IT News Thread, Lenovo laptops will reject third-party batteries, starting with ThinkPad Edge in May in Other News; Only a rumour at present since Lenovo haven't released their new Ivy Bridge-based ThinkPad Edge E430 and E530 laptops yet, ...
Lenovo laptops will reject third-party batteries, starting with ThinkPad Edge in May
Only a rumour at present since Lenovo haven't released their new Ivy Bridge-based ThinkPad Edge E430 and E530 laptops yet, but worth keeping in mind...
As we reported at CES, Lenovo is planning a refresh of its ThinkPad Edge mainstream laptop line, bringing Intel's new Ivy Bridge processors and some USB 3.0 ports in a slightly lighter design. Now, a source tells us that the new ThinkPad Edge E430 and E530 will be the first of the company's laptops to bring a feature you probably don't want: "Battery Safeguard." Though the name makes it sound like additional protection for your battery, our source says it's actually all about protecting Lenovo's bottom line, as it's designed to make sure only official Lenovo batteries work in Lenovo laptops from now on. Allegedly, the laptop will scan for a special new chip that only Lenovo's battery packs will have installed, and will refuse to work without it.
If that sounds familiar, that's because another electronics category uses the same tactic. For years, printer ink cartridges have been chipped to help guide purchases. If true, this also wouldn't be the first time Lenovo's attempted to steer buyers towards its first-party lithium-ion packs. Some laptops flash the message "Genuine Lenovo Battery Not Attached" if aftermarket cells are used. (Source)
Last edited by Arthur; 18th March 2012 at 06:21 PM.
I hate companies that try and force you into using their proprietary/'official' products. The more-recent Playstation Vita with its memory cards is a prime example.. I see it as "We admit, other people can make just-as-good-or-better products, and we're spitting our dummies out about it instead of working on making ours better!"
Batteries however I'm in two minds about.. I guess Lenovo will spout how they're adding it as 'protection to ensure unreliable, potentially dangerous or outright faulty third-party equipment doesn't cause any harm to their customers' and in a way, I guess that'll fly with a lot of people, given the amount of counterfeit power-packs/leads flying around.. But are there actually any instances of counterfeit/consistently poor quality batteries?
Interestingly the biggest publicised problems with batteries in recent years was the mass Dell original recall that actually used Sony built cells!
Sony run two versions of a software driven check, on older models it's a windows level programme which can be disabled in msconfig (or just deleted), on more recent models it's at BIOS level which is a pest, but resolvable.
There is a huge range of quality available in the "3rd party" market which makes it very difficult for end users, (schools, business or public) to be sure what they are getting. The key to a reliable third party is really making sure (as best you can), that the units while undoubtedly assembled in China, are built with Japanese or Korean cells (Think Samsung, LG, Panasonic).
The standard for traditional Li-Ion laptop battery cells (the round AA style but bigger), is set by Samsung, the 18650 design and if units meet this design standard they will match a physical shape and size and confirm to charging tolerances and predefined capacities. Most of the issues we see with samples of "Cheap chinese" offerings is that although standard is copied, it's not copied with the level of precision needed to produce a reliable product. In most cases, failure occurs when the cells in the unit fall out of balance and then won't charge because they've not been matched properly, although as you've all seen, occasionally things catch fire.
IMHO, if manufacturers wanted to encourage the purchase of originals, all they need to do is pull their margins in a bit which in the long run would probably cost them less and create more business than developing restrictive software which the firms in the far east will counter fairly swiftly anyway.
It is interesting though to hear another manufacturer is going down this route. There's plenty using smart tech already (anyone come across Dell's not charging with third party chargers?) but only a few being super restrictive with it.