Six Ways to Make Your Laptop Computer Battery Last Longer
Laptop owners are familiar with the death spiral of the battery. New batteries last three or four hours without charging. A year later, the battery lasts only half that time. Eventually, you’ll only get fifteen or twenty minutes before you need to hook up to a power supply.
This can be frustrating, though it’s life with a laptop. You have to compare this to the convenience of getting away from your desktop at all. Remember that your standard pc doesn’t let you use it in the car, even for a minute.
Also understand that all laptop batteries “die”. You need to replace them every two years. Hopefully, someone will invent a lifetime battery some day. Until that happens, here are steps you can take to make your battery last that entire two years.
1. Fully Charge a New Battery
When you first buy your battery, charge it for ten to twelve hours before first using it. If you’re like me, you probably have trouble finding a twelve hour window where you don’t use the laptop. But this full charge is the best start you can give your battery.
2. Drain the Battery Fully
Allow the battery to drain down entirely before recharging it. This is especially important if you use a nickel-cadmium battery. Users of nickel-metal-hybrids should let the battery drain to a very low setting before recharging it. This reduces the wear and tear of recharging a half-charged battery.
3. Use a Second Battery
Swap out your two batteries when you go on the road. This extends the life of any one of them. Of course, this hardly gets around the cost of buying a second battery, which is what this is all about. The second battery really helps when you are away from a power supply, like when you are on an airplane.
4. Conserve Energy
Run only certain programs on your power supply. CDs and disc drives draw down more energy from your battery, so try to run these from the outlet on the wall.
Reduce the brightness on your screen any time you can. Not only does this conserve energy from your battery, but it is easier on your eyes.
The manufacturer often includes power management software. Run this occasionally, though remember this will add lapse time to the computer’s performance. Only use this when you are not in any hurry or when you aren’t surfing the net a whole lot.
5. Run Fewer Applications
Close out any applications that you will not be using for a while. Also close those which you have finished using for the day. These draw power from your battery, reducing the time the battery holds its charge.
6. “Lithium, Don’t Want To Lock Me Up Inside”
Lithium batteries are the best option currently on the market. Buy one if you want the longest-running battery.