eeebat.jpgA quick review for our friends over at liliputing.com. I just received my 12000mAh battery from DealExtreme and I thought a few pics and comments were in order:

UPDATE: We do not recommend this battery at this time!

As you can see in the pics the battery does add some significant bulk and lift to my 1000HA (standard mouse included for size reference), but it almost doubles the capacity of the standard 6 cell battery – impressive since many netbooks come with only a 3 cell battery standard and 6 cells are the “extended life” batteries.  Also at $62 this battery is a deal considering that similar long life batteries can approach $200.

My fairly accurate scale supports the manufacturer’s weight claims as the new battery upped my Eee PC from 3.2 lbs to 3.75 lbs.  This is still lighter than most ultra portable notebooks but hefty for a netbook.  However, this combo will give you the most battery bang for your netbook buck as you can own the 1000HA (with 6 cell bat) and the super extended battery for under $500, which until recent holiday deals started dropping was cheaper than several netbooks with a 3 cell battery.

eeebat2.jpgMy initial thoughts on the supersized battery are as follows:  The increased typing incline is too much when the netbook is used on a table.  This is largely a personal preference but for me: while I can type with speed and accuracy at that tilt, I find it uncomfortable.  And wrist discomfort doesn’t jive well with “all day computing”. However, I tend to do most of my typing with my wireless keyboard/notebook/netbook in my lap.  Used this way the battery does not create an uncomfortable position as the battery (mostly) fits between my legs.

As for battery life, I will have to use the battery more to be able to determine the real life increase for the extended bat.

One other important note for would be DealExtreme shoppers: this battery is shipping from Hong Kong.  This was a detail that I didn’t realize until I went to check the package tracking as it’s not really mentioned (that I saw) on the site.  So realize that when you opt for the free shipping.  It took 13 calendar days for my new toy to arrive.

UPDATE 11/18: After getting less than expected results from Windows battery estimate for this super sized battery, I set about running some simple real world drainage tests. These tests confirmed XP’s estimates.  The “super” battery was at or below the capacity of the standard 6 cell battery.  Those results didn’t make any sense.  While I fully expected a real world result that was less than the manufacturer’s claimed 81% increase – I certainly expected a battery of twice the size and weight to have a significant level of added capacity.

Needing something else to prove or disprove these battery life numbers, I turned to Battery Eater Pro (which is a handy app, tho it could use a tad more documentation).  I ran their classic test (max power burn) as I was really more interested in a comparison of the two batteries than an artificial “real world use estimate”.  The classic test is also the fastest to run, since it is a worst case test. I then reran the tests in the hopes that perhaps cycling the big battery would help its capacity.  It did not.

The standard battery lasted 33% longer than the super extended battery in the stress tests.  This backs up the capacity estimates generated by Battery Eater’s battery “info” screen that had the standard bat at 10% more capacity than the extended bat:

Supersized Battery:
Manufacturer Claimed: 12000mAh
Battery Eater Estimate: 6946mAh

6 Cell Batt
Manufacturer Claimed: 6600mAh
Battery Eater Estimate: 7625mAh

Now it’s entirely possible our battery was defective and that these numbers are not generally true.  Once the the extended battery has been exchanged we’ll run more tests, but in the meantime: we can’t recommend anyone purchases this product.

UPDATE 11/22:  I am rapidly realizing my purchase from Deal Extreme was a mistake.  After asking for an exchange on their double capacity battery that doesn’t last as long as the standard battery, I got this response (four days later):

Sorry for the trouble.

Would you please login our website and scan the review and forum, which are written by our kind customers. Maybe you can find something useful for the defective item, maybe just the reason why it does not work.

Thanks a lot for your patience.

A) I did this (mainly for a “good faith effort” on my part) and found customer posts requesting verification that this or that battery fit this or that product.  Awesome. Truly helpful.

B) Exactly how could a forum post make my defective battery hold more of a charge?  If such a method exists – I should want to know to use it to increase the capacity of all my batteries.

UPDATE: 12/4/08

After much feet dragging DealExtreme gave me instructions to return the defective battery.  Sent out via UPS today.

UPDATE: 1/8/09

A month later, DealExtreme had neither shipped me a replacement battery nor refunded my money. $70 and several hours of my life: toast.

Do NOT do business with this company!