AGPTek Laptop Battery Review

My ThinkPad's original battery now lasts less than an hour, which is explainable due to its age. It was time for a replacement, but Lenovo charges a whopping $159 for their 7-cell battery (it's the only one they now carry for my model). Well, what did I do? I decided to take a shot at a non-OEM battery: the AGPTek Li9. Here is my review, after owning it for nearly two weeks.

The Good

Age and condition

The battery came in a sealed package, brand-new, never used. After installing it in my computer, I opened up Lenovo Power Manager to take a look at its properties. This battey was manufactured in December of 2009, thus is fairly new. It holds its advertised capacity of 48 watt-hours.

Capacity

This is a 4400mAh battery, which seems to be a huge improvement over my old 2600mAh one. However, it only puts out 10.8 volts (because it uses 3 li-ion 3.6-volt cells wired in series), thus has an actual capacity of 48 watt-hours. My old battery put out 14.4 volts, thus had a capacity of around 38 watt-hours. (Having differing voltage levels is quite normal; during the normal operation of a li-ion battery, voltage levels can fluctuate.) It's not as huge of an improvement as one may think, when comparing a new 4-cell from Lenovo and this 6-cell from AGPTek.

Life

The Li9 currently gives me around 2.5 hours of battery life, which is quite good, especially compared to the old 4-cell. When waking from sleep, the power gauge sometimes goes screwy and displays a much-higher remaining time, which is caused by the very small amount of power used during sleep, hence the 5:29 in the taskbar. Although I know my battery will never last that long in reality, it's still quite interesting to see.

5:29 Remaining

The Bad

Of course, being a $43 non-Lenovo battery, it can't be expected to live up to the same expectations as a $159 one. I expected to have some issues with it before I made the purchase.

Random loss of power

The laptop has hibernated on me twice without warning, with the battery still holding a good amount of charge. Both times, a balloon stating "0% Remaining" (or something like that – it didn't display for long) popped out of the taskbar, and the computer instantly began hibernating. Upon powering on, Windows displayed a warning stating that the system was shut down due to insufficient battery power; however, allowing the system to boot normally revealed that the battery still had a good deal of juice. Not only that, but it worked fine.

Rearward extended design

A con for some, not all: this is an extended battery, which literally extends beyond the back of the laptop. At least it doesn't prop the laptop up at an angle like HP's extended batteries, though some people actually prefer the latter design.

Build quality

This isn't such a big deal, but although the battery fits and matches the style of the laptop, it doesn't click into place the same way the old one did. Removing it is also slightly more difficult, and the latch mechanism seems cheap.

The Ugly

Genuine Lenovo battery not attached


Yep, that's right. Lenovo Power Manager pops up this annoying warning every time you plug in (or unplug) the AC adapter, log on, resume from sleep, or power on the computer. And the worst part is, the typical "X" on the balloon tip does not exist, so I am required to right-click on the power gauge and then click on the desktop.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the AGPTek Li9 is sub-par to a genuine Lenovo battery, but it can't be beat for the price. Even though I don't expect it to last longer than a year, I can buy three of these batteries for the price of one Lenovo battery, with money to spare. Let's just hope it doesn't explode... though the famous exploding Dell laptops used genuine OEM batteries.

Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 10:32 PM | Permalink | Tags: review, thinkpad

Comments (20)

Lynn
Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM
which Lenovo is it that you're writing about owning? I'm wondering, because if it's the same model as mine, I might not want a battery that doesn't completely fit into the laptop because I don't want the occasional shut-downs and extended dimension from the battery space in the laptop

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 4:41 PM
It's a Lenovo ThinkPad z61t.

The random shutdowns aren't a huge deal... it's only happened twice since I bought the battery. But that's what you get for buying a $43 off-brand battery instead of paying $160 for the genuine Lenovo product.

And as far as the additional size is concerned... if you don't want it to stick out, just buy a 4-cell battery. It won't last as long on a full charge but it won't stick out past the edge. I myself personally prefer more battery life at the expense of a larger battery.

Jockey
Monday, March 15, 2010 at 3:23 AM
Acutally, ALL No-OEM battery would be warnning as NOT Genuine Lenovo battery attached due to the Lenove Power Manager, I bought a 9 Cell AGPTEK battery Li50 7200mah for my Thinkpad X200, $45,To my supprise, it can work more than 5 hours.

