Help Me, Laptop: How Do I Find the Best Battery Replacement?

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At some point in your laptop's life, the battery is going to get worse and worse until it doesn't work anymore. This week on the Tom's Guide forums, one user asked for help in finding the best battery replacement when that dreaded day comes.

mhcwei writes, "I have a Dell Inspiron 15R 5537 laptop, and I need a new battery. Dell told me it [the battery] is 65 Wh 6 cells. Any suggestion[s]?"

Well, mhcwei, you actually did most of the work already. You know the model as well as the kind of battery inside the laptop. After doing a little digging, I found that you can purchase a replacement battery from Dell itself. It's a 11.1v, 65-WHr, six-cell primary lithium-ion battery that costs $57.87, and it's labeled as compatible with your Inspiron 15R 5537. For reference, WHr (watt hours) equates to the battery capacity, so the more the better.

There is also a cheaper, $29.99 model on Amazon. However, we cannot vouch for that battery, because we haven't tested it. It's safer to recommend buying from the company that sold you the laptop.

How to hunt for batteries

In mhcwei's case, I went directly to the Dell support site and typed in the laptop's service tag, which you can find on the back/bottom of the chassis (there's also an option to automatically detect your PC). Once you're in, simply go to Parts & Accessories, then to Batteries. In this case, two batteries showed up, so you'd simply pick the battery that's more in your price range.

Other laptop companies may have similar systems set up, but if yours doesn't, you should call the manufacturer directly and see if you can coordinate a battery purchase from them. If they don't sell the battery, then ask them about the WHr, amount of cells and voltage of the one you have.

MORE: Laptops with the Longest Battery Life

Then, type those numbers into Google (or your search engine/online store of choice) and ensure that whichever battery you come across states the exact names of the laptops it's compatible with. From there, check out if the seller is legitimate by looking at seller ratings and reviews.

Lastly, if you suspect that your battery isn't going to last you that long, I suggest buying a replacement as soon as you get a new laptop. This way, you won't have to scramble once it's time to make the swap.

Credit: Shutterstock, Laptop Mag

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