Laptop battery I just received is higher voltage, is that OK?
April 10, 2010 4:41 AM   Subscribe

The replacement laptop battery I just received is listed as 14.8v while the one I use is listed as 11.1v. Both are 5200mah. Can I use this new battery without harming my laptop?

I bought a generic laptop battery, the battery model number listed on the invoice is not what was shipped. Nonetheless, the supplier says my Gateway laptop can run on this battery: "Dear customer
dont worry both voltage 14.8v 14.4 11.1 and 10.8v battery is compatible with your laptop, we do sell many battery of this model already."
They also said:
"SQU-516 and SQU-413 is share the same part number, they are compatible, do you try it ? it should work for your computer, thanks"
Does this sound valid?
posted by Runcible Spoon to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Generally speaking, matching voltage is much more important than matching amperage.

It is possible that your laptop supports more than one voltage, however. All that would mean is that there is some internal voltage regulation after the battery.

Personally, I would take the chance only after some more investigation. Can you find the batteries they refer to, or can you find the Gateway replacement products? Are they different voltages?
posted by fake at 5:32 AM on April 10, 2010

Digging further, I found a page at (linked from with both 11.1v and 14.4v batteries for my laptop.
The specifications page for my laptop mentions several different batteries but does not specify voltage. Gateway doesn't sell parts for this 5 year old laptop anymore.
So I am tempted to give it a try unless I hear a good reason not to.
posted by Runcible Spoon at 6:49 AM on April 10, 2010

If it supplies a different voltage than your laptop is expecting, you're probably going to fry your laptop. In that your current battery supplies a different voltage, it sounds pretty likely that it is expecting 11.1v and this experiment could destroy your laptop. Is it worth it?

Confirmation Link 1
"Can I use a battery which has a different voltage rating than my original battery?
No, the voltage rating has to match that of the original battery or as recommended by the computer manual. Using a battery with a different voltage setting can damage the laptop."

Confirmation Link 2
"Will a higher milliamp (mAh) rating on my battery damage my laptop?
No. Higher mAh ratings indicate that your battery will last longer. Although the milliamps may be higher, the voltage will always remain the same. If you have received a laptop battery that has a completely different voltage than your original laptop battery, please contact us immediately. "
posted by Jupiter Jones at 8:00 AM on April 10, 2010

The voltage regulator chips used could easily have a wide enough input range to make all of the voltages listed in the initial post possible and usable.

The laptop specs page you point to refer to four different types of batteries, which would jive with the four voltages mentioned. The original manufacturer would want to build in some flexibility to allow for replacement options, and on what individual users want and could afford.

I'd use the replacement battery.
posted by HannoverFist at 8:47 AM on April 10, 2010

I think that the specification page for your laptop hints that it is okay when it recommends an 8 cell battery.

According to the above links, the voltage of a lithium ion cell is about 3.7 volts. The 8 cell battery is probably 4 cells in parallel with another 4 cells. Four 3.7 volt cells in series would make 14.8 volts (3.7*4).

I agree with HannoverFist that the voltage regulator is probably designed to accommodate many voltages.

On a side note, it bothers me that a battery store would refer to mAh as a power rating. mAh is a unit for current multiplied by time, which is a unit of charge and not power.
posted by UsernameGenerator at 9:02 AM on April 10, 2010

Well, the battery didn't work: I got a flashing red light where the charging light indicates the battery is charging, and the BIOS setup page said it was over voltage. The merchant suggested a BIOS upgrade, but the computer was a Gateway sold through their professional division, this division was sold to another company, and no BIOS flash for Windows XP was available.
I returned the battery (had to pay postage) and they credited my account
posted by Runcible Spoon at 3:23 PM on May 31, 2010

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