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Assault on batteries February 17, 2008

Posted by reverseengineer in Hardware.

I’ve written about the Eeep battery before, if you guys remember. After nearly two months, mine still does 3.5 hours on average power-saving settings. Ok, but lots of room for improvement.

I don’t know about you guys, but me, I’m starting not to believe there really exists in real life a creature such as the mythical 6-cell 7800mAh extended battery for the Asus EEEPC.

Have you even seen one?

It’s all over the blogs, the hardware and tech sites, in catalogs – but have you ever really seen one in the bright sunlight? Or at least in the pale white incandescent light of the average mall computer store? No?

Never mind the stores – have you seen a picture of one on any webpage anywhere on the net outside of the Asus site? Have any of the pre-orders been delivered? As far as I can tell, no one in the user forums has actually said he’s gotten one of these things. I have friends who’ve been around the region who’ve searched in vain.

It’s been rumored, lusted after, announced, trumpeted, praised, vilified and pre-sold all over the place for weeks, but no one can claim to have touched one for real, much less actually use one. I’ve searched on the net for user experiences, actual real-world pictures, reviews. Zip. Nada. Or maybe I just don’t get around much?

I realize I’m not even quite sure what it looks like. Does it look exactly like the old 4-cell, the way the net pics seem to show? Or is it bigger, thicker, more barrel-chested and lumpy that the old one? Will it, by virtue of the two extra cells, prop up the butt of the EEEPC higher like a prom queen in stilettos and make it more topple-prone than it is now? Will make the form factor of the laptop uglier, more bulbous rather than trim and fit?

I’m a little obssessed with it because I think it’s the final piece that would finally round out and complete my Eeep Experience. While the 4-cell battery life is adequate, it doesn’t sit well with me being forced into relying on just one battery. (God forbid I had a MacBook Air.) I’d get an extra 4-cell if I had no choice, but we’ve been promised the extended one a long time ago, and I can’t bring myself to get an old one, now that the 6-cell is (supposedly) imminent.

If I got stuck in a place with no juice, I’d be so self-conscious of my power limitations that I’d spend half the battery time worrying about it and not accomplish anything.

If you’ve actually seen one, or have seen a review, kindly holler.



1. Art a.k.a. Artsypooh - February 18, 2008

On a related subject, if you like using your EEEP in the car, you can easily rig up a universal car socket power adapter (sold in your friendly car accessories shops) to run your unit. Set it to 9V positive, choose the right plug and you’re good to go. The EEEP adapter claims 9.5V but who’s to quibble?

What I use is the car socket power plug of my portable DVD player. In fact, I have two of these players and both of their adapters fit the EEE snugly, so now I am coming to the conclusion that if you have a portable DVD player that comes with a car plug, chances are you can use it to fuel your EEEP too. So now I have a tres cool DivX player in the car, without having to worry about battery drain. 🙂

2. reverseengineer - February 18, 2008

Hey. Cool tip!

I’ve noticed too that the adaptor plug of the Eeep is fairly standard – it matches one of the defaults in a universal set I have, so it shouldn’t be a major problem.

I’m just afraid I’m so neurotic about specs that I’m one of your quibblers.

Don’t know about the long term effects of a .5V deficiency on the battery (will look it up), but if you don’t do it all the time I suppose the effect, if any, would be negligible. Despite my neurosis, really cool tip.

But …”Artsypooh”? Eh?

3. bernie - February 18, 2008

wouln’t it be painless-er/easier to use one of those “inverters” so you use the bundled ac adaptor on the Eee?

4. Art - February 18, 2008

Yeah I have –er, had (I lost it)– an inverter before. But the thing is darn bulky to have flopping around the car, and it forces you to bring your AC charger (I’d prefer to keep the AC at home where it should belong).

As for the .5V deficiency, it doesn’t seem to bother the EEEP one bit. Everything works like normal. Besides, most laptops tend to be liberal when it comes to input voltage, hence the proliferation of so-called universal battery packs and chargers. But then, I ain’t no electrical engineer heheh.

5. Sean - March 19, 2008

Having the battery on continuous charge, which is what happens when the charging voltage is a little lower than specified, usually means that the charging cycle cannot terminate. As charging is NOT a continuously rated process that results in continuous temperature rise of the battery which will drastically reduce its life and probably cause the attached device to fail with over-temperature. Pocket PC type devices sitting in poorly ventilated car cradles often go down like that and frequently never recover. Incorrect charging regimes are the number one enemy of rechargable devices.

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