Shortly before landing in San Francisco the other day, the MacBook Pro-using guy in the seat next to me leaned over and asked, “how did you manage to use your Mac all the way across the country? Is that some special battery you have?”
For a minute, I was tempted to make something up, as in “yes, it’s an experimental fuel cell that runs on bovine methane!” Or maybe claim that the new $5 Tornado intake in my car gets me 50 mpg, 7 hours of battery life, and makes me more attractive.
But I’m a good guy. So I admitted the truth – that I bought a spare battery for the MacBook Pro, so I never run out of juice. I’ve done this with all of my laptops for years, and I wonder why more people don’t do it. Extra Apple batteries are just $130 (on sale at Amazon for $110 now) and this is a small price to pay for go-anywhere juice! Batteries used to be much more expensive, but prices have fallen.
If you’re thinking of buying an extra battery, here is some advice:
- Buy the original equipment battery, not some knock-off. I’ve had terrible luck with off-brand batteries and they’re never more than a few dollars cheaper!
- Buy from an approved vendor so you get a full warranty (I got mine at the Apple store)
- Don’t waste your time looking for super bargains – they rarely go on sale for more than 10% off. That Amazon sale is the cheapest I’ve ever seen.
- Make sure you buy exactly the right battery for your machine – I match the part number on the battery that came with it. Manufacturers vary batteries over time, and although another machine’s battery may fit it might not be compatible with your computer.
- Don’t buy lithium-ion laptop batteries that have sat on the shelf for a long time. They lose their life whether they are used or not!
- Don’t pay much for used batteries. They probably don’t have much life left in them.
- Dispose of old batteries carefully – they contain toxic chemicals! You can bring old rechargeable batteries to Staples, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other stores for free recycling.
So that’s my secret to long (battery) life and happiness!