The technique of selling a device with an internal piece that has a limited lifetime could ensure that multiple users will finally despise the product creating mountains of electronic waste. E-waste is a great problem of our age for several reasons, and there are who cause it directly or indirectly.
An important difference between a laptop and a tablet or another alike device is how the first one can operate without the battery installed. When a user wants to leave out the battery for very logical reasons, the device runs forever in theory thus the user doesn't need to buy another and despise the virtual problem creating a bigger problem for everyone.
Multiple research groups were investigating about the best methodologies to keep up a Li-ion battery in optimal conditions ensuring a longer lifespan and a better user experience (a factor also to consider from the manufacturer side because otherwise the clients could crash the company if they do not buy anymore).
The technical fact then after these studies is how a tablet alike device uses the Li-ion battery without more sense than destroying its capacity and recharge cycles in basic operations manipulating the user to lose the main functionality because without power, you could say good bye to the device.
Situations where the user could prefer (and should) to not use the battery:
- In a fixed location as a PC over a table, the user should use an AC adapter connected to the power socket. Why force the battery to lose recharging cycles and capacity? It's simply nonsense; a critical action from the manufacturer that must be regulated.
- If the battery doesn't have enough capacity or it's damaged for any reason. With a DC adapter, the device works.
- Working with the device plugged to another one via USB. With the current configuration (a bad joke, and in context even worse) the user plugs the device and the battery starts to charge until 100% or more if possible, harming the battery. When some individual wants to use the USB functionality for any task, there's another obvious problem besides of the damage to the battery: some USB sockets cannot provide the enough current when the battery is lower than a certain threshold and the USB connection it's terminated so the user needs to insist with the finality of establishing a mere connection and getting a charge that perhaps doesn't need or with other words, it's not technically recommended.
So, if you want to install a fixed DC power to the device sometimes the only path is to “hack” it with the help of soldering equipment and basic electronics training. It's really easy but not everyone knows how to do it —like always happen—, but if you look for an independent technician to do the work, it cannot be expensive.
The fun part is having an industry that creates products of this kind because it's a method to promote sales in the future. But not only sales; so here is where the legislation and user information come into play for changing those critical methods of creating products, searching for another options or companies that do not follow the line of work.