One of the most important components of a laptop computer is its battery because the key feature of a laptop is the ability to use it anywhere with internal power. It is thus not surprising that one of the most important factors consumers consider when buying laptops is battery life – that is, how long the laptop can run on the battery without plugging the power cord into an electricity outlet. Best Buy, one of the largest retail sellers of laptop computers, takes advantage of consumers’ desire for long-lasting batteries by prominently displaying the battery life of the Toshiba laptops it sells, usually on the product tag attached to the display model.
Some of the tags represent that the laptop battery lasts as long as “up to” 8 or 10 hours, although others offer less time, depending on price. Unfortunately, it appears that Best Buy and Toshiba may be misrepresenting the true battery life. Many consumers report that it is impossible to achieve the top represented number of hours of battery life, and in fact, many consumers complain that their battery lasts about half as long as advertised. It turns out that in order for a battery to last “up to” the claimed number of hours, the laptop has to have the wireless turned off, the screen illumination dimmed to a nearly-unreadable level, the processor powered down to a fraction of its available power, and no large programs running.
In other words, if consumers use their laptops for any of the reasons they bought it for (like running programs, connecting to the Internet, and taking advantage of a computer’s full processing power), they cannot achieve anything near the claimed battery life.
Advertising unattainable battery performance appears to be a misleading and deceptive practice, and we are actively investigating potential consumer claims against Best Buy and Toshiba. If you or someone you know purchased a Toshiba laptop at Best Buy or anywhere else, please contact-us to discuss your legal options.