My old laptop battery is part of the 7-minute club. When fully-charged, it has a lifetime of 7 minutes, compared to its original lifetime of 3 hours. Given that the laptop is more than three years old, and the abuse I put it through, the lifetime is understandable.
An example: I used to play Command and Conquer (RA3) and Neverwinter Nights 2 on it, and I noticed that there was a substantial temperature increase compared to normal operation. I learned later that heat degrades batteries, and that it was a good idea to remove the battery when you plan to leave your computer connected to the wall socket. But I learned that too late.
Since I had extra cash, I decided to go to hot toyz yesterday afternoon to see if I could get my laptop battery repacked. A repacking involves opening the old battery pack, and then replacing the old cells with new cells. My brother suggested it as a cheaper alternative to getting a new battery, but I kept on postponing it. Unfortunately, I learned that they didn't provide that service anymore.
I did learn that they had spare batteries, and because a repack would involve going to Gilmore Avenue ( a 15 minute bike ride from Quezon Avenue), as well as waiting a week and then going back to Gilmore to reclaim the repacked battery, I decided to get a new battery instead, after learning what the price was. I was lucky that they had it on stock, and the cost was PhP 4 K (around 90 US$). I knew that the going price was at that figure ( I asked when I last visited Gilmore Avenue) so I decided to buy it. It was twice the cost of a battery repack, but it meant not waiting for a week.
I tested the new battery yesterday, and it did last for two and a half hours. It was initially charged to 75% of capacity, and I wanted to discharge the battery before recharging it again. I'm happy it works as expected, and that I could now use my old laptop even at places with no nearby electrical sockets. Although my old laptop is bigger than my new netbook, there are things I could do on it, like photo-editing, that I couldn't do on the netbook. Now that the battery is alright again, my old laptop is no longer a portable desktop computer.