I'd been limping my 15 inch MacBook Pro battery along for nearly almost two years when it finally gave up the ghost. I knew it was going bad for quite some time, but I kept putting off buying a new one simply because I was having a hard time justifying the $150 price tag that Apple puts on them. If you've got an Apple product yourself, you likely understand the abnormally high prices associated with this company - and the worst part is that batteries are not covered under the Apple Care warranty because, as the company says, they are considered "consumable parts with limited lifespans."
So when my laptop battery finally bit the bullet and made running my machine completely impossible, I went against conventional wisdom and bought a generic, non-apple product for a mere $35. I figured at this price it was a worthy experiment: Worst case scenario I'm out 35 bucks and still need battery, but best case scenario: My computer could run fine and I'll actually save about $115.
There is a lot of junk on the computer aftermarket, and plenty of less-than-reputable companies are out there trying to lure folks to their unacceptable products by empty guarantees and super low prices. You've heard the saying, "You get what you pay for"? Well, I've got my own saying, "If you do enough homework, you just might find an amazing bargain."
So I did my homework and ended up buying:
Trust me, I didn't just jump right into the first generic battery I could find. I spent hours reading reviews on the Apple forums, other computer forums, people's review blogs and even some of those consumer satisfaction rating sites. And while this particular battery didn't necessarily please everybody, it did seem to have the highest overall ratings amongst those who actually bought it.
I ordered mine after reading the Reviews On Amazon. They were primarily positive, more so than any of the other aftermarket batteries, and the ones that were the most negative were mostly people arguing that "Anything that isn't pure Apple is stupid and that you should only buy from the company itself." To me, that screamed "Bias." So I placed my order, paid a few extra bucks for expedited shipping (which is optional, it's just that I was in emergency mode because I needed it fast - I think standard shipping is just a few dollars, and sometimes you can even catch a "free shipping sale" on Amazon and not pay a thing).
How Has My Aftermarket MacBook Pro Battery Worked Out?
I haven't noticed a single difference between this one and the original one that I replaced. The computer runs the exact same way it did before, I'm not getting any error messages and I haven't had any catastrophic failures, or even any minor ones for that matter.
In fact the only difference I've noticed is that it actually holds a charge for longer than 15 minutes when it's not on the charger - and that's a very good difference, if you ask me.
Speaking of which, the battery life is about the same as I remember the original battery having when I first bought the computer. Obviously I haven't timed anything with a stopwatch, but generally speaking I'm not noticing any difference between this new one and the old one (when the old one was new).
Not Perfect, But Pretty Darn Close - Dollar-For-Dollar Better Than An Apple Battery
However, I should warn you that this battery doesn't fit exactly perfect in the laptop's battery slot. It's a teeny, tiny bit smaller in every dimension, and the slider latch sticks out a little farther than the original one did. Plus it's a slightly different color. For me, these differences aren't worth a five times increase in price, especially since my computer is already 2.5 years old as it is (that's ancient in computer years).
But when I say that it's a bit smaller, it doesn't mean that it will fall out or even jiggle around. The difference is very miniscule, and you'll only notice it because there is a very tiny gap around the battery holder edge that isn't there with the original Apple battery. It's not like it's going to fall out or even move around - but it is there, so if that's the kind of thing that will bug you, this might not be for you.
And regarding the slider sticking a little farther out than the original, it doesn't extend past the computer's corner feet, so you won't scratch up your desk or table. In fact, the difference is marginal, I just wanted to point it out in the name of pure honesty.
A Bad Battery Can Ruin Your MacBook Pro AC Adapter
Most people don't realize that a bum battery can actually burn your AC Adapter / Battery Charger. Without getting to technical, let's just say that when a battery begins wearing out, it has more and more difficulty maintaining a completely full charge. And since a charger will send current into the battery anytime it senses that it's not at 100 percent, it will run almost constantly.
And like any piece of electronic machinery, any time something runs continuously, it runs the risk of wearing out faster.
That's what happened to me. Twice. That's how I first learned that my original battery was going bad in the first place. My adapter stopped working and I took it in to my local Mac Store. They explained that bad batteries will wear them out faster, and ran a diagnostic on my laptop batter. Sure enough, it was going bad - but at that point it wasn't horrible, so I opted instead for a new Mac brand AC Adapter to the tune of $80.
It lasted a little bit longer than a year (the warranty only covers one year, so I was up a creek) before going out on me. So instead of buying another one, knowing that my battery was getting worse and worse anyway - you can't do much work away from the wall when your battery only lasts 10 to 15 minutes per charge - I decided to bite the bullet and get a new battery. Which brings me full circle to choosing this discount one.
I also purchased a Cheap MacBook Pro 85 watt Power Adapter for 30 some bucks rather than the $80 Apple replacement product, but that's a whole new article in and of itself.
Save Money On A Cheap MacBook Pro Battery
In my opinion, and based on my results, it's simply not worth shelling out the extra money for the Apple name. Now if you've got Apple Care and it will cover your parts, then by all means go for it. But if you're like me, trying to limp along an aging computer and can't justify the price markups, then I'd highly recommend at least considering a cheap MacBook pro battery instead.