One badass apple...

Apple is ruining the whole barrel when it comes to batteries.It started with the power source for the iPod and now it is spreading through the laptops.

Batteries that cannot be replaced by the average user is the trade-off that has to made to get the super-slim good looks and lightness of the MacBook Pro or the Air. Now, the rest of the field is following Apple’s lead as Asus, Dell and Samsung turn the same way and it’s almost certain the same will be true of the MacBook Mini.

It may seem like a sinister plot to squeeze more money out of punters but the manufacturers claim that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Apple argues that the new lithium-polymer battery offers a longer life both in operation (up to 8hrs) and when recharging (1,000 charging cycles). The £139 charged for replacing the battery actually sounds reasonable if the battery truly lasts five years because, barring faults, it may never need replacing.

Battery performance tends to deteriorate over time and a laptop may run out of power more rapidly as the battery ages. It depends when this reaches a personal tolerance level as to when the battery actually needs to be replaced.

When a battery fails, the computer has to be returned to the manufacturer or its agents. Even if you live near a service centre, the chances are that you’ll be deprived of your computer for a while and this could be inconvenient. At present, with replaceable batteries, at least you can use the computer via the mains adaptor until a replacement battery arrives.

One question that any company ordering a fleet of super-sleek computers has to ask is what are the security implications. What happens when it is returned to base with sensitive corporate data, VPN links and personal data on board should be considered a risk that needs to be managed.