HP to debut Sonata batteries

December 11, 2008 | 12:58

Tags: #battery #laptop #li-ion

Companies: #hewlett-packard #hp

If you're more worried about the overall lifespan of a laptop battery than how many hours per charge you get, take a look at the result of a three-year collaboration between Hewlett-Packard and Boston Power.

Dubbed Sonata, the new lithium-ion batteries are designed to be significantly longer lasting than their traditional counterparts. With traditional laptop batteries, you can expect to get around a hundred and fifty charge-discharge cycles before the capacity takes a nosedive through the floor. According to CNet, laptops equipped with these new Sonata gizmos can expect to still get around 80 percent capacity even after a thousand charges.

Due to hit the market as an additional cost – around $30 (around £20) more than a traditional battery – add-on for HP laptops under the brand name 'Enviro', the batteries come with a three-year warranty attached and no need for a BIOS update or change to the system in order to take advantage of them.

The reason behind the brand name is simple: as well as reducing waste by making a single battery last several times as long before it needs replacing, the new units use no PVC or cadmium, arsenic, or mercury in their manufacturer. They're also recyclable when they inevitably do run out of steam, and use a special alloy to contain the volatile innards which the company claims is less likely to split in the event of a fire compared with traditional iron-encased Li-Ion batteries.

Founder and chief executive officer of Boston Power Christina Lampe-Onnerud hopes that the Sonata will “change the appetite for sustainable products [-] instead of purchasing something expendable, they can have something that lasts.

The company is in talks with other manufacturers regarding getting the Sonata out for non-HP laptops, as well as looking into developing a small portable unit for use as an emergency gadget charger.

Do you think that the Sonata could be the breakthrough gadgetphiles have been waiting for, or is the problem of battery capacity drop off being exaggerated? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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