Posted by: rubberhawk | April 13, 2009

Apple’s latest gambles and sneakiness

The latest “new innovation” by everybody’s favourite corporate giant, Apple is to no longer use removable batteries in there latest range of laptops. on the plus side it means up to eight hours of battery life and up to 1,000 recharge cycles. This sounds good but so does everything if you only look at the Apple website. Separate batteries has long been a defacto standard of the laptop world.

Apple is often accused of not really being innovative but rather, of just using existing ideas and marketing them as such. But at the end of the day this is what innovation is, a good idea is just that. Innovation is a good idea applied and Apple is one of the few large corporations willing to make these risky decisions. They did it years ago when they decided not to make the flash storage removable on mp3 players and they’re doing it again with batteries. There are are obviously reasons for keeping removable batteries. One is swapping them when you’re out in the field. Another is because so called “trickle charging” is bad for them. I don’t have a source but that is the rumour. This is often the reason why display models in shops are battery free(Another is just because it makes them lighter to prospective buyers). Even with detachable ones Apple laptops were awkward to use on just mains due to the mag-safe connectors coming out so easily. Without a battery, your cat can and will instantly undo 4 hours worth of work because he’s bored. So from that point of view it makes sense if you don’t want to remove it anyway.

Overall I think for most people it is a good thing. But in my experience the only two consistent flaws in an Apple laptop are the speakers(Others are so much louder and some HP’s even come with mini subwoofers now) and the batteries. Eventually they just all wear down in some way. Mine is down to a fifteen minute lifespan. Many others I’ve seen just go to sleep almost immediately. A new battery is the easiest way to fix this. As for the danger of trickle charging? While it does cause problems for cheap rechargable AA batteries, I assume its much less of a problem for laptop batteries, especially Apple ones (Which I’ve just looked at in System Profile and have discovered are made by Sony). Unfortunately, the only proof we’ll ever see won’t be for another 2 years really. Ultimately it won’t make a huge difference though as the battery itself is not actually that difficult to change yourself. Already, tutorials are online showing people just how the battery is removed. All it takes is a little bravery and two screwdrivers.

The real problem that people should complain about though is the decision to drop FireWire from cheaper models. It kind of got snuck in there under a big banner of “HEY! look at the battery”. Don’t think we haven’t noticed Apple…

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Responses

  1. […] This is the reason wireless was invented. So I could procrastinate and enjoy the sun at the same time. Now if only my battery lasted more than 15 minutes. […]

  2. […] Original post by rubberhawk […]


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