As I just enrolled in Grad School at UMBC, I wanted a second battery for my Lenovo Z570 laptop. I purchased the Z570 (the Z580 is the newer version) this time last year and so far I’m happy with it. The build quality is great for the price, the speakers sound decent, and it’s reasonably fast. However, the battery is nothing to write home about – 4 hours being typical with the screen dimmed.
My solution came in the form of a third party battery from Amazon. This one to be exact.
I was worried on several fronts about this particular battery: First, I have read that Lenovo laptops, particularly newer models, refuse to charge any battery that is not a genuine Lenovo battery. Apparently there is a chip inside the battery the laptop reads to confirm it is genuine. Second, fitment is rumored to be an issue with third party batteries; some are too loose while others are too tight. Third, the price point on this particular battery was so low, I don’t see how it could be a quality battery – I can’t even buy the individual cells for the price I paid for the entire battery! Finally, this battery’s part number was not an exact match for the battery that came with my Z570 and even worse, the voltage did not even match. The factory battery is rated at 11.1 volts nominal while this battery is 10.8 volts nominal – not a big difference, but concerning in conjunction with the differing part numbers. I knew from my background in engineering that Li-Ion batteries are typically rated as either 3.6v or 3.7v nominal per cell (further research indicates there are multiple Li-Ion cell chemistries on the market with differing nominal voltages, but they are functionally interchangeable), making 3 cells connected in series rate at 10.8 OR 11.1 volts nominal depending on the number chosen by the manufacturer. On the surface, this battery passes the “common sense” test.
Well never fear, the battery seems to work fine. The system actually recognizes it as a Sanyo battery, a quality manufacturer of laptop batteries (whether the chip is clone or not is another question). Fitment, while not exactly spot on, is close enough. It’s a snug fit compared to the factory Lenovo battery but it’s not hard to insert or remove. My initial impression on battery life is that it is every bit as good as the factory battery was when it was new, but only time will tell the true story as it ages. Overall, I’m extremely happy and might purchase an additional battery or two! Time for the Cybersecurity studies to commence.
*August 30th Update*
I finally put the battery through its paces starting yesterday in my management course. There is slightly north of 3 hours runtime on the battery so far, with some of that being heavy use, and Windows is reporting 24% battery life remaining after it sat in standby overnight. I’d call that a success. I think the battery life is every bit as good as the factory battery. I’ll post another update in the future as the battery wears in.