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Ask Max: Powerbook G4 rechargeable battery loosing charge.

Asked on 11/14/2007:

I bought my PowerBook G4 about a year and a half ago, and shortly after, Apple recalled the battery. The replacement has never been quite as good as the original (it only holds a charge for a couple hours). I've done some research and have read a few posts recommending the Oncore battery as an alternative to the Apple replacement (longer life, lighter weight). What's your opinion?


Unlike all the other components of a laptop, batteries perform with uncertain results. Whether because they are a chemical-based system, or because of the variance in manufacturing, batteries' performance is difficult to predict. Two batteries bought at the same time from the same company could age differently. This is this nature of the battery and its nature makes me suspicious of claimed better performance. I think third party batteries are fine to use and I have no personal horror stories. For older laptops I would recommend a third party battery because the battery cells often are of a newer design, but for Macs only a few years old it is not likely to make that much of a difference. If the price is better for you on the Oncore battery then it would be a fine choice, but do not expect it to be noticeably superior to the Apple replacement battery.

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