Monday, August 4, 2008



There are 3 different laptop battery chemistries and hence 3 types. Nickel cadmium, followed in time by nickel metal hydride and lithium ion batteries. Notebook batteries are also referred to as "smart" or "dumb."

The above mentioned terms are explained below.

Nickel Cadmium (NiCad)

NiCad batteries were the 1st rechargeable type of batteries for notebook computers and featured with a low cost, versatility and high output current capabilities. NiCad batteries can be charged rapidly and used in a wide range of applications. However, they are now being outdated in notebooks in favor of the newer and higher power NiMH and LiON batteries.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)

NiMH batteries represented as a significant improvement over NiCad batteries due to improvements made in cost, safety, reliability and capacity of the battery. Currently it holds the privilege of the most widely used notebook battery, the NiMH battery has only 1 drawback. The "memory effect" of NiMH batteries means that the battery should be fully discharged prior to recharging for maximum charge effectiveness.

Lithium Ion (LiON)

LiON batteries are now the most popular notebook battery because of improvements that this battery has incurred over NiMH in the area of memory effect. LiON batteries are generally lighter in weight than NiMH version. Because the LiON chemistry is the latest in the market and offers the above said benefits, the market price for LiON batteries is prominently higher than for NiMH batteries with the same capacity.

Smart / Dumb Batteries

Some batteries are referred to as "smart" or "dumb."

Smart batteries have an internal microprocessor circuit which help manage battery energy, it in turn reports the state of the charge, predict the running time and track the battery usage.

Dumb batteries are similar to smart batteries but do not have these smart battery features of inbuilt microprocessors.

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