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https://hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/2395/what-type-of-battery-should-i-get

is currently closed for being tech support. It has recently been edited to make it less tech support, but still lies within the "where should I buy" rather than "what should I buy", making it still off-topic by that reasoning.

However, I'm beginning to wonder about the subject matter too. It asks about a battery.

By our definition in What is Hardware?, I don't think that's on-topic - it's a single simple electronic component that only performs one meaningful task. It's not a PCP, and doesn't need to connect to one to work.

What do we think? Are batteries on-topic?

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Batteries seem to fall into that gray area of our scope and is both on and off topic, depending on the type of battery needed.

Off Topic Batteries

Commodity Batteries

Commodity batteries, the batteries in everything, are off topic. There is virtually no difference between a Duracell or an Energizer AA battery. These are a necessary evil to the modern world and recommending one versus the other is pointless.

On Topic Batteries

There are batteries that are on topic though. Batteries are a component of laptops, tablets, phones, etc. Without them, the device doesn't work (much like a power supply). There are often differences between batteries that are big enough to be meaningful - 6 cell versus 9 cell, is one example. Users can have battery requirements (needs to last 8 hours versus the device is always plugged in and needs to be able to handle being moved across the room). Additionally, one laptop battery doesn't fit into every laptop. They are specialized to a narrow variety of devices. These types of batteries also communicate with the device they are powering to indicate charge level and in some cases this information can be accessed directly by an advanced user with programming skills.

Batteries that are anything beyond the commodity batteries seem to be on topic.


For this specific question, with a few adjustments, I think this can be on topic. A battery for an Ultrabook is pretty narrow in scope.

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  • I was waiting for an answer to convince me one way or another. I think this does it. I am good with a quality question such as "Which of these [two or three linked] batteries (with specs in the question) should I get for my [specific model]? The asker might include info on which factor is most important to them (price, life, etc.). – JTL Mar 29 '16 at 13:02
  • In this case, the question hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/2661/… seems on-topic. Maybe it was closed before this rule about batteries was adopted. Furthermore, as seen by the upvotes and comments, there seems to be interest in this question. Last but not least, I've been in this situation before, so can provide a good answer to it. – Alex Nov 9 '18 at 12:55

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