Jockey
Monday, March 15, 2010 at 3:28 AM
So far so good, Now i will wait, when it will die, as they claim it come with full one year warranty! aha...

kenneth
Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 4:31 AM
i've gone through 2 agptek 9-cell batteries for my thinkpad t61. the first would exhibit the shutdown/ hibernate behavior once or twice before a full discharge. i contacted the manufacturer and they replaced my battery with another one. the replacement is even worse and puts my system in hibernate every 20-30 minutes or so. I just gave up on the agptek and bought a 7-cell through the lenovo outlet.

Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 1:32 PM
@kenneth: I "solved" the shutdown issue by simply telling the computer to sleep on critical battery. When it goes to sleep during class, I just turn it back on.

The genuine Lenovo battery is undoubtedly better, but in my case it cost nearly 4 times as much!

Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 6:17 AM
This isn't such a big deal, but although the battery fits and matches the style of the laptop, it doesn't click into place the same way the old one did. Removing it is also slightly more difficult, and the latch mechanism seems cheap.

Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 1:10 PM
Yes, I noticed that as well... cheap latch mechanism. Maybe that's what contributes to the occasional random power loss, hmm.

Dev
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 1:19 PM
What if you just used the windows power center instead of Lenovo's? I suppose you wouldn't get the same warning, but is the battery management more/less the same?

Thanks

Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 4:21 AM
his isn't such a big deal, but although the battery fits and matches the style of the laptop, it doesn't click into place the same way the old one did.

John
Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 2:59 AM
I've bought

John
Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 3:03 AM
I bought a HILLWEST battery for my Lenovo X61. I haven't really tested how long it lasts yet, but have certainly noticed the most annoying tooltip. I've honestly grown to hate Lenovo for this, and it gives me a good enough reason to never buy any of their products (I got this one as a farewell gift from the company I used to work for).
If anyone knows of a way to disable this tooltip, or in any other way trick the system into thinking it's using a Lenovo battery (there are other small differences in the software behavior), I'll appreciate the information.

Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 1:55 PM
@John Lenovo does this because it's a liability issue; if your HILLWEST or AGPTek or Denaq battery explodes, it's not their fault and they can't say "we didn't warn you."

You can uninstall Lenovo Power Manager, which will get rid of the tooltip, but I prefer to have Power Manager installed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 2:57 AM
i found a lot of laptop battery life is too short,so choose a better laptop battery is very important!

nirali
Friday, December 31, 2010 at 10:42 AM
I just wanted to check up on the battery life. Is it still running or is it dead? I bough one non-oem battery last year it was dead in 45 days.

Friday, December 31, 2010 at 1:09 PM
@nirali Actually, it's still working great. Maybe there's a little bit less life, but it lasts over 2 hours on a full charge. Not bad for a $43 battery!

Monday, January 31, 2011 at 4:19 AM
I have a Lenovo X-200 and I purchased two additional, non-Lenovo batteries, more cells that the factory battery They are large and extend out the back. When I travel long distances I take all three batteries with me. Tonight I charged them up and I got the usual message that I was using a non-Lenovo battery, but there is now a difference - the battery is not being charged. Since this happened at exactly the same time to both non-Lenovo batteries, it suggests a software change that prevents the non-Lenovo battery from charging. Does anyone know of this problem and how to fix it?

Monday, January 31, 2011 at 4:19 AM
I have a Lenovo X-200 and I purchased two additional, non-Lenovo batteries, more cells that the factory battery They are large and extend out the back. When I travel long distances I take all three batteries with me. Tonight I charged them up and I got the usual message that I was using a non-Lenovo battery, but there is now a difference - the battery is not being charged. Since this happened at exactly the same time to both non-Lenovo batteries, it suggests a software change that prevents the non-Lenovo battery from charging. Does anyone know of this problem and how to fix it?

Monday, January 31, 2011 at 2:22 PM
@Michael K. Stenstrom I don't think it's the software that's doing that.

Try turning off the laptop, removing both batteries for maybe 5 minutes, then putting the batteries in and plugging in the laptop (WITHOUT turning it on). Check if the "battery charging" light turns on or not.

Lilia
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Thanks for the review. I have to get a new laptop battery pretty soon, so I'll keep my eye out for something like this. Very nice, detailed review.

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