Saturday, March 21, 2009

All about Batteries for the Lenovo S10

Here are some snippet of information that are from the two popular Lenovo Ideapad S series forums, one official, and the other unofficial. These are all about the batteries put together here for easy reference.

When the S10 was first released, it came with the 3 cell battery as the standard but it could last on the average for only 1.5 to 2 hours and this was a big disappointment to many who are always on the move and a great disadvantage when compared to other netbooks like the Asus EEE and Acer One that had longer lasting batteries, about twice that of the Lenovo 3 cell battery. Below is how the 3 cell battery looks when fitted into the rear of a S10. (Pic from

Soon came the news of a 6 cell battery that first made its appearance with the S10e in the European market towards the latter part of 2008 and this 6 cell battery became a standard with the S10 in some Asian market. Pic below shows the extra load of the 6 cell hanging down. Refer to my post in this Blog that is all about the 6 cell battery

Since man is never satisfied and always wanting more and more, early this year saw the debut of the 9 cell battery. As this has three times the number of cells (of the 3 cells), it will last 3 times as long and also weighs roughly three times as heavy and is 3 times the size. Not to mention it takes three times longer to be fully charged. You cannot have your cake and eat it, you know. Pic below shows the bulk of the 9 cell, courtesy of nickrg3 in the unofficial Lenovo S series forum.

Below is a rough comparison of the 3 types of battery currently available. How long it lasts depends a lot on the activities of the netbook.

3 cell weighs 150gm, lasts for 2 hr and takes 2 hr to charge
6 cell weighs 300gm, lasts for 4.5 hr and takes 4 hr to charge
9 cell weighs 450gm, lasts for 7 hr and takes 6 hr to charge

Which size of the battery (3, 6 or 9 cells) is the best for you? It all depends on your needs and how you use the S10 most of the time and it really comes down to personal preference. Personally, I feel the 6 cell battery is the best way to go as the 3 cell lasts too short and the 9 cell is too bulky and weighs a bit too much which defeats the main purpose of a netbook which is reduced size and weight for mobility when compared to a normal notebook/laptop.

There is also some confusion as to which battery will fit which model of the S series Ideapad. Here's the good news, all are interchangeable so any battery that you pick will fit whether it is a S9, S9e, S10 or S10e since the external physical size of the current S series Ideapad is the same (only the screen size and configuration are different). There appears to be only two colours currently available for these batteries, i.e. black or white so those of you with S10 of a different colour will have to make do with one of these colors and cannot get a fully color-matched combination.

The battery is held in position by two locking mechanism at the bottom of the machine. The one on the left is spring loaded while the one on the right is manually switched. To unplug the battery, switch the lock on the right to the open position (towards the left) and hold the spring loaded in the open position (towards the left). More important is that after plugging in the battery, ensure that both the locks are secured, especially the spring loaded one or you may find the battery a bit wobbly.

The second LED in the front of the LED is the Battery status indicator. It is orange when the battery is being charged and is blue when the battery is fully charged. There is also a power icon at the task bar that shows the current power status and the life left of the battery if being used.

If you leave your battery plugged in for some time, you will find that it will not reach 100% charge when it stops charging (LED battery status turns blue.) To overcome this, remove the battery and leave it for a while. The next time you charge your battery, it will reach 100% when fully charged. Another key point to remember is never unplug your battery when it is connected to the mains, it will result in weird charging problems such as never ending charging time. You should only remove the battery when everything is off.

For those who intend to travel abroad with your S10, the Adaptor/charger is universally rated at 100-240V and 50-60Hz and thus can be used anywhere in the world; you only need to ensure that you have the correct pin adaptor to connect to the mains. It would be easier to get one of those universal pin adaptor that can be plugged in anywhere.
(The points below are added subsequently.
The battery will not reach its full capacity until it has gone through a number of charging cycles initially just like other lithium-ion batteries. My original Lenovo OEM 6 cell battery will not charge until it falls below 90% so I normally leave it plugged in and not worry that it will get charged unnecessarily, thereby reducing the battery life since it is normally given in the number of charging cycles. But it is good to remove the battery from time to time and also let it be fully discharged every now and then and then fully charged to give it the full works, so to speak even though it does not have that "memory effect" of older generation batteries. Nevertheless, it will looses its capacity over time and will die a natural death eventually as nothing lasts forever.)
Hope you are now fully charged and ready to be on the move with your S10.