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Apple Battery Replacements: Should You Buy from Apple?

written by: normaking•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 9/30/2010

The battery that came with your Apple computer will die out in a year. What will you do then? Will you buy a new one or use one from a third party manufacturer?

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    Battery Replacement is inevitable!

    MB772 Even if you follow every guideline that Apple has laid out when it comes to storing and charging your batteries in the right manner there is a good chance that your MacBook or MacBook Pro's battery will be due for replacement soon. Unless you have the latest models of the MacBook line (the unibody family), you will only be able to charge your Mac's battery for about 300 cycles. A cycle is defined as a complete charge and a discharge. The newer ones that are sealed into the system can hold full charging capacity for about 1000 cycle, which means you won't need to replace one for at least 2 to 3 years compared to the year and a half life of the older ones. You can find Apple's official guidelines on battery replacement here.

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    How to know if you need a new battery?

    The first sign is that your Mac's battery just won't hold it a charge anymore. If instead of the usual five hours the battery lasts two hours or less you definitely need to buy a new battery for your machine. If you have Snow Leopard installed on your computer then you just need to click on the battery icon and you can see the condition the battery is in. Your Mac will tell you when your battery needs to be replaced! How great is that?

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    Apple makes the best batteries

    MA561 The reasons that you are in absolute awe of your $1500 Apple MacBook or your MacBook Pro are the same reasons you want to buy a battery that has ben made by Apple itself. This is spelled out in Apple's warranty guidelines. Using a notebook battery that hasn't been manufactured by Apple means that you will in all likelihood be violating the warranty that came with your Mac laptop. This is a problem that you will suffer whether you are on the default 1 year Apple Care protection plan that is bundled with your computer or if you have bought the 2 year Apple Care extension plan.

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    NuPower by OWC

    If your computer is out of warranty and you are looking to buy yourself a battery that packs in a little more punch than the standard Apple battery then you might what to consider buying NewerTech NuPower Batteries made by the acclaimed Mac accessory maker Other World Computing. While there are some other batteries sold by companies of less repute I would only put my money on an OWC product. For certain models of the Apple notebook family, OWC claims "Up to 68% more capacity vs. original Apple factory batteries" for batteries that are priced about $30 lower than Apple's wares.

    So, its either Apple or OWC - but make sure you check if your computer is under Apple Care protection first.