choose if you want

Large (9 cell)90 WHr

Longer battery life and longer battery pack lifecycle

Standard (6 cell)48-60 WHrLighter weight

Note: Your actual battery life will depend on your settings and usage. Check out the Extending battery life and lifecycle tab so that you can set up your laptop to get the most out of your battery.

Battery pack lifecycle
is how often a battery can be recharged before its charge capacity starts to degrade (for example, when a fully charged battery is reduced to 60 percent of the original battery charge capacity). This reduction of charge capacity in turn leads to a significantly reduced battery life. Reduced charge capacity is normal on all rechargeable batteries.

A lower capacity battery will wear out faster than a higher capacity battery because you have to charge it more often. Typically, you’ll notice reduced battery life after 18-24 months. If you’re a power user, you may notice reduced battery life sooner than 18 months.

Purchasing a 600-cycle battery pack may reduce the number of battery packs you need to purchase (and discard) and may help reduce your contribution of hazardous waste to landfills.

Battery size
Large capacity batteries are great for extra battery life, but more cells and higher watt-hours also mean that the battery size and weight will increase.

When buying a replacement battery, make sure that you consider whether longer battery life or lighter weight best fits your mobile style.

Extending battery life
The easiest way to get the best battery life out of your Dell laptop is to select one of the preconfigured power plans. The preconfigured power plans automatically adjust key settings that can have a significant impact on battery life, such as reducing screen brightness or dimming the display when you are not actively using your laptop.

To select a power plan

  1. On the notification area of the taskbar, right-click the Battery icon.
  2. On the options list, click Power Options.
  3. Select a power plan on the battery meter, such as Power Saver or Balanced.

There are a few additional steps you can take that will help extend battery life.

To extend battery life as long as possible during a working session

  1. Turn off wireless. Your wireless card is a significant drain on your battery. If you don’t need to be connected to a wireless network, then you should turn off wireless. Press the F2 key or use the wireless switch to turn wireless on and off.
  2. Don’t multitask. If you limit the number of applications you have running or the number of windows or tabs you have open, your battery will last longer.
  3. Limit power-intensive activities. Batteries will last a lot longer if you are reading emails and editing documents than if you are watching a movie or playing a video game.


Extending battery lifecycle
Leaving your laptop plugged in all the time or never allowing your battery to fully charge when it’s plugged in can actually reduce your battery’s charge capacity and shorten its lifecycle. However, Dell has introduced two new battery charge settings, Dell Desktop Mode and Dell Longevity Mode, that help extend a laptop’s battery pack lifecycle.

Note: If Dell Desktop Mode and Dell Longevity Mode are not supported on your laptop battery, you’ll have to self-monitor your battery-charging behavior.

Dell Desktop Mode
Desktop Mode monitors the charge status of the laptop battery, and if it spends most of the time at 100 percent charge while connected to the power adapter, Desktop Mode will automatically adjust the charge levels of the battery. The adjustments include regularly allowing the battery to discharge or drain, even while plugged in. The benefits help slow the reduction of charge capacity over time and may even decrease the need to purchase a replacement battery during the life of your laptop.

To turn on Desktop Mode in Windows 7

  1. On the notification area of the taskbar, right-click the Battery icon
  2. On the options list, click Dell Extended Battery Life Options. The Battery Meter dialog box is displayed.
  3. Click the Desktop Mode tab.
  4. Click Enable to turn on Desktop Mode.
  5. Click OK.

Note: When desktop mode is enabled, the battery charges between 50 percent and 100 percent while the power adapter is connected. To ensure batteries are charged to 100 percent, disconnect and reconnect the power adapter and the battery will charge to 100 percent.

Dell Longevity Mode
Longevity Mode monitors the charging and discharging behavior of your battery. If you’re frequently connecting and disconnecting your laptop to a power source without allowing the battery to charge fully, Longevity Mode will moderate the extent to which your battery charges to protect your laptop battery health.

To turn on Longevity Mode in Windows 7

  1. On the notification area of the taskbar, right-click the Battery icon.
  2. On the options list, click Dell Extended Battery Life Options. The Battery Meter dialog box is displayed.
  3. Click the Longevity Mode tab.
  4. Click Enable to turn on Longevity Mode.
  5. Click OK.


Note:
When longevity mode is enabled, the battery charges only between 88 percent and 100 percent of its capacity.