Should I buy a third-party laptop battery?

zooropean October 14, 2011

My laptop’s battery needs to be replaced (Dell Studio 1535) and the official replacement from the Dell website costs around $140.

I looked in other major online retailers and found non-Dell compatible batteries for $30-40.

The user reviews are mixed on the non-Dell websites. Some are happy and for others it doesn’t even work.

Any ideas? Thanks.

  1. Wizzcom
    May 21, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Try this buy a battery from China or Hong Kong , it doesnt work try to return it , Australia post will not send Lithium batteries air mail, so your big saving just went out the door , people should be aware of this , Yes it happened to me , Out of pocket .12 months Warranty LOL , and the seller knows this as well , sneaky littly buggers

  2. Poop
    April 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I've purchased a third party battery from a reputable site only to find that the laptop would not recognize the part and wouldn't charge it. Be careful buying and make sure your seller has a warranty or refund program.

  3. Nubyan
    March 17, 2012 at 1:40 am

    I had mixed feelings about purchasing a 3rd party battery when my original Dell battery lasted just short of a year. On the advice of an IT person, I went ahead and purchased a compatible non Dell battery for my laptop from eBay and was WOWED at its performance!

    First of all, it had a longer use life while working from the battery alone...5-6 hrs. Secondly, it had an overall longer life period...way beyond 1yr. And thirdly, I saved over $100 dollars.

    Yes, I had all those nagging questions/concerns. Is going to over heat, blow up, leak, etc.? But honestly, you have the same risks with the brand-name battery. In fact, Dell and other laptop maufacturers had their share of similar problems.

    Everything in life is a risk. Sometimes you just have to say "what the hell" and go for it. Now that the life on that 3rd party battery is finally running out after a couple of years...guess who's going back to eBay?

  4. MarkT
    January 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    I'd caution against buying an aftermarket adapter because some will power your system just fine but will not charge your battery.  The cheap ones you get on ebay typically won't charge the battery in a Dell system.

  5. Jesse
    October 31, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I have bought 3 third party laptop batteries (Lenovo, Toshiba, Vaio) and they all have worked fine (I have now used the batteries for: Vaio - 3 years, Lenovo - 2 years and Toshiba - 5  months). Actually, the third party battery for the Toshiba has a longer life than the original did.

    By the way, I have had bad experinces with genuine replacements, one was even dead on arrival. So, wether the battery is genuine or cheap third party they can have issues. In my personal experience though, the third party batteries are cheaper and even function better.

  6. Retiredlawman
    October 23, 2011 at 6:49 am

    When original battery in a Vaio began shortening it's life I bought a no name Chinese
    battery which in a few months began leaking and finally ruined a circuit board.

    Was stupid enough to buy some cordless phone batteries from a popular on line store
    and neither even begin to hold up as long as original Unidens....which I now have in

  7. Zooropean
    October 16, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Thanks guys for your responses. It seems I'm gonna give the cheap ones a try.

  8. E.Nigma
    October 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I agree with Lapavoni & Woodogg18, if you're smart enough you can tell the difference between posters who are knowledgeable and ones that are just consumers.

    Everyones paranoid or dislikes anything that is not "presented" as American Made, but really how many of you actually read the labels of your clothing or fancy electronics 95% or more is made in Asia (which I group China, India, Taiwan, Japan and so on).

    Personally I buy third party laptop batteries for the simple reason is that its really the same battery without the logo for cheap.  Lets take for example lets say Dell orders laptop batteries from supplier "China Mfr'ing" and have a contract with them to slap on a DELL sticker and distribute it worldwide for $120 each.  

    That same supplier "China Mfr'ing" can make the same identical battery cause well they make it in the first place, not put DELL sticker as to not infringe on their copyright logo and sell it under another name for $30

    Which would you buy?   You'd buy the $30 battery, but why?  Cause its the same bloody thing just without the sticker, and MAINLY because you KNOW IT IS. 

