After some sites reported that Dell was shipping 24Whr batteries with the Inspiron Mini 9 netbook in lieu of the advertised 32Whr units, I explained why we need better battery standards for mobile devices. I still feel we need future clarity on this front, although there’s some current clarification from Dell on the batteries they’re shipping. Here’s the official word we received from Dell:
“The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is configured with and has never shipped with anything but 32WH batteries. A third party test program being used in the field doesn’t properly program every vendor’s battery to report power (versus current) capabilities, and so your battery utility is not properly reporting the actual battery capacity. We have confirmed this and all packs are 4-cell 32Whr, and will deliver more than 4 hours of battery life in typical usage.”
Based on that statement, it sounds like Dell is shipping batteries with the advertised capacity. The issue looks to have originated by how some third-party programs are reporting the battery capacity, battery firmware and how some owners were reading and calculating results. Additional testing of actual run-times using the “KR” labeled and the “CR” labeled batteries are showing nearly identical run-times in the now-locked thread at the MyDellMini forums. There aren’t any reports of Mini 9 owners getting “more than 4 hours of battery life”, but we all know expected run-times quoted from device manufacturers aren’t always accurate.