Archive for March, 2011
Mobile Computing: Make Notebook Batteries Last
More than ten tips for getting more from a battery.
Feature: Boosting Your Notebook’s Battery
Nothing’s worse than having piles of work to finish on an airline flight–and your notebook battery starts to die. Okay, so maybe a dead car battery that leaves you stranded in a steep gulch as flood waters rapidly engulf you is a little worse. But not much.
With some tweaking here and there, you can keep your notebook battery running longer. Read on for details…
Configure Your Notebook’s Power Settings
Your notebook’s display and hard drive are its two biggest battery hogs. But you can control them by using a Windows XP Control Panel utility called Power Options. (Earlier versions of Windows offer similar power-saving options in the Control Panel, too.)
Go to the Start menu, click Control Panel, and then open Power Options. On the Power Schemes tab, select Portable/Laptop from the top drop-down menu. In the “Settings for” area, you can tell your notebook to act differently depending on the power source. For example, you can set the hard disk to never turn off when the computer is plugged into an AC adapter and to stop spinning after 3 minutes when on battery power. However, I recommend that you not allow hibernation to kick in too early, because notebooks take a minute or so to come out of that state.
After fiddling with the settings, you can save them to the Portable/Laptop scheme or as a new scheme: Click the Save As button, leave “Portable/Laptop” or enter a new name, and click OK.
Use Stand By and Hibernate Appropriately
Windows XP provides two battery-saving sleep modes for your computer: Stand By, which is kind of like snoozing; and Hibernate, which is deep, rapid-eye-movement-style slumber (with snoring provided by the man next to you in coach).
In Stand By mode, your display and hard drive are shut down and all open applications and files are stored in RAM. This allows your notebook to wake up quickly, but a low level of power is required to maintain this somnambular state. Bottom line: Use Stand By for brief intervals when you won’t need the computer–you’re stretching your legs on a long flight, for instance.
With Hibernate, everything is powered down and the contents of RAM are stored on your hard drive. Hibernate mode uses less power than Stand By, but takes a bit longer to resume. Bottom line: Hibernate is the ticket when you won’t be using your computer for a while–you’re changing planes at the airport, say–but you want to resume work faster than you could after a complete system shutdown.
When you choose Start, Turn Off Computer in Windows XP, your options are Stand By, Turn Off, and Restart. To Hibernate, place the cursor over Stand By, then hold down Shift and click.
Stick to the Essentials
Turn off scheduled tasks.
Windows XP lets you easily prevent scheduled and automated tasks (which can consume battery power) from occurring when you’re running on batteries. Here’s how to set that up: Select Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then Scheduled Tasks. Right-click a scheduled task in the list (such as Norton AntiVirus) and click Properties. Select the Settings tab. Under Power Management, click to chose the following: “Don’t start the task if the computer is running on batteries” and “Stop the task if battery mode begins.” Click OK to save your changes.
Adjust your display.
Dimming your display can save battery power. Most notebooks today include keyboard keys for adjusting brightness and contrast.
Turn off or unplug nonessential devices.
PC Card modems, external USB devices, and so on can drain power even when idle.
Shut down wireless networking unless you need it.
A wireless network PC Card or built-in chip set can drain power, too.
Don’t play music on your notebook.
Listening to a music CD or digital music files on your notebook is another battery drain. Instead, pack a portable MP3 or CD player in your carry-on; better to drain its batteries than your notebook’s.
Don’t play DVDs, either. Watching a DVD movie is one of the biggest battery-sucking activities. You could pack a portable DVD player instead, but they’re expensive–some go for nearly 00–and it’s yet one more thing to pack.
Consider Some Purchases
Look into a notebook alternative.
PDAs can run on batteries far longer than the typical notebook can. So instead of packing your notebook, consider a Pocket PC equipped with a landline or wireless modem and an external keyboard, for example. Sure, the PDA screen is much smaller than a notebook’s, and PDA applications are more limited. But you can keep typing hours after your seatmate’s ThinkPad has expired.
