Just 15 months ago I bought a new Dell XPS15-9550 direct from Dell. The top model (i7 processor, ultra-HD display). Expensive, but a quality laptop, with I assumed many years of life ahead.
Then a month ago the battery (a Dell type 4GVGH 84 Wh 11,4 V) started expanding, pushing the touch pad up and out of the case. A little research on the net showed this is a known problem with this battery. I demounted and disposed of the battery – I wasn’t going to risk a fire or worse.
I knew that Dell only offers a 1 year warranty on the battery, so I knew I would have to pay for a replacement battery. But I naively assumed I could get hold of replacement parts for an expensive 15 month old laptop. After all the 9550 was still being sold on the Dell site until very recently.
I now discover that Dell no longer offers batteries for the XPS15-9550, nor are they available from anyone else here in Denmark or in Europe. I can buy a “copy” from China, but I’m not comfortable with that.
I can still use the laptop with external power, but . . .
Dell – this is not acceptable.
Dell doesn't sell batteries for systems where the battery is internal - it's not considered user-replaceable. They will replace the battery but you must contact them for an out-of-warranty repair estimate - the battery is sold only with the labor to replace it.
Dell has been really lame about this. I've had the same issue. Turns out the batteries only have 1 year warranties and are not covered under the extended warranties, unless you buy a special battery warranty. Of course, when I called about mine, they didn't have any 6 cell batteries in stock and they told me to go look for a third party seller. Even then, these are hard to come by. I'm pretty unhappy with Dell at the moment. My XPS is now a desktop. I had to pull the battery so it wouldn't damage anything inside, since it's still expanding.
I’ve given up trying to find a replacement battery. But even if I could find one, I not sure I would buy it – a battery that expands after just a year doesn’t sound safe to me.
In practice, I don’t think I’ve ever used my laptop in a situation where I haven’t been close to power, so using my laptop as a “portable desktop” is working for me. But I’m amazed that Dell would equip a top laptop with a poor quality battery.
Yes, swelling batteries are a new low and I don't think this is acceptable. I guess just a matter of time until Note 7 type of events. Battery swelling is surely not declared in laptop specifications that one finds when buying the laptop.
I searched the Dell site for this and only found a declaration that the expected lifetime of a battery is 300 charging cycles. Battery status does not give away info on the estimated number of cycles spent.
The unavailability of replacement batteries after a year-or-so is another low.
> it's not considered user-replaceable
That's nonsense, the online service manual describes the procedure.
Handling swollen batteries might be hazardous though, but there is no particular word about this in the manual.
If you're usually not using the laptop on battery, you might reduce battery wear by using the BIOS option (or Dell Power Manager) that chargers it to max 90% and recharges only when it drops below 80%.
"If you're usually not using the laptop on battery, you might reduce battery wear by using the BIOS option (or Dell Power Manager) that chargers it to max 90% and recharges only when it drops below 80%."
I didn't know this. Mostly I have been using using the laptop at home with power connected, not it seems a good idea.
I'll go ahead and make a recommendation on this. If Dell doesn't like it, they should sell the batteries. I had another laptop this happened on two weeks after the warranty expired. It was purchased special order for me where I work. They wouldn't supply a battery, I ended up buying a similar replacement with good ratings on Amazon and that battery lasted 3+ years after the Dell OEM one made it about 2 weeks past the 1 year warranty.
I don't know what model you have specifically, but changing the battery in the Precision M3800 I'm referring to was a cake walk, and literally impossible to screw up if you had any experience operating a screw driver, and you didn't smash the connector in backwards.
The quote we got from Dell for a replacement battery outside of warranty was over $300 including shipping. I paid about $90 of my own money for a replacement with hundreds of ratings on Amazon.The replacement was used for 3 years every single day at work, was still working when the laptop was fried by a power surge about a year ago.
Well, I've given up. My XPS is now a lame desktop. These batteries don't exist anymore. I've bought 2 dead ones from EBay, and online battery outlets don't have these anymore. Even Dell can't get them. After 3 months of trying to get a battery and failing, I'm done. I'm also done with Dell. They just don't care. I'm moving onto other more reliable vendors.
My experience as well, these batteries or some sort of replacement are just not available. My expensive Dell laptop lasted just 15 months. Bye-bye Dell.