HP starts selling batteries guaranteed for laptop's lifetime

Hewlett-Packard will begin selling on Monday laptop batteries that are guaranteed to last three years.

Hewlett-Packard will begin selling on Monday laptop batteries that are guaranteed to last three years.

The batteries use Sonata cells from Boston Power, a startup battery maker that has developed a Lithium Ion battery that can last for a thousand charging cycles without degrading. That's about two to three times more than a typical lithium ion battery. Further, the Sonata batteries will charge to 80 percent of their capacity in 30 minutes, which is faster than most other lithium ion batteries.

From Monday HP will offer the batteries through its online store for 18 models in its consumer laptop range. The machines represent about 70 percent of all consumer laptops sold by HP.

And from later in March they'll be available to customers buying new PCs.

The computer maker with brand the batteries "Enviro," which highlights their green credentials. Longer lasting batteries mean fewer or no replacements need to be bought so waste is reduced and could even help extend the useful life of old machines. The batteries themselves also contain no PVC and have earned the Nordic Ecolabel certification.

Recycling of the batteries will be handled by HP through the same channels it currently uses.

The batteries will cost US$150, which is about $20 more expensive than most of the replacement batteries currently listed by HP.

For now they won't be available on HP's business laptop range but Christina Lampe-Onnerud, CEO of Boston Power, said talks continue with HP and she's hopeful they will come to more of the company's laptop computers.

The deal with HP to sell the new batteries represents the first validation of Boston Power's technology from a major laptop vendor. The Massachusetts company was founded in 2005 and produces its batteries in China and Taiwan.

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Martyn Williams

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