As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I recently acquired a 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4 and now have it fully set up and working like a charm. However, like most older laptops, the battery that came with it was for all intents and purposes dead.
iStat Pro reported the battery health to be around 30%. In real world usage, I found that it would charge up fully with no problems, and would then run down linearly, at about the expected rate, until it go to around the 50% mark. It would then plummet precipitously to around 7% in almost the blink of an eye. More than once I had the experience of turning away from the PowerBook when the battery level was around 50%, and then turning back only moments later to find the battery now down to 5% and a critical battery level warning showing! This was not good!
Let’s keep in mind that first and foremost, the PowerBook G4 is a laptop. Portability is a key attribute of a laptop, and to be meaningfully portable, a laptop needs to have meaningful battery life. If this is not the case, it becomes simply a small computer physically tethered to a power cord. This is NOT what I was looking for, and so I set out in search of a new battery for my new acquisition.
To be sure, there are LOTS of PowerBook G4 compatible batteries still available on eBay, even this many years after the machine debuted. However, the age and health of a lot of them were somewhat suspect, and then there was a whole series of offers from dubious looking vendors located in problematic parts of the globe. On balance, it seemed to me that buying a new PowerBook G4 battery on eBay looked an awful lot like a great way to throw away money. I decided to check out more conventional suppliers!
I am happy to report that Amazon had a great product available in this category. I bought two of them, and could not be more pleased with my purchase. Below is the Amazon page for the purchase, with all the details.
Quite aside from being certified as a NEW battery, this product is also the larger capacity 5200 mAh size, which is what Apple was providing with this last generation of PowerBook G4s. 4400 mAh batteries seem to be “a dime a dozen” out there, but why go for a smaller capacity battery? Larger capacity equals longer run time, something that most laptop owners are looking for.
I have been using these new batteries for several weeks now, and they are performing very well. I get about 3 hours of run time from a full charge and iStat Pro reports the battery health at 99% or thereabouts. This implies that these will be healthy batteries for some time to come. CWK Technology, the manufacturer, is a small American company that takes enough pride in their product to have sent me a follow on survey to ensure that I was pleased with their batteries. From my perspective that augers well for the battery’s capacity and longevity, nicely in line with the expectations established by the good run time and the iStat Pro readings.
All in all, this has been a good purchase, and has returned my PowerBook G4 to its original full usefulness. If you are looking for a new battery for your PowerBook G4 laptop, I can unreservedly recommend the CWK Technology brand. There are a lot of “crap batteries” (as one reviewer I read called them) out there, so you need to be careful when selecting one. Since I have had a good experience with CWK Technology, I thought I would pass this information along, in case it might be of help to one of you.
As always when endorsing a vendor, let me state for the record that I have no affiliation with CWK Technology at all, except as a satisfied customer.