    So why don't people just buy direct from the manufacturer?  Cause the general public either can't or don't know who the manufacturer is.   But also they're either too lazy to use google or can't be bothered and rather shell out 4 times its worth.

    And for those that say oh but those Chinese sellers on ebay sell, sucky laptop batteries I bought one from them and look it died after a month.  So I guess we should just pack up all trillion dollar manufacturing in Asia because of one dumb person had a bad experience.

    First don't blame one group as a whole cause you had a bad experience from one seller, it makes you look IGNORANT.  If we buy from an Asian seller on ebay, and it goes bad usually i plays out as "I'll never buy from (insert Asian country name here) ever again". 

    If we buy from an American seller on ebay, and it goes bad then it ussually plays out as  "I'll never buy from (insert EBAY user's name here).

    So in one instance lets blame a nation, but if its local we only blame a person - STUPID.
    If you buy a battery from any seller on EBAY whether its Asia (probably only Asia cause its cheapest, come on its produced there) or anywhere else -- WHATS THE FIRST THING YOU DO?

    CHECK IF ITS A REPUTABLE SELLER! DING DING DING.  If the guy sells laptop batterys, shampoo and canned food in bulk, I might be a lot hesitant.   If you want to buy a car do you go to a SAMs Club if they sold cars or do you go to a Car dealership?

    Lets see the next guy sells wow, only laptop batteries ... lets see hes stock... wow like 30 laptop batteries for different models ... lets look at his feedback as a seller.... wow a lot of satisfied customers who bought LAPTOP BATTERIES.     Bonus points ON TOP OF PREVIOUS FACTS ABOVE ...if hes a powerseller, hes gives a warranty and hes user name has batteries in it or pertains to batteries.

    Is there risk of third party batteries ruining your laptop ... yes.  BUT THERE IS ALSO A RISK FOR FIRST PARTY BATTERIES RUINING YOUR LAPTOP TOO!!.
    There is no guarantees in life, even with the ebay facts above in previous paragraph you might still get a dud.  But the whole point was you lessen the chance of getting a dud by a good I dunno 85%.   So buy one or don't buy one, buck up and make a choice.

    Sure this is a long drawn out reply, and i'm sure most a.d.d people won't even make it to this last paragraph --- but I see the above CONSUMER comments EVERYWHERE and just had to S-P-E-L-L it out for people.
    There was a time when people actually thought for themselves (ORIGINAL QUESTION ASKER EXCLUDED!!), instead of believing anyone with a voice - who unfortunately means anyone with an internet connection.   Remember just cause everyone can jaywalk safely doesn't mean everyone should, that goes for any comments without any logic or proof attached and feel the world is better with their opinion.

    People need to change their bias's, Asia is not a third world country anymore - their economy is doing way better than the U.S. ... Welcome to the GLOBAL NATION.

    And no I'm not from Asia, I'm from Canada -- the nation with the most online shoppers in North America...last I checked the stats.

  9. Woodogg18
    October 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    All these people saying not to go with third party products do not k ow what they are talking about. I've been building computers for years and have found that ALL major computer company's (hp, emachines, even Sony, and especially Dell) use sub par products for their builds. Why do you think they can sell such cheap computers and make so much money? Third party company's are great if you find the right one. Look for reviews on the company's products. And as one person said, Dell gets most of their products from chinese company's and just puts their logo on it. There is no difference, your paying for the logo.

  10. Lapavoni
    October 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I bought two larger batteries for both an EeePC and my Dell Inspiron 1525 ... more than 2 years ago.  They were both around $30 or $40.  They work fine.  If I get 3 years out of a $30 battery, I'd need to get 12 years out of a $120 battery to justify the expense - that is just not realistic.  There are probably 3 or 4 major battery manufacturers in the world that supply large companies.  Dell's "oem" batteries are surely manufactured in China, Taiwan or somewhere overseas with the same parts as the so-called "cheap" batteries available on eBay.  You are *not* getting a fantastic, super-duper, American-made battery for $120 from Dell.  You are getting a battery with a $100 markup - accessories are a huge profit source for companies.  And this paranoia about non-oem batteries destroying laptops is unfounded as far as I can tell and from what I've read.

