5 Step: Laptop Upgrades You Can Do Yourself

Your notebook may be old, but that doesn't mean its days are numbered. We'll show you how to breathe new life into your portable by opening the hood and upgrading some basic components.

Want better performance from your laptop? The conventional wisdom has long held that you should simply buy a new one. You can put such conventional wisdom aside: Upgrading a laptop may not be for the timid or the impatient, but if you're handy with a screwdriver, and the sight of a circuit board doesn't scare you, an upgrade can be a far more affordable solution.

We took tools to hand and worked our way through eight common (and not so common) laptop upgrades, in some instances stripping our test machines--a Dell Inspiron E1505 and a Dell Inspiron 6000--down to the bare chassis. We can't fit complete step-by-step, unscrew-this-and-unplug-that instructions for everything into this article, but we can provide tips to help with each process.

And note that every laptop varies: Even machines from the same vendor can have very different designs and therefore wildly different disassembly methods.

Before you start, keep these essential points in mind:

* Many of these upgrades will void your laptop's warranty.
* Some upgrades can damage your laptop. If you are at all uncomfortable with such tinkering, leave it to a pro.
* Most vendors provide disassembly instructions in their products' service manuals, which can usually be found on their Web sites' support sections.
* Unplug your laptop and remove the battery before attempting any upgrade. Also, to avoid damage from static electricity, use a grounded wrist strap.
* You'll need a collection of small screwdrivers, including flathead, Phillips, and possibly even Torx.
* Speaking of screws, keep them organized as you remove them. We like to use Dixie cups for each step. Just write "LCD assembly" or "keyboard" or whatever on each cup as you go, to help you remember which screws go where.
* Pay special attention to wiring. Laptops have intricate channels where the wiring must run; stray wiring may get pinched or may prevent other parts from fitting together correctly.
* No matter what machine you're working on, first upgrade your BIOS. You'll need up-to-date BIOS code to support many newer components.
* Not every laptop component can be upgraded. Some may be soldered or otherwise permanently attached

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Laptop battery fire risk

Find a fire risk article of Apple and Dell laptop battery from the net again, although the battery recall enent of Dell and Apple company have past almost 2 yrs.

Actual, all the battery distributor (incl.battery replacement distributors) have very cared the battery overheat and overcharge after the recall, battery teams protection circle plate has also been strictly examine by all kinds of electronic instruments. We can use li-ion battery safely now. You can find all the below recalled dell laptop battery and Apple laptop battery models at

Dell laptop batteries:

* Latitude (D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, D810)
* Inspiron (500M, 510M, 600M, 700M, 710M, 6000, 6400, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 9400, E1505, E1705)
* Precision mobile workstation (M20, M60, M70, M90)
* XPS (XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170, XPS M1710)

Apple laptop Batteries:

Apple has recalled batteries packs sold with some models of iBook and PowerBook computers worldwide between October 2003 and August 2006. The batteries were also sold separately.

Apple has received reports of batteries overheating, causing minor burns and property damage.

The affected batteries were used with:

* 12-inch iBook G4 (A1061)
* 12-inch PowerBook G4 (A1079)
* 15-inch PowerBook G4 (A1078 and A1148)

Battery Life

Points about battery life from

1. Exercise the battery monthly. They stagnate if not used regularly. Battery University states the exercise is needed after every 30 charges (cycles). Apple is likely trying to simplify so I go with the 30 (partial) cycles as I don't use it as frequently.
2. If not to be used in the near future, discharge it to 40 - 66% and store in refrigerator (NOT FREEZER; keep above 0°C/32°F). I keep my extra battery there and warm it then charge it for flights.
3. Never allow to fully discharge and leave at that state. This is what likely killed the camcorder battery for Herman. Canon (mine is a ZR50) states to remove the battery from the camcorder when not in use as it will discharge it even if in off position.
4. Avoid leaving it plugged into the charger for prolonged periods such as sitting at a desk for weeks. Though I believe it's the least problematic, Li-ion batteries don't like being at a fully charged state for long periods either. As Herman said, it's best to use them or they will crystallize and lose life.

It is useful for laptop battery, camcorder battery and more.


Battery for IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T60 T60p R60 R60e Z60m Z61e Z61m Z61p Series

Good news: New replacement for IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T60 T60p R60 R60e Z60m Z61e Z61m Z61p Series laptop battery has arrived in USA and UK stock.

Leading IBM/lenovo Thinkpad T60 battery, strict quality standards, consistent, high-capacity and durable batteries. This battery is designed for the interested ibm thinkpad T60 series systems. It can be complete compatibility with IBM Thinkpad T60p R60 R60e Z60m Z61e Z61m Z61p series laptops.

