Last week, I noticed that the battery was swelling in my Hauwei Union Y538 Android smartphone that I bought about 3 years ago for $20 at Best Buy. I went back to Best Buy to see if they had a replacement battery and was told that they no longer carry cellphone batteries. That didn't surprise me, because I knew that very few cellphones still have user-replaceable batteries.
The reason not many new cellphones have user-replaceable batteries has nothing to do with consumers' perceived desires for thin or waterproof phones. The reason is that manufacturers are smarter than consumers. According to Statistica, 89% of smartphone users say battery life is important and 36% are not satisfied with the battery life they are currently getting. Despite this, and the fact that battery life declines as batteries age, cellphone manufactures know that if they can sell a customer a phone with a non-replaceable battery that customer will likely be back on average in about two years to either pay a large fee to get the battery replaced or to buy a new phone. This is called built-in obsolescence or planned obsolescence. It's one way manufactures make more money off of uninformed consumers.
My cellphone battery experience started me wondering how many cellphones, tablets, and laptops still have batteries that the user can replace. So, I did some research, and the results were even worse than I expected. Before I share the information I have gathered, let me be clear that I'm not recommending any of the cellphones, tablets, or laptops that I will mention. I'm only telling you which ones have user-replaceable batteries.
Below is a list of the only reasonably-priced cellphones with user-replaceable batteries that I could find that can be purchased new in 2019.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4||$136.99|
|Samsung Galaxy S5||$104.60|
|Samsung Galaxy J7||$99.99|
|Samsung Galaxy J7 Duo (not released in the US)||$154.99|
|Motorola Moto G5||$139.99|
|Motorola Moto E5 Play||$99.99|
|Motorola Moto E4||$65.98|
Generally, lower-priced cellphones are more likely than higher-priced models to have replaceable batteries.
Here is a list of tablet computers with user-replaceable batteries that you can buy new in 2019:
|Toshiba Thrive 16 GB||$124|
|Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000||$135|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1||$129.95|
Here is a list of all the laptop computers with user-replaceable batteries that I could find that can still be purchased new in 2019:
|Lenovo Thinkpad T580||$870|
|ASUS ROG Strix GL553VE||$1229|
|Lenovo Thinkpad E580||$479|
|Lenovoa Thinkpad P52s||$1000|
As you can see, the list is disappointingly short. Often manufacturers don't advertise whether laptops have batteries that are user-replaceable, so in addition to the ones I could find, there may be other new laptops for sale in 2019 with replaceable batteries.
It is much easier to find older laptops with user-replaceable batteries. And, that is only one of the many benefits of buying used laptops. In fact, if you are in the market for a laptop, rather than rushing out and buying a new one, I highly recommend that you seriously consider making your next laptop a used one.
If you are determined to buy a new laptop, there are many that have batteries that are easily to replace, if you have a little knowledge. Below is a list of a few of the laptops that can be bought new in 2019 that have non-user-replaceable batteries that can be easily replaced once you know how.
|HP EliteBook 1040 G4||997.99|
|HP EliteBook 1050 G1||$947.99|
|HP EliteBook 840 G3||$400|
|Dell Latitude E5270||$549.99|
|LG Gram 15"||$996.98|
|Dell XPS 13||$989|
|EliteBook x360 1030 G3||$1,345.57|
|Dell Latitude 7290||$999.99|
You can learn how to replace the batteries in the above laptops by watching tear-down videos on Youtube or by reading laptop repair articles on the internet. Ifixit is another source for information. Remember that electrostatic discharge (static electricity) can kill laptops. So, ground yourself to the laptop before you open it, and try not to touch any electronic components inside unless you have to.
Business laptops are generally more repairable than consumer-grade laptops. So, they are a good place to begin looking for a laptop with an easily-replaceable battery that is not on the above list.
Copyright © 2019 The Cheapskate's
Guide to Computers and the Internet. All rights reserved.