Laptop 6 Cell Vs. 9 Cell Battery
By Clare Edwards
It's always frustrating when you're on the move and your laptop battery runs out of power: It causes you to hastily save your work while potentially losing your train of thought as you hunt for a power outlet. Mobile computing needn't be quite so stressful if you choose the right battery for your needs. The more cells your battery has, the longer it will last. Extra cells have implications for the weight and cost of your computer.
What are Cells?
A battery is made up of individual cells: electrochemical units that produce electricity by means of a chemical reaction. Recharging the battery puts energy back into the system, reversing the chemical reaction so it can begin all over again when you start using the battery to power your laptop. The more cells a battery has, the more electricity it can store and the longer it can power your laptop.
One disadvantage of choosing a nine-cell battery over a six-cell battery is the cost. Typically, larger batteries will cost more than smaller ones and this will be reflected in the total price of your laptop. If you're replacing an existing battery, a six-cell battery will be a cheaper option than a nine-cell battery.
Size and Weight
A nine-cell battery is noticeably larger and heavier than a six-cell battery. The extra size does have some positive benefits: the larger battery may help elevate the back of your laptop when it's resting on a flat surface, allowing for better air-flow underneath the device. Nine-cell batteries tend to be more cumbersome than six-cell batteries -- that extra weight is something to consider if you are planning to carry your laptop around with you.
Whether you choose a six-cell or nine-cell laptop battery will depend largely on how you plan to use your computer. If you don't anticipate being far from a power outlet for too long -- if your laptop is mostly for home use or short trips to and from the office, for example -- a six-cell battery should be perfectly adequate. If you're planning on taking your laptop on long flights or in other situations where power outlets may be few and far between, battery life becomes more of an issue and a nine-cell battery is a better option.
Battery Life Tips
Most Windows laptops have two or three pre-programmed power plans, ranging from high performance to power saver options that tell your computer to stop using non-essential systems and use as little electricity as possible. Other measures include turning off your wireless adapter, avoiding power-hungry applications such as games and multimedia players and dimming your screen as much as possible. Reducing the number of charging cycles also means that your battery will not need to be replaced as frequently.
Rather than opting for a larger battery pack when you're buying a new laptop, consider choosing a less power-hungry model. Foregoing a high-end graphics card may mean that you can't play the latest games or watch movies on Blu-Ray but will make for better battery life. Look for a processor that favors battery life over performance. Smaller screens also consume less energy than large ones.
Clare Edwards has been providing Internet content since 1998. She has written and translated for a variety of markets: everything from technical articles to short fiction and essays on alternative spirituality. She holds a certificate of higher education in electronics and audio arts from Middlesex University.