FAQ: Batteries

Will Using A Total Micro Notebook Battery Void My Warranty?
Will Using A Total Micro Notebook Battery Void My Service Contract?
Are Total Micro's Notebook Batteries As Good As My Original Battery?
What Determines Quality In A Battery?
What Are The Key Components In Battery Technology?
What Is A "Charge/Discharge" Cycle?
Do I Have To Completely Discharge My Battery Before I Recharge It?
What Is Battery Conditioning?
What is the "memory effect"?

Will Using A Total Micro Notebook Battery Void My Warranty?

No. Using any third party product as an upgrade or replacement part for your notebook will not void its original warranty, so long as that part does not damage your notebook. In fact there are Federal laws which make it illegal for a manufacturer of a product such as a notebook computer to void a consumers warranty due to the introduction of replacement parts made by a third party company (visit the Federal Trade Commissions web page for more information on warranty laws at www.ftc.gov). Because Total Micro builds it's products to meet or exceed the original computer manufacturers specifications, users are guaranteed that Total Micro's replacement batteries will perform as well or better than the original battery supplied by the computer maker.

Will Using A Total Micro Notebook Battery Void My Service Contract?

No. Although some computer manufacturers state that using a "third party" product in their notebook computer is not covered under their service contracts, so long as the addition of any third party peripheral or upgrade does not damage the system, the Service Contract cannot be voided. Adding a Total Micro battery to your notebook does not affect the service contracts offered by major computer manufacturers. If for any reason the Total Micro battery should fail to perform as specified, it is covered under our Replacement Warranty program, thus it does not fall under a service agreement, which you may have with the original computer manufacturer. Because batteries are "user replaceable" items, the user simply removes the current battery and inserts a Total Micro replacement. In most cases this can be accomplished in less than five minutes and does not require the assistance of a technician.

Are Total Micro's Notebook Hard Batteries As Good As My Original Battery?

Yes, and in some instances even better. Notebook battery technology has continued to evolve over the past few years and Total Micro builds all its products using state of the art equipment and only premium quality components. This means that every battery we make will meet the original computer maker's specifications and in many cases Total Micro's replacement battery will be higher in performance offering an increase in computing time or a longer overall battery life.

What Determines Quality In A Battery?

Engineering, Quality Components, and Manufacturing Expertise are the keys to building high quality, long lasting notebook battery products:


The first step in building a quality product is in the design and engineering of the product. Total Micro has an advantage over the original computer manufacturer because as time marches on, so does battery technology. Because we are building products today for systems which were originally built over the past several years, Total Micro can include the industry's latest advances to build a product compatible with older model notebooks that exceed their original performance capabilities.

Quality Components

As in every industry, there are different grades of components which manufacturers can choose from to build their products. Total Micro only uses premium quality energy cells, plastics, integrated circuits and connectors. Today's energy cells hold a charge longer, and can endure a much greater number of charge/discharge cycles than their predecessors built just twelve months ago. This means that by using only the best quality components, Total Micro products can provide power to a notebook longer and be of use to the consumer longer than other batteries manufactured in recent years.

Manufacturing Expertise

Every Total Micro notebook battery is built following established and documented ISO 9000 guidelines. From initial tooling of plastic moldings to the testing of the finished battery, the same stringent process is duplicated with precision ensuring that every battery we sell offers the highest level of consistency in its performance.

What Are The Key Components In Battery Technology?

There are four primary components that make up a battery:

Energy Cells

Inside every notebook battery are a grouping of several "energy cells". These cells contain chemical mixtures that interact with each other to provide a form of electrical current that is strong enough to provide your notebook computer with enough power to operate. Although these cells come in many sizes and shapes, the average cell is about the size of a AA battery that you might use at home in a camera or your TV remote control. The quality and performance of these cells determines not only how long you can run your notebook before you will need to recharge it, but also how many times you can charge and discharge the battery before it will cease to operate properly. High quality cells will provide the user with several years of charge/discharge performance and several hours of computing time. Lower quality cells will provide a substantially shorter charge/discharge lifespan. Total Micro only uses premium quality energy cells, which provide users with the highest levels of computing time and overall battery lifespan.

Plastic casings

This is the shell which houses the energy cells. In premium quality batteries, this shell will be of high impact plastic with a high heat tolerance and made to fit into each supported notebook perfectly (not too tight or too loose). This is important not only for the users safety, but also for functionality. Premium batteries will have a case that fits perfectly and can take a reasonable amount of abuse while protecting the delicate cells inside.

Proprietary Connector

The energy flows out of the battery through a connector that must match up perfectly with the connector on the notebook computer. If the two connectors do not meet properly, corrosion and intermittent power interruptions can occur. A premium quality battery like the Total Micro products will match up perfectly with the connector in the notebook.

Integrated Circuits or Smart Chips

The newer batteries available from computer makers now include an integrated circuit which helps to monitor battery usage, conserve power for longer computing time, and provide the user with information as to the amount of power available in the unit (also called the "fuel gauge"). When building quality replacement batteries, these "smart chips" must be recreated exactly as the original computer manufacturer originally built them so that the user gets all the same benefits as the original battery. However, thanks to continued improvements in technology, Total Micro can often offer moderate increases in battery performance through applying enhancements in smart chip designs.

What Is A "Charge/Discharge" Cycle?

As a notebook computer operates it is slowly depleting the energy cells in its battery. When those energy cells are fully depleted or "discharged" the battery must then be connected to an outside energy source to be "charged". When one completely drains and then recharges a battery that equals one "Charge/Discharge" cycle. The number of times that a battery will endure this cycle determines its life span. High quality cells such as those used by Total Micro have a higher "Charge/Discharge" tolerance and thus a longer overall lifespan than older or lower quality cells.

Do I Have To Completely Discharge My Battery Before I Recharge It?

The answer to this question depends on the type of battery your computer uses. There are three main types of battery chemistry currently used in notebook computers and each has it's own characteristics as follows:

Nickel Cadmium (NiCad)

These batteries are only found in the older notebook computer models and they must be fully discharged prior to recharging. If they are not, they will surfer what is known as the "memory effect" which will dramatically shorten the computing time offered by the fully charged battery.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)

These batteries should be fully discharged on a regular basis before recharging, however, they will still respond well if occasionally they are not fully discharged. They are susceptible to the "memory effect", however, they perform better than their NiCad predecessors.

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)

These batteries provide optimum performance for today's notebook users because they do not suffer from the "memory effect" and they do not need to be fully discharged prior to recharging. However, for optimum overall battery life, it is recommended that these batteries be completely drained and then recharged periodically. This regular maintenance will provide the longest duration of charge/discharge cycles for the user.

What Is Battery Conditioning?

There are two key areas of battery performance: the amount of time your battery will run your notebook when full charged (measured in hours), and the period of time that the battery will perform regular charge/discharge cycles (measured in years). Both of these functions can be maximized by periodically "conditioning "the battery. "Conditioning" is putting the battery through a complete charge/discharge cycle in which the battery is fully drained prior to recharging. Conditioning the battery is most important for NiCad and NiMH and less important for Li-Ion batteries. Conditioning should be performed every time on NiCad batteries and as often as possible on Ni-MH units, while monthly conditioning is sufficient for Li-Ion.

What is the "memory effect"

With older NiCad and NiMH technology products, if the battery is not fully discharged prior to recharging, the ability of the battery to hold a charge can become compromised. For example if a two hour battery is used for only one hour and then recharged several times, the battery will begin holding only a one hour charge. This "memory effect" shortens the usage time for the user. This can be avoided through proper battery conditioning. NICad and NiMH batteries should always be fully discharged prior to recharging for optimum performance.