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Do You Know How to Take Care Your Laptop Battery


Do You Know How to Take Care Your Laptop Battery

When you buy a new laptop, you probably don’t think too much about its power supply system, but the care and feeding of batteries is perhaps the biggest single factor in your laptop’s ease of use. If you’re keeping your present outfit, then you’ve already got whatever power supply came with it. This quick review of batteries can help you choose your next laptop, while reducing battery hassles with your current one (no pun intended). And multiple batteries are highly recommended for any outfit. We’ll look at types of batteries, methods of keeping them charged and strategies for using them.

Battery Types

In the dim and distant past (a couple years ago), laptop batteries came in five different species. Now, lead acid bricks and drugstore batteries cell are about gone and even lithium ion (Li-Ion)  batteries are obsolescent (but see the nearby sidebar). Today, we’re down to mostly nickel metal lithium ion (Li-Ion) models.

Both types have a good weight to power ratio: that is, they can store and deliver more (longer) power than older types of the same size. They also keep a steady voltage level through more of their discharge cycle. Older battery types could drop below the voltage required by the camcorder even though there was plenty of juice left in them.

Both types are long lasting, though Li-Ion designs are the true long-distance champs. A word


Obviously, batteries discharge during use and you have to tank them up again. Some camcorders still charge batteries internally, but many models come with an external charger. If you’re shopping for that new camcorder, check its charging system carefully, since an external charger will allow you to keep shooting with one camcorder battery while the other is charging.

First, ensure that you can charge laptop batteries via 11.1-volt car cigarette plugs as well as 120-volt wall power. Holidays, picnics, weddings just about every kind of event involves driving someplace, sooner or later. Many campers and RVers live on 14-volt DC exclusively. Drive time is an ideal time to charge laptop batteries, especially if your system includes quick charge capability.

“Quick charge” typically means that the charger works very rapidly, often replenishing a laptop battery in one hour or less. But on some appliances, it’s just a selectable mode that provides a quick-and-dirty juice-up, rather than a fully programmed recharge.

You see, batteries are filled like gas tanks: quickly at first, more cautiously when the tank is nearly full, and in short trickles when you top off the fill (even though the sign on the pump says not to). A properly programmed charging system does the same thing and delivers power longer during the battery’s next use. It also prolongs its working life overall.

After 12-volt operation and programmed recharging, the next feature to look for is multiple battery capacity. A few chargers will juice up two bricks at once, which is a great time saver for power users (pun intended).

Whether buying a new system or using your old one, you need to know when to charge your batteries. Different people have different theories about this, but the following procedure is safe and effective:

Recharge a spent battery as soon as possible after use. While this isn’t critical, shallower charges of Li-Ion batteries put less stress on the battery than a deep full charge. Besides, you never know when you might meet Elvis. Do not leave the battery in the charger after the indicator says it’s fully replenished. (Don’t leave the battery in the laptop either.) Store the battery at room temperature. Stashing it in the fridge to slow battery drain is pointless if you… Top up the battery again, just before your next shooting session, to compensate for power slowly lost while the battery was on the shelf. Unless you’re using old NiCds (see sidebar) it’s not necessary to “condition” a battery by discharging it down to one volt before recharging it. A periodic full discharge is not required for lithium-based batteries and, in fact, a partial re-charge produces less wear than a full charge.

Finally, don’t expect even the most tenderly nurtured batteries to last forever. Each time a battery is recharged, it accepts a minutely smaller amount of power than the previous time, until eventually the poor baby is pooping out after ten minutes of shooting. If you’re a weekend warrior taping birthdays and vacations, expect your batteries to last for years. If you shoot weddings professionally, budget for frequent replacements. One manufacturer suggests that its batteries will last for 400-800 charges, although we find that range to be a little too broad to be useful.

Perhaps I’m paranoid, but manufacturers do change battery designs from one laptop to the next, and they do eventually stop supporting their oldest models. For that reason, I bought more batteries than I ever use at one time, so that each requires fewer recharges per year and therefore lasts longer.

Power as you Shoot

How many batteries do you really have to have? That depends on many factors. The older the bricks, the faster they quit. The more you shoot per hour, the more you need.

The trick is to compare your charger speed to your shooting demands. For instance, I typically blow through a battery twice as fast as my charger can resuscitate it. For this reason, I run three batteries, starting every session with all three charged. When the first is empty, I stick it in the charger and by the time the next two are shot, the first is ready again. That way, I have the equivalent of four batteries per session. In my case, that gives me an honest 2.5 hours of shooting time, which is more than enough.

Your needs will certainly be different, but you should have at least one spare battery for backup. Remember that battery capacity ratings are about as realistic as EPA gas mileage figures. If the manufacturer promises 60 minutes, plan on 40 to start, slowly tapering down to 15 minutes before you replace that battery.

If you do shoot a lot, consider an external battery pack: either a block that you clip on your belt or sling from your shoulder, or even a belt. You can find models for many camcorders (especially professional three-chip models) and many allow you to power an external light as well. Even if you use the built-in camera light, you’ll have ample power to blaze away without compromising your shooting time.

No matter how many units you run, you want to make each one last as long as possible; so here are some tips for conserving battery power. First, never use a built-in laptop light unless you absolutely have to. Lights love juice like mosquitoes love blood.

Next, don’t leave your laptop on standby for any length of time, especially if you’re using auto exposure and focus. Remember: your unit goes right on adjusting the aperture and focus whether you’re shooting or not and each adjustment is made by an electric motor powered by your battery. Even when actually recording, you’ll conserve juice if you can shift one or both controls to manual. This can apply to image stabilization as well, so plop that laptop on a tripod and turn off the stabilization.