Lenovo/IBM Thinkpad battery 4800mAh 10.80V for IBM ThinkPad T60 series: 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 2007 2008 2009 2613 2623 2637, IBM ThinkPad T60p series: 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 2007 2008 2009 2613 2623 2637 Series, IBM ThinkPad R60 series, incl. 9455 9456 9457 9458 9459 9460 9461 9462 9463 9464, IBM ThinkPad R60e 0656 0657 0658 0659, IBM ThinkPad Z60m series: 2529 2530 2531 2532, IBM ThinkPad Z61e 0672 0673 0674 9450 9451 9452 9453, IBM ThinkPad Z61m series: 0672 0673 0674 9450 9451 9452 9453, IBM ThinkPad Z61p series: 0672 0673 0674 9450 9451 9452 9453, black, 205.25 x 79.50 x 21.10 mm size, 445.00g.

You can choose the proper models for your thinkpad laptop.
IBM ThinkPad R60 9455 , IBM ThinkPad R60 9456 , IBM ThinkPad R60 9457 , IBM ThinkPad R60 9458 , IBM ThinkPad R60 9459 , IBM ThinkPad R60 9460 , IBM ThinkPad R60 9461 , IBM ThinkPad R60 9462 , IBM ThinkPad R60 9463 , IBM ThinkPad R60 9464 , IBM ThinkPad R60 Series , IBM ThinkPad R60e 0656 , IBM ThinkPad R60e 0657 , IBM ThinkPad R60e 0658 , IBM ThinkPad R60e 0659 , IBM ThinkPad R60e Series , IBM ThinkPad T60 1951 , IBM ThinkPad T60 1952 , IBM ThinkPad T60 1953 , IBM ThinkPad T60 1954 , IBM ThinkPad T60 1955 , IBM ThinkPad T60 1956 , IBM ThinkPad T60 2007 , IBM ThinkPad T60 2008 , IBM ThinkPad T60 2009 , IBM ThinkPad T60 2613 , IBM ThinkPad T60 2623 , IBM ThinkPad T60 2637 , IBM ThinkPad T60 Series , IBM ThinkPad T60p 1951 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 1952 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 1953 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 1954 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 1955 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 1956 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 2007 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 2008 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 2009 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 2613 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 2623 , IBM ThinkPad T60p 2637 , IBM ThinkPad T60p Series , IBM ThinkPad Z60m 2529 , IBM ThinkPad Z60m 2530 , IBM ThinkPad Z60m 2531 , IBM ThinkPad Z60m 2532 , IBM ThinkPad Z60m Series , IBM ThinkPad Z61e , IBM ThinkPad Z61e 0672 , IBM ThinkPad Z61e 0673 , IBM ThinkPad Z61e 0674 , IBM ThinkPad Z61e 9450 , IBM ThinkPad Z61e 9451 , IBM ThinkPad Z61e 9452 , IBM ThinkPad Z61e 9453 , IBM ThinkPad Z61e Series , IBM ThinkPad Z61m , IBM ThinkPad Z61m 0672 , IBM ThinkPad Z61m 0673 , IBM ThinkPad Z61m 0674 , IBM ThinkPad Z61m 9450 , IBM ThinkPad Z61m 9451 , IBM ThinkPad Z61m 9452 , IBM ThinkPad Z61m 9453 , IBM ThinkPad Z61m Series , IBM ThinkPad Z61p , IBM ThinkPad Z61p 0672 , IBM ThinkPad Z61p 0673 , IBM ThinkPad Z61p 0674 , IBM ThinkPad Z61p 9450 , IBM ThinkPad Z61p 9451 , IBM ThinkPad Z61p 9452 , IBM ThinkPad Z61p 9453 , IBM ThinkPad Z61p Series


Nikon EN-EL3E battery and charger

Nikon EN-EL3E battery and Nikon EN-EL3E charger is very good in deed. Many favourite advanced DSLR Nikon D100 D200 D50 D70 D70s D80 cameras can use it.

# Product Brand : Nikon digital camera battery
# P/N Number : EN-EL3E
# Replacement battery : Nikon EN-EL3E ...
# Battery Type : Li-ion
# Voltage : 7.4V(Compatible with 7.2V)
# Capacity : 1500mAh
# Color : Black
# Dimension : 39.5X56X21MM
# Net Weight : 80g
# Item Number : EDNK012K

# Item Number: EGNK010K-L
# P/N Number : Nikon EN-EL3E Charger
# Charger Type: Li-ion Battery Charger
# Input: AC 100V-240V, 300mA, 50/60Hz
# Output: DC 12V, 500mA


Battery for Dell Inspiron 700m/ 710m Laptops

Portable Dell inspiron Models

Inspiron 700m
Unlike Dell's traditionall black or grey color scheme, this laptop case featured a silver, white, and black design. Measuring under 2 inches thick and having a 12.1-inch TrueLife screen, the laptop was a departure from previous versions. However, without the extended battery, life was short, and the 12.1-inch screen was a dust magnet. The base model had a 1.5 GHz Pentium M processor, 256 MB (256 MiB) of RAM, a 30 GB (30 billion bytes) HD, and a DVD optical drive.

