updated 07:35 pm EDT, Fri March 16, 2012
Lenovo may have hard-coded notebook batteries
Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge E430 and E530 may bring in an unwelcome attempt to demand first-party components. A leak has pointed The Verge to Lenovo implementing Battery Safeguard, a measure that would require an authentication chip on a battery for it to work. The method would outright ban the use of third-party batteries short of Lenovo licensing the technology out.
Some Lenovo notebooks have had an earlier technique that rejected all but "genuine" batteries. The new technique could be a wider, more consistent effort. It's likened to what many printer manufacturers often do to protect sales of high-priced ink, demanding chipped ink tanks to prevent cheaper third-party companies from undermining the printers' business model.
Lenovo hasn't confirmed the claims. Other companies don't necessarily make it easy to replace third-party batteries, such as Apple's semi-sealed MacBook enclosures, but seldom enforce the use of first-party batteries in hardware.
Both the 14-inch E430 and 15-inch E530 are due to ship with Intel's Ivy Bridge (third-generation Core processors in May. AMD's chips will reportedly be limited to the E530 and ship in June.