Friday, June 22, 2007

Battery-Charging Not Included

After I posted about my laptop battery not recharging, my father went to talk to the IT people at his place of employment to ask whether the Geeks at Best Buy had the right idea.

His IT people told him that the problem was probably not in my power cord; in fact, if my power cord had enough juice to allow me to run the laptop, it ought to have enough juice to charge the battery. (This is what I told the Geek; S. can verify. I'm not a CS person, but I do have a fair command of logic.)

The IT people said that the problem was probably in the computer's motherboard, which would cost more to replace than the laptop itself.

Hmmm. Before I start proposing solutions (and before I turn to the "IT back office for the world" for advice), I want to take a brief moment to comment on batteries.

Not a single piece of electronic equipment I own can hold a charge. My cellphone must be fully recharged after every two phone calls. I have worn out *two* cellphone rechargers in two years from recharging my phone so often. Perhaps I should get a new phone -- but getting a new recharger and carrying it with me in my purse is so much cheaper.

Not to mention that the problem is nowhere near isolated. I received a digital camera for a Christmas present in 2004. My parents included a battery charger as well.

The batteries that came with the phone lasted for about two months (or 50-odd pictures) before needing to be recharged. So I popped them into the charger. Immediately their working capacity was more than halved. For a while I could get about ten shots off of the camera before the batteries died; now it's fewer than five. Because the recharger is cumbersome, I don't often bother taking the camera outside of the apartment, and so (except for my food pictures) it's rather like not having a camera at all.

And the battery on my laptop (or the motherboard -- a more unnerving thought) stopped recharging one year after I purchased the laptop. (Right after the warranty expired, of course. ^__^) My laptop became a desktop for over a year until I finally had enough disposable cash to purchase the new battery (cash that seems, at this point, wasted).

For a while I floated around the theory that the problem had something to do with me -- not that I was abusing my electronics (because I don't! honest!) but that I was somehow absorbing the battery power of everything around me. Like, you know, one of those Indigo Kids. ("My giant intelligence attracts all the batteries around me and uses them to power my brain!")

But the other thing I use every day that requires a battery (which shall remain nameless, for knock-on-wood purposes) has never experienced such failure. Which renders the "I'm magic" theory moot.

Now that I've finished my rant, I have two questions:

1. What do y'all think? Is it the motherboard after all?

2. If "everything is cheaper in India," should I buy my next laptop there?

9 comments:

neha vish said...

1. Probably not. I was told the same thing. But the issue was with the wire.

2. Yep. Laptops are way cheaper in India. Get one with a global warranty. :)

Blue said...

Yay! I'll get my teeth cleaned, my eyes checked, and a shiny new laptop! ^__^

Anonymous said...

Blue,

not sure abt the laptop buying in india - depends on your specs. A laptop with higher end specs costs more there than in the US. For example, the Sony VIAO - it costs about $2000 US$ here (the one with the HD-DVD burner) and about $200 Singapore-$ in S'pore - but almost double that in India - our uncle just got this in S'pore, after pricing it in India, so my info is up to date on this. We did find that for everyday laptops, you can get them loaded with so much stuff (mostly bootleg!) that it makes sense to get one there.

Bitterlemons

ctrlalteredmind said...

i'm surprised to see just 2 comments to this post, with perhaps many desi technologeeks reading your blog :)

i'd recommend buying laptops in the US. the extreme ends of the spectrum are cheaper here than in India, and plus you would definitely want a warranty that works here :) the cheaper laptops in india are ones that are squeezed in through the grey market (without warranties).

About the batteries not holding a charge; perhaps you might be leaving them charging too long? leaving them to charge overnight can be injurious to their health.

Blue said...

ctrlalteredmind, I'm not sure I do have many desi technogeeks as readers. I think most of this crowd are humanities geeks. So... yeah.

Leaving them to charge too long is bad too??? Of course I was always the person who would plug everything in to recharge overnight.

Crap, there's no way to win with batteries. ^__^

Anonymous said...

Blue,

Just wanted to update you on this: We just bought a new laptop for use at home, and in pricing them, we checked outr prices in India as well, as we travel frequently and could get one there just as easily.

I am afraid it is not just higher end laptops that are cheaper in the US - middle-of-the-road ones (Dell Inspiron) are as well. We wanted one with some decent capacity and speed, a DVD drive, DVD burner, good quality video and monitor, bluetooth enabled, and a few other small things...with all this, we got our for about $1000 - a similarly-featured one came to about $1400 in India (HP) - and only the known brands (HP, Toshiba) have any kind of global warranty.

I'd say shop around on sites like edealinfo.com or dealtime.com for laptop deals and get one here before you go. I saw some very good deals in Best Buy last weekend as well.

Bitterlemons.

Andreya said...

Hi Nice Blog .you can afford to have it fixed by the professionals if and when you find out that the job is too, big for you to handle. In taking your laptop battery hp apart make sure that you are using the approved tools.

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