Another option is AlphaSmart’s Dana (0), a Palm OS-based full-size keyboard with an LCD, which can run for up to 25 hours on a single charge. And when its rechargeable battery runs out, you can pop in three AAA batteries and keep going.
Get a notebook with long-lasting batteries.
If you’re in the market for a new notebook, put long battery life high on your list of features. Notebooks based on Intel’s new Pentium M, especially those implementing the full Centrino architecture (which includes the Pentium M along with Intel’s 855 chip set and the company’s 802.11b, or Wi-Fi, hardware), are among the best in terms of battery performance. For example, Toshiba’s Centrino-based Tecra M1 lasted 7 hours, 6 minutes–longer than any other notebook we’ve tested. You can shop for the latest Tecra prices (beginning around 00) at the PCWorld.com Product Finder.
Replace your notebook’s battery regularly.
You should swap in a new battery about every 18 months. Most notebooks today use lithium-ion batteries, which don’t have the memory-loss problems of older notebook batteries. Still, even rechargeable lithium-ion batteries lose their ability to hold a charge over time. Shop for the latest prices on your notebook battery at our Product Finder by typing in your notebook’s name or model number into the search field.
Tips Laptop Battery Life
Laptop battery life is to make sure that your laptop doesn’t overheat. Don’t put use your laptop on a cushion or pillow as this will stop the airflow that keeps your laptop cool. Instead, use a wooden or glass table, which cools part of the air completely. For extra insurance, you can put a book underneath your laptop to make sure that the fan will work and that the air can effectively cool down the area. Putting your HP laptop into hibernate mode may be a slower boot than simply putting it on standby, but this will also save your battery.
Putting your computer on hibernate mode saves your desktop on the last time you use it, but it also shuts down your computer so your battery won’t take up much power. Extending your HP laptop battery life requires that you take good care of your batteries so it won’t get worn off quickly. Make sure that you drain your batteries once a month, and use it at least once a week until it drains.
If you have another laptop battery, keep it charged but store it for only one or two days before using it as the other one charges. Don’t keep your laptop plugged and charging when the Toshiba laptop battery is already full. Doing all these will not only be extending your laptop battery life, but will also make sure that you won’t be spending us much trying to get your computer fixed, or buying new laptop batteries.
Toshiba Laptop battery life is an important consideration if you are likely to be away from a power source for a period of time. Laptops use a rechargeable battery, which can give up to 5 hours of continuous use (models vary) before they need to be recharged. Watching a movie will use up more of your computers battery life than running basic office applications.
Laptop battery life is to lower the brightness of the screen display? its been known that lowering one level of screen brightness will yield up to 10 more minutes of battery life. You can easily do this by going to start > settings > control panel > display and clicking the settings tab. You can also disable those cool effects like cleartype fonts and fade effects to reduce the cpu’s power consumption.
As you may know, many modern HP laptops have a wi-fi built in. Unknown to many people, that wi-fi connection is a power guzzler. Make sure you turn off the wi-fi connection using the external wi-fi on-off switch. If your HP laptop does not offer such a switch, you should go to the control panel > system > hardware > device manager and disable the infrared transceiver, ethernet adapter and bluetooth radio.
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Video Rating: 4 / 5
For More Info or to Buy Now: www.hsn.com Set a new standard for value, mobility and productivity with the Acer Timeline 13.3″ LCD,4GB RAM, 320GB HDD Laptop Computer with 8+ Hour Battery. The unique design combines Intels ultra… Prices shown on the previously recorded video may not represent the current price. View hsn.com to view the current selling price. HSN Item #452226
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Video Rating: 5 / 5
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My New Dell XPS 15 L502X i7 Quad Core 15 inch laptop running Need for Speed Pro Street Demo and Crysis Demo, Nvidia Ge Force GT540M with 2GB Memory, 6GB Ram, 640 HDD 7200RPM, 1080P SCREEN B-RGLED, Blu-ray, Sandy Bridge Processor i7-2720QM Quad Core Intel Processor
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Video Rating: 5 / 5
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Video Rating: 5 / 5
Learn how to prolong the life of your notebook battery.
Video Rating: 4 / 5