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11-13-2009, 01:50 PM #1Fastmac TruePower Battery for Macbook Pro 15"
So about a year ago one of my 15" Macbook Pro's batteries was reaching the end of its life and no longer holding a charge. Stock Apple battery performance was never that good and I could pull about 2.5 hrs max off a single charge. When shopping for a new battery the Fastmac TruePower battery caught my attention with its claims of larger capacity and longer lasting advanced powercell.
I got the battery (delayed a couple months after the order because they are always out of stock) and was immediately impressed with performance. Off a single charge my Macbook Pro would run 3-3.5 hrs which was a great improvement. I was pleased with my purchase and thought I'd gotten a great battery for $30 less than Apple was selling their stock battery.
Fast forward a year later. I have quite a few batteries floating around and this one hasn't been used much. I use it only when I know I'll need that extra capacity for outings with now external power source available. So far my TruePower battery has gone through 18 charge cycles and has 96% health remaining.
The "aluminum finish" on the bottom of the battery turns out to be crap. It scratches really easily and my hardly used battery looks like a very well used battery. However this really isn't a big deal as long as the battery still performs.
And performs it does except for one major flaw. This battery is a defective piece of junk. It takes quite a bit for me to call something junk — the product has to either worry me about my laptop/phone's safety or my personal safety. My hardly used battery appears to have a self destruct timer set for 1 year. The battery has bulged out of its casing. Many laptop manufacturers in recent years have had to do massive recalls because of this issue in their laptop batteries.
I contacted the Fastmac technical support who pretty much blew me off and referred me to sales because my battery is about a month over a year old and thay aren't authorized to do anything about products over 1 year old. That's completely understandable. No problem, I contacted sales.
Sales told me "A battery w/ 18 cycles should not exhibit any swelling or bulging. This generally occurs when the battery has hit end of life due to the remaining healthy cells being so few that they are severely overworked as they attempt to do the job of a battery that originally had plenty of health."
While I completely agree that a battery with 18 cycles should not exhibit any swelling or bulging (duh) the rest of Fastmac's response doesn't inspire confidence. They are pretty much saying that batteries when used a lot will swell and bulge and that their batteries are designed to do that. What a shoddy product. There are countless batteries in mobile devices that do not swell and bulge when they get old. Swelling and bulging is not a design feature, it is a defect in product design.
Anyways they asked me to send in my battery for further review which I will do. I am of course assuming they will see this review of their sub-standard product and refuse to replace the defective battery. While that would annoy me, I wouldn't be too heartbroken because I'm not sure I want to put another defective Fastmac battery in my laptop. By the way it isn't just me. There are countless posts all over the web saying the same things about these batteries with varied amounts of usage. The entire line appears to be poorly designed and defective. Stay away. Spend that extra $$$ on a Apple battery with less capacity. At least it wont be defective (and if it is they'll most likely replace it with a non-defective unit).