Many users report two major flaws with the 700m: the audio-input quality, where audio recording using the audio input jack is nearly impossible, and severed speaker wires caused from the normal use of opening and closing the screen.

Inspiron 710m
An important upgrade from the previous Inspiron 700m, which fixed the serious audio-input quality issues, a base Inspiron 710m is shipped with a 1.7 GHz (upgradable to 2.0 GHz) Intel Pentium M processor and a 12.1-inch XGA wide-screen monitor as well as DDR memory. Based on the first generation Centrino platform Carmel, the internal components are now outdated. In comparison with other Inspiron models, the 710m is the most portable laptop of the Dell Inspiron line combining a good mix of processing power and style.

Recommend extra and replacement batteries for them:
Dell inspiron 700M battery
Dell inspiron 710M battery


Dell Inspiron 6000

An extremely high native resolution of 1920 by 1200 helps this Dell notebook stand out from the crowd.

You can see more on the Dell Inspiron 6000's wide screen than on most other 15.4-inch displays thanks to its WUXGA resolution of 1920 by 1200 pixels. In fact, you can work with higher-resolution photographs, more spreadsheet columns, and more tiled documents simultaneously on the Inspiron 6000 than you can on some 17-inch wide screens. (The Inspiron 6000 is also available with a 1280-by-800-pixel WXGA screen or a 1680-by-1050-pixel WSXGA+ screen for $150 less or $50 less, respectively.)

This 6000 has a lot more going for it than just its extra-high-resolution screen. We didn't test the 6000's standard six-cell battery; but we did test the nine-cell battery (a $99 option), and it lasted an impressive 5 hours and 7 minutes on one charge, making the 6000 an excellent candidate for the road--if you don't mind its 7.5-pound weight (sans power adapter). An extra-fancy external power gauge helps you keep track of when you'll need to recharge. It's also a good idea to get a Dell inspiron 6000 battery for replacement or backup.

The Inspiron 6000 is a smoothly designed, handsome laptop with a sloped front and cream-colored trim. Our unit had a multiformat DVD burner, plus FireWire and TV-out ports and four USB 2.0 ports, all placed for easy use. The 6000 accepts user upgrades easily. Like many laptops, it has two memory slots located in a compartment on the bottom of the laptop. But instead of residing in dovetailed slots, the modules lie side by side--an unusual arrangement that makes them more accessible than most. The hard drive is a breeze to remove, too: Just unscrew its bottom panel and tug the drive out through the right side of the case. Though the optical drive doesn't have a lever for popping it out, you can boost it out by its lower edge after removing a security screw on the bottom of the case.

The 6000 disappointed us in only a few areas. We missed having an external switch for controlling Wi-Fi scanning (you have to use a software utility instead). And the 6000's memory card reader accepts only Secure Digital cards for exchanging data with PDAs, cameras, and other digital equipment, leaving Memory Sticks, CompactFlash cards, and other media incompatible.

Our biggest reservation, however, relates to the Inspiron's keyboard. The layout is typical of a Dell portable--well designed and roomy--except that is buried in a cluster of -size keys. Two big, easy-to-press mouse buttons complement the touchpad. But the keys on our test unit were so stiff initially that we had to type forcefully. As we continued to type, the keyboard seemed to limber up, and we made fewer mistakes. But we still felt that we had to type more carefully than usual, not a good omen for a long-term relationship with a keyboard. If possible, try out the keyboard before buying.

You'll like the 6000's panel of dedicated CD controls and its surprisingly good stereo sound. (Only one other model in our roundup, the Fujitsu LifeBook N6010, offered better audio.) There's no instant-on button for playing discs without using Windows, but you can play CDs while the lid is closed, because the music buttons and speaker outlets remain exposed. Pressing one of the buttons momentarily lights the entire music panel's bright blue LEDs, a helpful feature in dark environments.

The 2-GHz Pentium M 760-equipped review unit did well in our speed tests, earning a WorldBench 5 score of 89, about 8 percent above the average for systems equipped with the same processor.

An Acrobat manual on the hard drive covers the 6000 thoroughly, right down to coverage of how to install new screen hinges and a new keyboard.

Upshot: With its extra-high-resolution screen and terrific built-in speakers, the Inspiron 6000 would be ideal for getting work done or watching movies.