Check if /proc/acpi/battery/ exists. If it does, you can check the battery status by going deeper into the directory until you find a file called "state". To read it, simply execute "cat state".
If you don't have this, then maybe your laptop BIOS does not support acpi, in which case I would recompile the kernel with apm support only.
If you DO have acpi support, then I'd recompile the kernel without apm support.
Untill then, you could try disabling acpi by using the boot options "apm=on acpi=off", but this is not ideal. Here
you can find more info.