2011 MBP: should I stick a new battery in it?

I’m currently typing this out on the first MacBook Pro I ever owned, a late 2011 base model that I eventually upgraded with 16gb RAM and an SSD. I’ve since gotten a 2016/2017 MBP that is now my daily driver, but I like to use this 2011 model for couch web surfing and a bit of light communication stuff (catching up on emails and putting stuff into OmniFocus, mostly), but what I’d like to do is start using it for my travel laptop to save my newer model the wear and tear (and possible damage), but the battery drains quickly, like within about an hour and a half.

I found a great deal on a replacement battery, but I am concerned that this 2011 MBP is too old to upgrade and that I’d be wasting the cash. Has anyone replaced their battery in an older model recently and have experience/give some advice they are willing to share?

I had my 2011, 15" MBP battery replaced while it was under AppleCare… so that was a while ago and the battery is still fine. Personally I’d replace my MBP battery if it needed it (I’ve a 2015, 11" MBA too) and I’d use Apple if they would still do it. I’d choose Apple after my experience with replacement batteries in earlier models of MBPs with cheaper 3rd party batteries. The consensus of opinion at our local Mac User Group, here in the UK, is to stick with Apple for batteries, too. Check to see how much Apple would charge, before you decide.

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I recently had the battery replaced on my 2012 15" Retina MacBook Pro. The old one wasn’t lasting very long and when under load while on battery it would sometimes randomly restart without warning. On the Retina MBP the battery isn’t user replaceable, so I had mine done at an Apple Authorized Service Provider, which cost me around $230.

I decided it was a good investment because my 12.9" iPad has almost replaced my laptop as a travel machine. That “almost” is the troublesome part. There are still a few times per year where I really need a laptop. However, they’re so few and far between that it’s hard to justify spending $2000 on a new laptop (the sorry state of the Mac laptop lineup earlier this year didn’t help any either). I decided to replace the battery and see if I could nurse my 2012 along until I can either do everything I need to do on the iPad or Apple’s laptop lineup has some more compelling options.

You’ve already got a more modern laptop, so for you, it’s more of a question of whether the couch application is worth the cash and how long this laptop will remain useful even in that limited role (note that Mojave requires a 2012 or newer Macbook Pro, so you’ll be off the current operating system before too long).

Honestly, it sounds like the stuff you want to use this machine for could be done just as well (if not better) on an iPad, and the base model iPad could be had for not that much more than the replacement battery. It depends how much you like iOS, of course.

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Great points, and I do have an iPad Pro that I use, but I find it unusable in some instance for the type of work I sometimes need it for, but otherwise yes, the iPad Pro is a better way to go for travel and whatnot

I have a 2006 (white plastic) MacBook with a non-functioning battery. I plug it in and boot it up on the rare occasions that I need a CD/DVD drive. The battery has been dead since 2011 or so, and I didn’t think it would be worth the money to replace ($200 or so as I recall).

All of which is immaterial to your situation…except to ask whether you really need the battery, or can you get by on AC?

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I replaced my late 2011 battery last year due to swelling. It was affecting the trackpad. Easy swap and it’s like new. As long as you don’t have GPU issues, I think it’s worth making the fix.

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Thanks for your input, the machine runs great (even play older games on it now and then) and I’ve never had any issues other than the fans spinning up a bit.