Anyone with a laptop knows the story: after a few months, the battery won't hold a charge as long as it did when it was new...and it keeps degrading until you have to buy another one.

Now comes a company called Boston Power which unveiled a new battery pack in the US last week that the firm claims will last the lifetime of a typical notebook, which is about three years (yes, I know, you've got a notebook from 1997 and it still works great...three years is the average time people own a notebook before replacing it). By contrast, a typical, standard, battery pack will last about nine months, they say.

The battery, which uses the same lithium ion technology as any standard battery pack, will fit into laptops without any special alterations. It looks exactly like a typical laptop battery. Instead of six cells, however, the pack uses three, which is one of the reasons the entire battery lives longer: the cells are bigger and have higher capacity. They won't talk about the other secret sauces in their config.

The first laptops using the new longer lasting batteries will be coming out in the Fall from HP and the company may also sell them as after-market products through retail stores.