Up­grade your bat­tery

Mac Format - - IMPROVE YOUR MAC -

f you bought a lap­top com­puter, chances are you want to be able to use it away from the mains at some point, so when the bat­tery in your Mac­Book charge be­gins to droop, you might feel a bit peeved. Re­plac­ing the bat­tery al­to­gether, though, can be easy, de­pend­ing on which model you have – and if it’s not a model that you can eas­ily slot a new bat­tery into or you don’t feel com­fort­able get­ting your hands a bit dirty, Ap­ple can help you out.

(You can get an idea of the health of your bat­tery with an app such as co­conutBat­tery or FruitJuice – it might be that your bat­tery it­self is ac­tu­ally in pretty good shape tech­ni­cally, and that the only rea­son you’re get­ting short bat­tery life is be­cause of apps gob­bling up your CPU. Check Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor or an app such as iS­tat Menus.)

Let’s start with those Macs that have self-con­tained bat­ter­ies that you can just pop in and out – broadly, iBooks, Power­Books, MacBooks and Mac­Book Pros prior to the Retina mod­els. With th­ese mod­els, all you have to do is source a re­place­ment bat­tery – a small num­ber are avail­able from the Ap­ple Store, but you

Imight have to opt for a third-party op­tion such as from mac­sales.com – and then pull out the old one (some­times after tak­ing off a cov­er­ing plate) and in­sert the new. And hap­pily, it’s with th­ese older Macs, whose orig­i­nal bat­ter­ies will long since have worn out, that you’re likely to see the big­gest, quick­est dif­fer­ence, and it might just be that spend­ing a hun­dred quid on a new bat­tery means you’ll get your lap­top back and so don’t need to drop ten times more on an en­tirely new ma­chine. Newer Macs, sadly, have a sealed bat­tery that can’t just be popped in and out like th­ese. If you want to re­place it your­self, the first thing you should do is browse the re­place­ment guides on ifixit.com to see how big a job it is. For some mod­els, it’s achiev­able with a lit­tle pa­tience, but for oth­ers it’s a long and in­volved process, and un­less you feel up to the chal­lenge or en­joy tin­ker­ing with com­put­ers, you’re prob­a­bly bet­ter off pay­ing some­one to do it for you. The good, news, though, is that the some­one you can pay is Ap­ple, or an Ap­ple Au­tho­rised Ser­vice Provider.

If you have a model with a sealed-in bat­tery (Mac­Book Air, Mac­Book (13-inch, Late 2009 and I up­graded the bat­ter­ies on two MacBooks (a 2009 Uni­body and a 2010 Pro), us­ing third party cells rather than Ap­ple’s own. They were a third of the price – £30 in­stead of over a hun­dred – but worked just as well. It gave my old lap­tops a much-needed life

ex­ten­sion! later), or Mac­Book Pro (Early 2009 and later) book it into an Ap­ple Store and they’ll re­place the bat­tery for you. The charge isn’t small, but it’s not much dis­sim­i­lar from the cost of Ap­ple’s old self­con­tained bat­ter­ies, and the labour is in­cluded. Ex­pect to pay £109 for a Mac­Book Air or nonRetina Mac­Book Pro, £149 for a 17-inch Mac­Book Pro, and £169 for a Mac­Book Pro with a Retina dis­play. And this re­ally is a bat­tery re­place­ment; it’s not like you might have seen with an iPod or iOS de­vice where if they ‘re­place’ a com­po­nent – they reach into a drawer and pull out a new, re­con­di­tioned unit and swap them over. That’s good here be­cause it means your data and any cus­tomi­sa­tions you might have ap­plied to your Mac will re­main – though as al­ways, you should have a backup, any­way. (A sim­i­lar ser­vice ex­ists for iOS de­vice bat­ter­ies; it’s £59.)

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