Review of "Dill Battery for Macbook A1185"

published 29/05/2015 | Nar2
Member since : 26/05/2011
Reviews : 1345
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About me :
Ty for all r/r/c's, kind words & E's where applicable & Ty for my Diamond. Finally got to Gold.
Not for me
Pro Claims to have higher power, available in black or white for 13" Apple Macbook, cheap price.
Cons Non-genuine part, can't hold charge and can ruin Apple hardware, sold under many labels.
Ease of Use
Value for Money

"A Cheap Macbook Battery That Bakes But Fails To Back Up!"

Dill A1185 Battery for Macbook A1185 with the genuine Apple battery underneath. Note the poorly written CE marking.

Dill A1185 Battery for Macbook A1185 with the genuine Apple battery underneath. Note the poorly written CE marking.

When I bought my faithful Apple Macbook 4,1 in 2008, I knew that with the work that I do with Apple computers in general that I would require a replacement battery within two years. This is down to the model that I bought initially and not the more modern Macbooks now available in 2014/15 with better, lengthier batteries on board that last for longer. Sure enough in 2012, I wasn’t proved wrong when the original battery start sending me messages on my Macbook to confirm that the battery would have to be “replaced soon.” Having been shown the Apple Macbook range used in schools beforehand my first purchase in 2008, I had been advised of the accessories and general consumables required when it comes to Mac ownership in general.

One aspect that seems to be a hot topic across a lot of U.S based forums when it comes to Mac ownership are counterfeit removable power replacement batteries, helped along somewhat by BBC1’s consumer programme, “Watchdog” who already identified a number of fake batteries for sale, not just with Apple with PC computers too. Liable to over heat, shorten out or explode, these kindf of batteries have almost been eliminated for sale in the UK.

However, with that constantly in the back of my mind, I have only ever fallen fowl to two fake batteries that I bought from established sellers online from EBay UK in 2012 and now from Amazon in 2015. There are plenty of other sellers who are selling non-genuine Apple batteries for the 13.3” Macbook – and this battery by "Dill" is no exception. Available in black or white, the Dill A1185 battery costs on average £15-99 to £18-99 dependent on seller, and on Amazon UK specifically the battery I bought cost me £15-99 (product code B006RE721S).

The Dill A1185 battery has been designed as a non-Apple replacement battery that claims to be able to offer:

“…Full 1 Year warranty, Batteries are in high grade quality and certified by CE and RoHS. Brand New Replacement Product works as Genuine Parts. Over-charge protection, Over-discharge protection, Over-heat protection, Over-current protection, Short-circuit protection, High capacity circulatory function, No Memory Effect, Low Power Consumption IC Design, High Charge current…”

Dill also claims that the following models by Apple are fit for fitment purposes where this battery is concerned. The full link to the listing online indicates far more models tha just these ones:

A1185, ASMB016, MA561, MA561FE/A, MA561G/A, MA561J/A, MA561LL/A, MacBook 13" A1181, MA700B/A, MA700CH/A, MA700J/A, MA700LL/A, MA700TA/A, MB881LL/A, MC374LL/A, MC375LL/A.

General Impressions & Design

Packed in a very convincing cardboard box that opens up to reveal a single glossy rectangular block of a battery with removable adhesive acetate “covers”, there are even two extra foam inserts that cradle what looks and feels like over dressed packaging in my opinion. If only Apple went to all that bother!

Apple’s own Macbook battery has a general sizing of 23.5 length x 8.2cm breadth and by 4.4cm width. These replacement “Dill” batteries however measure the same length and breadth but have a slightly bigger width of 4.6cm. The difference of size didn't mean much to me when I looked at this battery in my hand. It looks and feels identical to the original, genuine battery that is installed on the back of my Macbook 4,1 series.

When I compare the two batteries together, they look almost identical save for the lack of Apple’s genuine label and the lack of matt paint replaced by glossy plastic. Plenty of power info is given that states the Dill A1185 battery has Rating 10.8V 59WH.

However, the ACTUAL BATTERY POWER from Apple battery should only have 10.8V too but with a LOWER output of 55Wh. To the right hand side of the Dill battery, several “safety” symbols are given, but it is the Conformitee Europe symbol that I didn’t notice at the time, which is slightly different to the original marking found on the Apple products and plenty of other genuine, approved products that I own. The “C” and “E” are too closely sat together to my eyes and looks like it has been drawn on with a poor stencil alongside the other claimed markings.

Whilst the five LED indicator on the back of the Dill battery is identical to Apple’s design, there’s even a small and flush built in button that can be pressed to check the battery power left in the battery – just like the original.

There are a few differences though, but only those for the most eagled-eyed! For a start I noticed that the two seated corners on the inside of the battery that are designed to sit on one side of the Macbook battery compartment lack Apple’s softer edges. Here the corners are straight edged whilst the microchip pin strip designed to meet Apple’s pins inside the battery compartment are identical.

