Trying an aftermarket Macbook Pro battery

Recently, my 15-month old Macbook pro battery just hasn’t been up to its former glory. I’ve watched helplessly as the battery run time has dropped to the point where now it’s around 20 minutes and still dropping. Replacing batteries is a fact of life with a laptop, though 15 months still seems like a poor lifespan compared to the usage I get from my Lenovo Thinkpad battery, which is at 2 years and still going strong…

So I went to the Apple.ca store, and saw that they’re asking cdn$160 (!) for a new battery. Looking at ebay, I saw many “compatible” batteries ranging in price from $60 to $110.. Even if the cheap battery lasts only a year, I could still end up ahead, so I decided to try one out. Despite the availablilty of these things, I found rather few first hand accounts I could trust, so here’s my experience, maybe it will help you…

I bought a generic replacement from Canadian-based seller “laptopwebsavings” for $60 (Shipped!). It took 2 days to get here, which is awesome. So far, so good.

Let’s see what we’ve got here :

Came in a box, not a sock :

battery_box-01

looks similar, but the inside “shell” isn’t metal, and it’s much lighter ..

battery_unwrapped-01

the lights are somewhat different….

battery_lights-01

Let’s see it and the Apple battery side-by-side :

battery_compare-01

The finish is a different texture, and the charge-test button isn’t as shiny..

battery_compare2-01

But, it fit well into my dirty-smudge-enhanced by flash MBP

battery_fit-01

Let’s power up and see what the Mac itself thinks…

battery_charging

Charging, not a bad sign, and it seems to think it’s a Sony battery, like the original

battery_status

So far, so good.. It’s charging, there’s no smoke or flames yet, and the mac is not abnormally warm or misbehaving.. I’ll let it charge up and see what kind of efforts I can get from this battery..

Update : Further results & impressions here

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3 Comments

  1. Hi Bob,

    Hope everything goes well with your Macbook battery, I found this to be a scary subject…

    On my Macbook, the original one almost explode on me after 2 years of usage, thankfully, when I sent the following picture to Apple Support, I got a new one for free…

    Here is the scary one:

    http://fmeehan.smugmug.com/gallery/6829621_ALMrx/1/436487881_HjphC/Medium

    Have a great week-end…

    François

  2. You know, I had the same problem- the battery started to bow and affect the use of the mouse- it was just weird- but the Apple Store replaced it for free, and the new one is working fine, so I am happy-. My “explosion” was not as dramatic as Francois’s, less extreme, but same phenomenon- all of a sudden, over night, the battery bowed out.

    No problems so far with the replacement.

  3. Bob says:

    wow Francois – that’s scary!

    I figured if that can happen with a “real” battery, what have I got to lose with a compatible one…

    This one is the third battery, I’ve had two Apple batteries (the first failed without blowing up), the second lasted a year.. and so far, this cheap one is going great!

  4. […] a few weeks ago I told you about my “compatible” cheap-o Macbook Pro battery.. Here’s how it’s […]

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