Laptops get their portable power from a battery attached to the computer. Two common battery types, the 6-cell and the 9-cell, vary in strength, function and cost. Comparing the two will help you decide which is best for your laptop.
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The main difference between the two batteries is how long they hold a charge. While charge times vary according to battery quality, computer hardware and use, a 6-cell battery charge commonly lasts two to four hours while a 9-cell battery charge can last from four to seven hours.
Incorporating six smaller batteries, 6-cells are about two-thirds the size of 9-cells, which have nine smaller batteries. A 9-cell battery may feel uncomfortably bulky on a smaller laptop.
As of July 2010, a 6-cell battery costs between $60 and $100; a 9-cell battery typically goes for between $100 and $200.
Your battery's longevity depends on your computer's hardware and how you use the computer. For example, a 6-cell battery may last three to four hours on a small 10-inch netbook. On a 17-inch gaming laptop, it might last only half that time.
Whether you go with a 6-cell or a 9-cell, make sure it's lithium-ion or a similar newer battery technology. Older battery types, such as nickel cadmium, are lower quality, hold less charge and could explode if charged improperly.