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Palm battery problems?

by Longshadow / October 29, 2005 12:03 AM PDT

I've been recently looking at PDA's, and thought that Palm's devices looked good. However, I'd read of customers complaining that the battery cannot be replaced by end users, so if it fails, they're left with junk. Given how popular Palm's products are, I question the validity of this problem.

If anyone can throw in their 2 cents on this, I'd really appreciate it!


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It's true...
by John.Wilkinson / October 29, 2005 1:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Palm battery problems?

Unlike PocketPCs (where almost all batteries are easilly replaced by the user), only the Treo 650 smartphone has a replacable battery. While the rechargable batteries don't usually have major problems, if one goes on a Palm, Game Over! Your only option would be have it shipped back to Palm Inc., but if it's not still under warrenty, you might be better of simply purchasing a new PDA.

A second plus for removable batteries is that if you're on the road and you don't have a car/travel charger, you can just swap out the batteries and keep on going. In addition, you'll notice a decrease in battery performance over time, which is a normal side effect of using rechargable batteries. (I've had a Dell Axim X30 for over a year, and now when I turn it on after just coming off the charger, the power bar will drop from 100% to 93% within a minute, then dwindle down normlly with use. That's an indication it's just not holding the charge as well as it once did.) Thus, after extended use, you may want to replace the original battery even before it dies, but that's not an option with Palm.

Although it seems odd that Palm has decided not to enable the end user to replace the battery, it doesn't look like that practice will end in the near future. (Palm just released the Z22 and the TX, which also lack replacable batteries.) Just something to consider when making your next PDA purchase.

Hope this helps,

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It's not true.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 29, 2005 4:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Palm battery problems?
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It's restrictive, but not the end of the world
by ackmondual / October 31, 2005 12:55 PM PST
In reply to: Palm battery problems?

In many cases, you should never have any problems with the battery. Good news is the battery should last a long time. If you're battery dies before your warranty is up, send it in the have the battery replaced for free. Note that most but not all warranties cover free battery replacement and free shipping. Some may require you to pay for shipping one or round trip.

Bad news is that it may outlast your warranty, unless you've extended it to 2 to 3+ years by PalmOne or another vendor. If something like this happens, you have several options, send it back to Palm, but pay for shipping and $125 'repair fee'. You could also send it to a 3rd party group to do the same thing. Else, you could go to places like to purchase a spare battery. They'll have instructions (screenshots, and in unusual cases, perhaps video clips too) and maybe even provide the any required extra tools to swap the battery yourself. The idea is that at this point, your warranty is up so even if this will void your warranty, nothing ventured, nothing gained

Sure, if you're the unusual case where your battery goes out in mission critical cases, on vacation... then that certainly sucks and I would feel for any1 in this case. But frankly, I'd like to think that other issues may be at fault too. Bad screen, faulty circuitry, ..... stuff that PPC users will also go through.

As far as the validity of this concern goes, you're BOTH right. If the lack of user replaceable battery were such a big concern, Palm would've been down to MUCH lower than roughly half and half with PPC as far as the marketshare is concerned. Plenty of ppl are still using Palm devices. Some are quite happy, others aren't quite so but stay with Palm (or away from PPC in retrospect) for their own reasons.
Just think, ALL types of ipods don't have user replaceable batteries, but Apple is still selling them in droves. And they ain't ''invulnerable'' in this same regard either. You may have heard of ''ipod's dirty secret''. Their litium ion batteries will also near their life cycles end after the standard warranty, initially forcing users to shell out hundreds of $$ for replacement ipods. Ipod now offers $100 to send in your ipod to have the battery replaced. Not much better than Palm in the sense that you're paying 40% of the purchase price to have the battery replaced. You could alternatively pay $50 and do the labor part of it yourself.

Lack of user replaceable battery (URB) can't be ignored either. Quite a few folks have switched to PPC from Palm for the replaceable batteries. Again, some very willingly happily, others bitter about it and wishing Palm had done this too but find this feature too important to pass up. This leads to the cons of no URB. On the road by car, you'll need to purchase a car charger. By train or plane, if you're lucky, u'll have access to an outlet. Else, you'll have to purchase portable, on the road travel charger that CAN charge away from power outlets.

Depending on your occupation and lifestyle, if you can access your cradle/power cable at least once a day (office, school, home, whatever), then you should be fine as far as power management goes for most Palm models under moderate to moderately-heavy usage. If you use a Tungsten T3, this handheld's higher specs eats up battery quicker, so you'll need to recharge more often compared to other handhels. If this heavy usage also includes bluetooth, and/or especially wifi, you may have to charge more than once a day as you may end up using 100% to 175% of your full charge per day.
Ipods are exceptions to this of course. An 8 to 20 hour battery life would be insufficient to only the most hard core music listeners. (PDAs in comparison can last anywhere from 3.5 to 8 hours)

And yeah, i wouldn't hold your breathe on Palm coming out with a new model with URB. Palm likes to do it b/c it saves them $$. Unfortunately, as a small company, they need all the $$ they could get.

As far as this affecting your decision, it should be a larger concern only if you travel alot or away from power sources AND will use your PDA alot (wich doesn't affect most of us). Else, really look into Palm OS and PPC.... their hardware, OS, software to make a decision

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PALM Tungsten E battery
by stanishr / November 8, 2005 3:48 AM PST
In reply to: Palm battery problems?

About a year ago I bought a Tungsten E after owning a Palm III (months on removable AAA batteries) and A Handspring Visor Platinum (weeks on removeable AAA - days on rechargable & removable AAA batteries). The Tungsten E looked great but could not survive overnight without losing its charge and all the data. I gave up on it for a year and then tried replacing the battery. I did it myself, using an aftermarket battery - all that's available. After a very tedious porcedure of opening the case, unsoldering the battery and getting the case together it works no better than before. Very frustrating. Will not buy another without a respectable battery life (over one week) or user replaceable batteries.

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Overnight? You had a warranty issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 8, 2005 4:22 AM PST

But some never make the call. Just being curious, why didn't you let your warranty replace the defective unit?


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hmmm, that ain't right
by ackmondual / November 8, 2005 7:04 AM PST

I'm assuming this is overnight with the unit off, but not charging in the cradle?

If so, then no, it ain't right. I accidentally left my T|T3 screen on overnight (damn portable keyboard driver inteferred with the T|3's auto off). Found it next morning with the low battery indicator warning. Nice to know it was still alive albeit barely.

T|E definately has better batt life than the T|T3. Wass your T|E purchased used by any chance? As Profitt mentioned, there could be a defect with the battery

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