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Stan Glasgow, the head honcho of the Sony, told reporters that there will be a push to incorporate lithium polymer batteries into notebooks, rather than the currently used lithium ion.

Lithium polymer batteries use lithium as an active ingredient. Lithium is a volatile material, but the lithium in these batteries isn't packed into cells as it is in lithium ion batteries. Instead, it is contained in a polymer gel. These gel batteries can't provide the same sort of energy density as lithium ion batteries, but that's now a plus.

Pushing the energy density in the lithium ion batteries definitely haven't helped resolve the recent laptop battery explosions. This is because a small internal short will cause a larger chain-reaction and make the tightly packed and heavily energized battery to explode.

In the past, lithium polymer batteries provide a shorter battery life, and allow for the battery to be shaped in non-conventional means because of the gel (think packing into smaller places). So, it's either lithium polymer with somewhat shorter battery life, smaller designs and potentially less chance for explosion or lithium ion with longer battery life and more chance of death. Any preferences?

The next notebook battery? Lithium polymer [Cnet]