Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Longer Battery Life Or Double The Battery Life?

I read a very good article from ZDNet on non-removable batteries.  Specifically, the article was more or less about Apple mobile products - iPods, iPhones, and Macbooks.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, Apple is famous (or infamous) for sticking batteries into its iPods and iPhones, making it very difficult for the user to replace.
This was joined by the Macbook Air and then the Macbook Pro 17".  Just recently, they were joined by the rest of the pro line of Macbooks.
I'm jealous.  Not because I bought a Macbook one generation too soon but for an entirely different reason.  That reason being that I will likely never buy a second battery until my first one will stop holding any charge long enough for meaningful mobile computing.  That being said, the new 13" Macbook has about 40% more battery life than the one I've got.
Maybe Apple's right in their thinking.  Large majority of laptop or mobile device buyers don't carry around a second battery.   I have a G1 and as bad as the battery life is, I don't have a second battery to replace the first one when it runs out of power.
Nevertheless, it's the peace of mind in knowing that option that if I wnated to, there is more juice in the computer bag at a moment's notice.  And it is something that I've grown accustomed to thinking.
The article went to make some comparisons with other laptops and devices like the Flip that now have non-removable batteries.  In the beginning, I thought it was just Apple's insidious way of getting us to upgrade every few product cycles when the battery finally dies.  I'm not saying that isn't the case at all.
However, given the choice:  a non-removable battery with extra hours of use (7 hours) or a removable battery (4.5 hours) but I'm likely not going to carry around a second battery, I think I'll go with the first one.
However, it might be a different situation for other mobile warriors.  It also comes down to what you're requirements are.  If you work in the field a lot, Macbooks or other laptops with sealed-in batteries will not work for you at all.  In fact, the whole line of Apple laptops just won't work.
However, you're likely in the minority.  At least, that's what Apple's thinking is.
More at ZDNet

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