Help Me Choose: Battery

When it comes to batteries, more cells usually mean more battery power. If you aren't sure how much battery life you need, it's better to choose a battery with more cells now than to have your laptop run out of power when you need it most.

Battery life depends on how you use your laptop, so ask yourself these questions as you look over the table below:
  • Will my laptop be plugged in or unplugged most of the time?
  • Do size and weight matter when I travel?
4-Cell Battery 6-Cell Battery 9-Cell Battery
Economical and lightweight
A good balance of battery life and size, at a moderate price
Longest power and battery life
Best with:
Laptops that will be plugged in most of the time
Best with:
Laptops that will be plugged in some of the time, but will be used unplugged more often
Best with:
Laptops that will be used unplugged for extended periods of time
 Optimized for:
  • Battery power for short durations
  • Browsing the web
  • Social networking
  • Email
  • Office applications
Optimized for:
  • Everything a 4-cell battery is optimized for, plus
  • Listening to music and sharing photos 
  • Longer use between battery charges


Optimized for:
  • Everything a 6-cell battery is optimized for, plus 
  • High-performance office applications  
  • Gaming
  • Graphics
  • Watching movies on DVD or Blu-ray Disc™
Form factor: 4-cell batteries will lay flat.Form factor: Most standard 6-cell batteries (such as on the Inspiron™ 15R) will lay flat. On the Inspiron 13z and 14z, the 6-cell is the extended-life battery option, and extends below the system slightly, similar to the 9-cell shape in the photo to the right.

Form factor: 9-cell batteries will change the form factor of the computer. The battery extends below or out the back of the laptop, because it needs to be larger to help keep you going.
Product nameBattery type Life span
 Netbook Mini 1018  6-cell lithium-ion battery (28 WHr)   Up to 7 hours and 55 minutes 
 Inspiron Duo4-cell lithium-ion battery  Up to 3 hours and 57 minutes 
 Inspiron 15R 6-cell lithium-ion battery (48 WHr)Up to 4 hours and 2 minutes
 9-cell lithium-ion battery (90 WHr) Up to 7 hours and 58 minutes
 Inspiron 17R 6-cell lithium-ion battery (48 WHr) Up to 3 hours and 37 minutes
 9-cell lithium-ion battery (90 WHr) Up to 7 hours and 20 minutes
 Inspiron 15 (N5030) 6-cell lithium-ion batteryUp to 5 hours and 6 minutes 

Inspiron 15 (N5040)

 6-cell lithium-ion batteryUp to 4 hours and 3 minutes 
 6-cell lithium-ion battery Up to 5 hours and 2 minutes 
 6-cell lithium-ion batteryUp to 5 hours and 8 minutes 
Your computer is an investment and a home to your important data. A surge protector can help protect your computer’s hardware against damage from hazards, such as lightning, power surges and changes in voltage. Adding a surge protector can also help reduce clutter and simplify your workspace by enabling you to power all your electronics from one convenient location.

Important things to consider when purchasing a surge protector:

  • Joule ratings measure a surge protector's ability to absorb surges. Choose a surge protector with high joule ratings. More joules mean more protection.
  • Line noise filtering can improve the audio and video performance of your computer by removing distortion on the AC and signal lines. Not all surge protectors include this feature.
  • Number of outlets is also important so you have room to plug in all your valuable electronics.