How I Wish There Was a Moore’s Law…

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Equivalent for batteries. The chips get faster every year, and they even grow more power efficient, but battery technologies lag their hardware counterparts by a significant margin. It’s immensely frustrating as a mobile worker, or should I say bedouin.

Whether it’s cellphones, laptops, PDAs, GPS units, or anything else mobile, odds are probably good that you wish you had better battery life. But it’s not just a matter of how long the battery holds a charge – it’s the actual battery life span.

For the folks that leave their laptops plugged in all day every day (that’s bad, in case you were unaware), I can understand that the batteries will burn themselves out quickly. But I’m pretty conscientious about letting the battery on my X60s run down regularly, and when traveling I don’t really have a choice in the matter.

But here I am about 8 months after the folks from Lenovo kindly sent me an X60s for testing with a battery that won’t hold even an hour’s charge. What’s more, it declined precipitously; as of last week, the battery was in fine shape – it went south more or less overnight.

I certainly don’t fault Lenovo here – it’s not their fault battery technologies have evolved little in the past decade – but I can’t help but think that a variety of mobile technologies are being held back not by chip speed, not by wireless connectivity, but by the simple ability to stay powered up.

And in the meantime, I’m off to get a new battery.


  1. In two yrs with my T42, I’m on my 3rd battery and about to replace it again with a 4th b/c it lasts about 1.5hrs before dying….

  2. I may be the exception here but I have an X60 (I bought a refurbished unit about 7 months ago). I regularly get 4hrs out of the battery. (It is the 8-cell.) I definitely beats my previsions laptops for longevity.

    I tend to run the battery down about once a week – not out of any deliberate preservation for the battery but just as a side effect of not bothering to plug it in when I move to a different room (and then settling in longer than anticipated).

  3. I agree, I am definitly under the impression that the mainstream manufacturers definitley put an artificial lifespan on batteries so we buy more batteries or more laptops….

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