    • Rolfen
      June 4, 2012 at 11:51 pm

      The paranoia is not unfounded. Li-ion batteries can be dangerous - they can burn and explode and cause lots of damage and even injury. They have this capacity. Therefore batteries have to adhere to safety standards.
      Accidents and defects can always happen, but when you buy origial, you are guaranteed that they they have at least attempted to follow these standards.
      I don't have a definitive opinion on whether to buy 3rd party batteries or not. I'm just saying that it's not "paranoia" to have doubts.

  11. C S King
    October 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    The factory replacement price is almost 50% of a good factory refurb.. I say you spring for a good factory reconditioned laptop.. You will even get a faster updated laptop

  12. Mfcarpino
    October 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I have purchased the China batteries on eBay with great success.  I didn't have any issues and they have last a long time.  I will purchase directly again from a Chinese merchant on eBay.

  13. Cicas
    October 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I would say: it doesn't have to be Dell original battery since it's from another TRUSTED reputable manufacturer!

  14. Chupp
    October 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I actually bought a third-party battery for my old Toshiba Satellite (over two years). Yes, the battery is cheap, but so is the laptop.

    For me, I'm going to get a new laptop soon, so it's worth it to go for the third-partyness. Besides, I upgraded from a 6-cell to a 9-cell battery, and now I can go two hours without having to plug in a cord (Yeah, that old)!

  15. Anonymous
    October 15, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Any battery worth buying, cheap or not, should have at least a 1 year warranty. I found a great deal on a battery for my dell on Amazon. It did die but the FREE replacement I received has worked for over 2 years. 

  16. Radio guy
    October 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Do NOT buy from the chinese companies!!! Know the company you are buying from and you should be just fine, battery might even give you longer run time, look at the mAh rating if it is higher than the original it will give you longer runtime. I am a Ham Radio Operator and by aftermarket battery packs all the time, the price is lower and quality is just as good, but I ONLY buy from reputable dealers!!

    • Larry McC
      October 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      the Dell battery is made by the same Chinese company I bought from. I use PayPal so there is no ripoff issue. The markings and specs. on these batteries are identical but for the logo. Where do you think Dell, Canon, etc. get their batteries, if not from China?

  17. Larry McC
    October 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    If you check around on eBay you can find reputable Chinese companies which sell the same battery without the Dell logo for between $20 and $30. I bought one almost 2 years ago as a replacement for Inspiron 6400. Not a prob. Don't pay Dell a fortune for that battery. I also get batteries for my camera/cellphone for less than $20.

  18. Jay
    October 15, 2011 at 4:02 am

    your question has the answer,
    The mixed reviews of those non-dell batteries told you about the inconsistent and unreliable quality.

    These cheap batteries can be expensive if
    you buy it, and then it stops working, then you will have to buy one more.
    If it damages the laptop, know !

    ultimately, original battery will cost you less then a battery with chap quality and price will.

  19. Mjevolve
    October 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    strictly stay away from them .

    they are cheap , sub standard , and bogus .
    with no quality control , you can never ascertain their reliability .

    you even run the risk of damaging your entire laptop ,
    because of unbalanced discharge rates in the battery ,
    suden collapse of the battery ,
    electrolyte leaks from it ,
    and might be even explosion in the battery during charging .

    buy the Original ,
    for the machine and for your peace of mind ..  :)

  20. M.S. Smith
    October 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I generally recommend against third-party batteries, particularly those that seem too good to be true. Cheap batteries are usually made from cheap materials, and they don't last long if they work at all. Buying from Dell may be more expensive, but at least you'll know that it works and you can contact Dell if there is a problem.

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