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Are Generic Batteries A Good Deal?

Listener Tom in Columbus, Ohio asked us about replacing a laptop battery with a less expensive generic

Laptop Battery Being Removed

Tom asked: I have a Dell Vostro laptop that is giving the message to consider replacing the battery. In searching for one to buy, I notice there are generic batteries that claim to be compatible and cost considerably less than a genuine Dell battery. Can you advise whether these off-brand batteries are worth considering, or should I just stick with the real thing?

This is a tough question because there is not one set answer.

The truth is, generic batteries are far cheaper that most genuine batteries, and more often than not they are safe and work just as expected. It seems like looking at a generic version might make sense, the thing is when batteries fail, they fail in pretty scary ways.

You may get lucky and it will just stop working, but it may also swell up, release toxic fumes, catch on fire, and sometimes explode. Odds are you will get lucky and you won’t experience anything like that, just make sure that if you do get one to save money, that you have a close look at it for a little while, especially while it’s charging and stop using it if at any point it begins to swell up. If the price difference is not huge, you may be better off just paying for the original with it’s quality control.

And you will find, if you shop around enough on Amazon.com and other online retailers, that you see the same brand names turning up in third party laptop batteries. When the brand isn’t advertised at all, that’s a warning sign that you’re buying a very generic battery.

But when the brand name is prominent, it’s clear that making batteries is what this company does, and the reviews are all generally positive (the more reviews, the better), you may find that quality at a bargain price is indeed possible.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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