In terms of the actual physical look on the topside of the battery, Dill’s A1185 replacement battery offers the same thin edge as the Apple’s permanent battery’s outer cover. But here is the where the extra width of 4.6cm is highlighted.

When fitted the slightly thicker edge on the Dill battery sits a little proud on the back of my Macbook to the right hand side and where I began to realise that not all is what it seems when it comes to the fitment. The circular turn dial on the Apple’s base for example usually moves easily but I had difficulty turning the lock wheel when I fitted this Dill battery. It eventually snaps into place but it doesn’t look all that well locked into the battery compartment, in my experience.

Once installed, the Apple MagSafe adapter should be connected up and the Macbook should power up; the A1185 battery should last for an hour or two at the very most, as does the original battery on this older 13.3” Core Duo Macbook.

General Performance & Downsides

By the time that the Dill A1185 battery arrived in the post, I had already backed up my Macbook with the original battery and shut it down as well as removing the old, original battery. In the meantime between waiting for this battery to arrive, I worked on my later model Macbook Air, which has a far longer duration battery Air, a later laptop that I usually use for travelling with or occasional use. The Macbook Air has a far longer battery, although it is a bit smaller than my larger, older Macbook and thus doesn’t have the same memory capacity.

When the Dill A1185 finally arrived, I proceeded to power up my old 13.3" Macbook as normal and only waited around 20 minutes before the battery hit 100%. It was at this point that I removed the power cable after another five minutes, as I was curious to the Dill’s claim of having extra power. As soon as the cable was removed, the Dill battery sat at 100% for a couple of minutes before decreasing slowly. I didn't watch the percentage fall though, as I was working at the time on a word document.

But, when my Macbook hit 92%, the system suddenly shut off without warning! I did not expect this to happen at all. So again, I plugged the MagSafe charger back in and within minutes, the Dill A1185 battery was back up and charged at 100%. Even after leaving the MagSafe plug connected for another hour where the battery constantly stated 100% and removal again of the plug thereafter, the Dill battery fails to keep a cordless charge, shutting off my system at 92%. When I proceeded to take the battery out, it was also roasting hot to the touch! All of a sudden the cost price of £15-99 kept rolling around my head; clearly I have been ripped off.

When my Macbook is not connected to the Internet, performance from this battery narrowly improves, lasting to 89% before the system, without warning again shuts off. If I didn’t back up my Macbook beforehand, I can’t say what I would have lost! Dill’s battery is shockingly poor in my experience at being able to be used without the Apple MagSafe adapter attached, and renders the running system at a loss, which can endanger files and threaten the loss of data.

A look on Amazon UK also indicates a lot of poor ratings for these batteries sold under different brand names but with the same layout of information and straight edged corners where battery design is concerned. On account that Macbooks are hardly cheap to buy, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this kind of battery at all, if you require a spare one. Your cherished Macbook will simply not last to the constant unannounced crashes.

Other Sorts & Final Thoughts

A call to Apple UK confirms that Dill batteries as well as similar brand names such as ATekCity, TPK, and even at some point Duracell who took on these A1185 batteries are all false economy led batteries that clearly don’t hold a charge for very long. Obtaining a genuine Apple battery for my Macbook gets increasingly difficult, but it is not impossible and I am pleased that whilst I was refunded from my experience, I have found another independent seller online who can sell me a proper Apple battery.

To conclude, I definitely do not recommend buying the Dill A1185 or other A1185 that go under the additional name of Universal "Replacement Macbook Battery" as the type that Dill are producing are frankly a lot of a tat and a bit of a con.

It would appear that in reality, the actual Apple product costs more than five times the same amount of money that Dill and other companies are ripping owners off with.

When this battery can threaten the hard drive and sub-systems that keep an Apple computer healthy, I don't recommend this battery or others that carry the same text layout.

From its roasting warmth body, to ill fitting sides and fake safety and security symbols, I don't think the Dill A1185 is a cheap way to go, even if the cost price is cheaper than the original Apple battery. If you are faced with having to pay out for a new hard drive and basic repair on a cherished Apple Macbook, suddenly the reason for going cheap in the first place may hit home sooner than you expect. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2015.

Product link for compatible Apple Macbooks thet the Dill can fit:

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Comments on this review

  • jo-1976 published 06/06/2015
    Thanks for the warning! x
  • mumsymary published 01/06/2015
    E good unrecomendation
  • supersonic75 published 01/06/2015
    Excellent review!
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Product Information : Dill Battery for Macbook A1185

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Manufacturer: Dill

General / Product Type: Notebook battery

EAN: 6952056947249

Designed For: Mac


Listed on Ciao since: 26/05/2015