Bloated Notebook Battery?

A couple of months ago, I was curious when I noticed the touchpad of my two-year old Asus notebook was somewhat uneven. Did I drop my notebook? Obviously no, as I seldom brought it out, and certainly would recall if I had bumped it. Odd. I had no recollection.

A bloated notebook battery under the touchpad
Clear and present danger lies beneath the raised touchpad!

Two weeks ago, a fellow student from a digital marketing workshop I attended, pointedly told me my notebook’s palm rest looked bloated. Batting my eyelids in disbelief, I stared at where her gaze was fixated. Tilting my notebook to eye level, the touchpad is indeed significantly raised and to its left, a new visible protrusion is clearly evident. Gosh! A bloated battery! My observant friend warned that the battery might explode at any moment. Like NOW. I quietly said a prayer under my breath for the battery not to explode, and not to die out on me. There’s a week’s worth of data, yet to be backed up to my external hard disks.

Ignorance Is Bliss… Not!

In great urgency, I whipped out my smartphone, captured the images of the apparent disfigurement of the notebook, and forwarded them to my trusty webmaster.

His verdict: DO NOT USE YOUR NOTEBOOK. Send to Asus service centre ASAP.

My verdict: USER PROBLEM = A totally ignorant idiot who leaves the notebook plugged into the wall socket all the time despite the battery being fully charged. Why didn’t I take cognisance of this important factor? Why didn’t I inculcate the good habit of not overcharging the battery? It’s too inconvenient and… Slap, slap!!

My heart sank… like a brick on the way to the bottom of the lake. The grim thought of having to spend several thousand ringgit again for a new notebook over a short two years, the hassle of having to re-install all the programmes and re-organise favourites, et al., clouded my mind. My mind wandered further and further away, and the class that’s still in session simply faded out.

Counting The Cost

The first thing on my mind was to get a new notebook, like pronto! Hewlett Packard was my first choice as my two previous HP laptops had a fairly long life span, 7 years on average. In retrospect, I did the same injustice to both HP laptops, yet the batteries lasted 3-4 years each. It was at the behest of my webmaster that I had switched to Asus. Again, it’s not the brand but user problem, I chided myself…

The HP sales person was very helpful. After comparing the SSD capacity, screen size, other specifications between HP range of 7th-generation, 8th-generation and soon to be released 9th-generation series… Sensing my hesitation, and perhaps the number crunching process, now clearly visible in my deer-in-the-headlights stare, he simply suggested to have the now-bloated battery replaced instead. It would be much CHEAPER than to invest in a new notebook in the region of MYR3,000 to MYR4,600. Well, that settles it!

Solution Is Just Around The Corner

The following morning, I took it to a modest computer repair outlet, tucked away in a corner of Perdana Shopping Centre, Damansara Perdana. A sweet, friendly and bubbly girl greeted me at the front desk. Audra was attending to a customer as I waited for my turn. After taking a look at my notebook, she reminded me that it is not safe to use my notebook. Should the bloated battery explode, the motherboard would be toasted… kaput! As I simply can’t live without my notebook, she advised to have the battery removed while they checked with their supplier on the availability of my notebook battery. It would be an OEM battery. Upon request for an estimate, she quoted MYR350 to MYR450 including labour. Sounds fair… a better bet than MYR3,500 to MYR4,500! Clearly, it was a done deal.

Super bloated notebook battery about to cause major destruction
Super bloated battery waiting to cause a major destruction.

Audra asked me to come back after fifteen minutes whilst their technician removes the battery. So I went for brunch nearby. Less than an hour later, Audra messaged me, reminding me to collect my notebook. Hey, that’s really proactive. I don’t usually get such reminders from retailers, vendors nowadays… sadly.

When I returned, Audra told me she had placed an order for me and to await her message as to when to send in my notebook again to fit the new battery. For this purpose, I needed to only pay a minimum deposit of MYR50. She promptly printed a job order which gave details of my personal particulars as well as my notebook specifications, including deposit paid.

As Good As New

A message alert on my phone broke the early morning reverie. It was Audra, telling me that the battery has arrived. That was fast. However, as I was already out of home for the day, I told her I’ll bring it in the next morning instead. MYR430, Audra confirmed the final price. Consequently, I let off a sigh of relief, not only it was affordable but also the turnaround time was quick.

Checked in my notebook promptly the next morning. The technician would need to carry out a series of system test to ensure the battery is working fine. Audra reasoned that various batches of batteries or computer parts may differ in quality hence, they have to ensure proper SOPs are conducted and conditions met after replacing the parts. The icing on the cake? The battery even came with three months warranty.

Although they accept credit cards and online payment, I settled the balance in cash. Subsequently, they emailed me a computer generated invoice and receipt, this time indicating full payment has been made. And guess what? They even attached a thank you note for my patronage. That’s it. I’m sold. I’m definitely coming back, and next time it won’t be replacing a bloated battery, I’m certain. All done within two days. Additionally, there wasn’t even a hint of damage to the touchpad or palm rest. It simply looked… like new!

Looks as good as new after battery replacement
Looks as good as new, after battery replacement.

The Smile That Makes The Difference

I bid Audra an early Selamat Hari Raya, as we parted. Her face glowed, as she smiled from ear to ear. She must be thinking, ‘Ahh… Another satisfied customer’… And you know what?… She was right…

Meet Audra, her welcoming smile soothes the soul of an already stressed-out customer
Meet Audra… Her welcoming smile soothes the soul of an already stressed-out customer.

Aside from coming to the rescue of careless (or clueless) users, who chronically neglect good battery maintenance, OK Computer Solution also provides repair services and replacement for motherboards, laptop screens, adapters and keyboards. They also sell refurbished PC and laptops. Established since 2009, and with 13 outlets throughout Malaysia, do visit OK Computer Solution to locate an outlet near you.

TIP: Upon checking with some IT experts, it is best to charge your notebook battery up to 90-95% and then let your battery deplete to some 10-15% before recharging.  It helps prolong your battery lifespan… definitely!

About Flo KHA

Backed with a solid foundation in market research, she brings to the table a wealth of knowledge in consumerism. She knows what consumers want, even when they themselves don't, and match them to their needs and wants.

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