Another big power drain is the zoom lens, which is always motor-driven. Try to avoid lots of zooms in shots (they look amateurish anyway) and when you re-frame by zooming, pre-visualize your new composition so that you can zoom right to it, rather than hunting around for it.

Also, remember that batteries give up quicker in cold weather. When shooting on the slopes, keep spare batteries as close to your warm self as your pockets permit. If you won’t be shooting for a few minutes, remove the battery already in the camcorder and get it toasty as well. When you replace it, you’ll get quite a few more minutes out of it.

So: look for lithium ion designs when shopping for new gear, keep your batteries topped up properly, carry enough to keep shooting and don’t expect them to last forever. And that’s about it.

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Know The Basic Identifiable Parts Of A Laptop Battery


Know The Basic Identifiable Parts Of A Laptop Battery

Just as the fuel determines the mileage of an automobile, it is the battery that predicts the life of a laptop thus, a laptop with a defunct battery is of no use. Assembling a laptop battery involves meticulous placement and segregation of its various components on the basis of their functions. In the last few years, the production of laptops has expanded at a rocket speed in order to meet the great consumers demand. But, the secret behind the success of laptops as an excellent mobile computing device is purely due to the efficient and increasingly user-friendly modified versions of laptop batteries.

In other words, ‘portability’ is the underlying USP for the widespread sale and popularity of laptops around the world.  The components of a laptop determine its identity and each component holds an important role in the overall battery life. As a matter of fact, it is the ‘cells’ that give portability and high density of energy in mobile computing devices.

In every laptop battery there are few basic characteristics such as capacity, chemistry, voltage, cells, wHr, color, cell manufacturer and weight. Most importantly, the capacity of a laptop battery directly tells the power or energy output of the laptop, also a laptop battery undergoes immense changes in its attempts to complement with the lightness of the product. Irrespective of whether the replacement battery is purchased during a discount laptop battery sale or procured ‘freshly arrived’ stocks, 100% replacement compatibility with the original battery is a must. Over the years, technology has evolved to suit users in every aspect of mobile computing where ‘laptops’ have become the ‘buzz word’. Presently, Ni-MH and Li-Ion are the most widely used chemical components in the making of laptop batteries, and the lightness of laptop battery is largely credited to the advent of Li-ion based laptop battery. Why lithium? The reason is that lithium is one of the lightest metals used in the manufacture of mobile computing batteries.

In addition, battery cells play an important role in the overall value of a battery and the number of their use varies from one battery model to another. For example, the cell of a Li-ion based battery is usually 3.6V cylindrical and has practically no memory effect but contains longer storage life compared to NiMH battery cells. Nowadays, they are more compact and have high energy density allowing them to become one of the most prevalent types of cells. Hence proved, the reason why this type of battery is more popular both among manufacturers as well as users.

To illustrate with an example, a Compaq laptop battery of the model Presario 2103 2150 2170 Battery has 8 cells while another with model no. C300 V2000 M2000 Battery has only 6 cells. It is extremely important to note that every pros and cons is taken into account regarding the compatibility of the replacement battery with your device before procuring one. In some cases, some devices may allow the battery to be upgraded from Ni-MH to Li-ion, doing this is known to extend the life of the battery manifold. Low cost or cheap laptop battery is an economical option for most of the laptop buyers on the look-out for replacement battery, but one must be skeptical and picky during the shopping spree for cheap battery.

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All there is to know about Toshiba Laptop Battery Packs


All there is to know about Toshiba Laptop Battery Packs

If you are someone who cannot afford to stay away from your laptop and would like to carry it whereever you go, you might consider buying a external laptop battery pack for it. Not only do these battery packs provide additional battery power on the move but can also work as a Toshiba laptop battery replacement incase your original Toshiba battery is not working anymore. For people who are always on the run, these laptop battery packs can help to greatly increase their productivity and performance by providing enhanced battery power.

All Toshiba laptop battery packs consist of removable, rechargeable, Lithium ion battery cells (All Toshiba laptop batteries use Lithium ion battery cells). These battery packs can be interfaced with the Power Utility built on Toshiba notebooks helping one to monitor the remaining power. The battery packs have a good design allowing them to attach and detach to the laptop easily and quickly. The quality is similar to that of a battery for Toshiba laptop.

Numerous battery packs are available consisting of 6, 8, 9 and 12 battery cells.  Below is a comparison of some of the features of these battery packs.


10.8V x 5800 mAh
10.8V x 4300 mAh
10.8V x 7200mAh
10.8V x 9000 mAh

8.11″ W X 1.66″ L x 0.87″ H
8.1? W X 2.4? L x 0.8? H
8.27? W x 2.74? L x 1.16? H
1.97″ W X 10.87″ L x 1.71″ H

0.31 kg
0.43 kg
0.46 kg
0.62 kg

Toshiba Mini Notebook NB205-N3xx series
Toshiba Satellite L35 series
Satellite Pro M300 and U400 series; Satellite M300, M305, M305D, U400, U405, U405D
Satellite Pro L550 series ; Satellite A500, A505, A505D, L500, L500D, L505, L505D, L550, L555 and L555D

Cost (approx. in $)

Battery Time (Normal mode)
9 hrs
4-6 hrs
4.8-5.5 hrs
6-7 hrs

Recharge Time (Off/On)
6 hrs/12 hrs
3 hrs/6 hrs
4.5 hrs/10-15 hrs
4.5 hrs/ 10-15 hrs

Depending on the user’s usage pattern, applications running on the system, power management capabilities of the system the recharge time and laptop battery life may vary. As is the case with all laptop batteries, the battery pack will also loose it’s capability to work at maximum capacity with time.

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