HP offers laptop batteries guaranteed to last for 3 years

Hewlett-Packard Co. today will begin selling laptop batteries that are guaranteed to last for three years.

The batteries use Sonata cells from Boston Power Inc., a start-up battery maker that has developed a lithium-ion battery that can last for 1,000 charging cycles without degrading. That's about two to three times more than a typical lithium-ion battery. In addition, the Sonata batteries will charge to 80% of their capacity in 30 minutes, which is faster than most other lithium-ion batteries.

Starting today, HP will offer the batteries through its online store for 18 models in its consumer laptop line. The machines represent about 70% of all consumer laptops sold by HP.

And later in March, they'll be available to customers buying new PCs.

The computer maker plans to call the batteries "Enviro," which highlights their "green" credentials. Longer-lasting batteries mean that fewer or no replacements need to be bought, so waste is reduced, and they could even help extend the useful life of old machines. The batteries themselves also contain no polyvinyl chloride and have earned the Nordic Ecolabel certification.

Recycling of the batteries will be handled by HP through the same channels it currently uses.

The batteries will cost $150, which is about $20 more than most of the replacement batteries listed by HP.

For now, they won't be available on HP's business laptops, but Christina Lampe-Onnerud, CEO of Boston Power, said that talks continue with HP and that she hopes that they will come to more of the company's laptops.

The deal with HP to sell the new batteries represents the first validation of Boston Power's technology from a major laptop vendor. The Westboro, Mass.-based company was founded in 2005 and produces its batteries in China and Taiwan.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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