Question from Mike: I love your newsletter, Rick. I read it every morning!
I hope you can answer a question for me.
The battery in my trusty Lenovo G570 laptop has gone bad and I need to replace it.
I really love this laptop now that I’ve taken your advice and put Linux on it.
I’d really like to keep using it if I can, but I don’t want to spend a fortune on a battery for it.
I heard that you can get generic batteries that are a lot cheaper than the name brands, but I’m a little leery about buying one because I’ve heard they can be dangerous.
In your opinion, is it ok to buy a third-party laptop replacement battery or do you recommend paying more to get an OEM battery?
Rick’s answer: Mike, my opinion about third-party laptop replacement batteries has actually evolved over the years.
I used to recommend that folks pony up the extra bucks for a genuine OEM battery, but lots of personal experience with third-party batteries over the years has led me to change my mind.
Note: OEM is an acronym for Original Equipment Manufacturer.
OEM batteries are either made by the company that makes the device itself or on their behalf by a different company.
OEM batteries are the batteries that come with the device when it’s purchased by a consumer. They are also sold by the device’s manufacturer as “official” replacement batteries.
In answer to your question, I think it’s perfectly fine to buy a non-OEM third-party replacement laptop battery as long as you take a couple of important precautions:
1 – Always choose a replacement battery that meets or exceeds the specifications of the original battery.
2 – Choose a battery that other users are happy about.
The easiest way to do that is to search for the battery on Amazon (or another reputable online retailer) where user reviews are listed right on the item sales pages.
To show you what I mean, click here to visit Amazon (#ad) and type the laptop brand and model into the search box along with the word battery.
For example, you’re looking for a new battery for your Lenovo G570 so you would type this into the Amazon search box:
Lenovo G570 battery
You should now see a list of all the available batteries that work in that laptop.
Pay attention to the number of reviews each available battery has received as well as the average “Star” rating of those reviews. In both cases, the higher the number, the better.
Bottom line: While there is no guarantee that ANY replacement battery won’t damage your laptop (including one made by your laptop’s manufacturer), the odds are in your favor if you choose a battery that lots of other users have had great luck with.
I hope this helps, Mike. Good luck!