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Notebook Battery Life – Extend yours with 3 easy steps

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Notebook Battery Life – Extend yours with 3 easy steps

Article by Michael Paul

Notebook Battery Life – Extend yours with 3 easy steps – Computers

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Notebook computers. At this point in the 21st century, they have become an indispenable part of many people’s everyday lives. From the commuting business executive and the busy college student, we all want to be mobile with our computers. The big drawback of that is the fact that there is not always a plug around when you need one. A notebook computer’s battery is its life-blood. Without proper care, your notebook battery could fail much earlier than anticipated. By following a few simple steps, you can expect to get the greatest amount of usage possible out of your notebook battery before a replacement is needed.

1. Upon purchase, charge the battery to full capacity. Whether you have purchased a new computer have purchased a new battery for your laptop, charging it fully as soon as you open the box is the best recommendation. This allows the battery to reach a full capacity before you begin to use it “unplugged”. Most batteries come with a partial charge, enough to get you going if you absolutely had to. Giving that battery a full charge when it is brand new will help set the charge capacity for the battery at its highest possible level.

2. Once you reach a full charge, leave the computer plugged in for at least 2 hours. This action lets the battery “rest” at a full charge for a fairly lengthy period of time. At this point, the battery is not drawing power from your wall socket to charge, and it is also not supplying any power to your system. Letting your battery rest for a time after a full charge helps to “lock-in” that full charge capacity.

3. Unplug the computer and drain the battery. It might sound silly, but now that you have gotten that battery to a full charge, you need to drain the power almost completely. Again, this will help determine the charge capacity of the battery. Leave your computer unplugged and use it until you get a warning telling you that the battery is almost completely discharge. Then save whatever you are working on and power the computer down. Plug back into the wall socket for a fresh charge. Then use the computer at your leisure.

If you follow these steps about once a month, your notebook battery should last a nice long while. Not to say that you will never have to replace it, but at least it will be a long time before you need to.

About the Author

Michael Paul is the host/producer of the TechCast Weekly Podcast, a popular weekly show dedicated to providing computer help, tips, and tutorials to help make you computing life easier and easier to understand. Visit http://www.techcastweekly.com for the latest shows and tips for the average computer user.

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

Michael Paul



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Michael Paul is the host/producer of the TechCast Weekly Podcast, a popular weekly show dedicated to providing computer help, tips, and tutorials to help make you computing life easier and easier to understand. Visit http://www.techcastweekly.com for the latest shows and tips for the average computer user.












Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.


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Laptop Battery – This is How You Take Care of Yours

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Laptop Battery – This is How You Take Care of Yours

When you get a new laptop everything is working perfectly given that you’ve got the good fortune and it’s not dead on arrival. Then things start to wear and tear, here’s a crack, there is a dent but the battery often dies rather fast, and that’s not a natural consequence of age. Lithium-Ion batteries die on their own, but not in the one year time frame some people manage to kill theirs.

Dell Latitude D510 laptop battery

If you want to have a notebook with a proper battery you need to buy a brand new one, people usually say something like this when they give tips to their friends. I’m not telling you here to buy an used or second hand notebook, rather trying to give a few tips on how to keep the battery in its original shape even 2 years after you’ve bought it.

Fujitsu LifeBook S7110 laptop battery

Drop heat like it’s… hot. If you’ve got a chance, avoid using your notebook in a hot room or outdoors in direct sunlight. Deterioration in stored batteries is a function of age, charge level and temperature. There are two ways to keep your Li-Ion power source in good condition even if you can’t avoid all heat sources. Internal components like the processor, GPU, even the battery itself emits heat that the notebook tries to get rid of through lids and holes.

IBM ThinkPad T60P Series laptop battery

Always put your computer on a flat, firm and hard surface to ensure nothing hides the lids. Using it in your lap does just the exact opposite, don’t do that unless you know what you’re doing. On the table you can put something under the back bottom edge of the notebook, that way you’re lifting off its base from the surface allowing better airflow.

In my own non-representative experiment I used a notebook that always shut down because it overheated. Using some better thermal adhesive between the heatsink and the core I managed to get rid of the problem but that’s not the point; under full stress during a Prime 95 Small FFT test I noticed that laying flat the processor went all the way up to 82.4 C, while just with a CD case put under the back edge I managed to shave it down to 78.5 C. Four degrees Celsius with not even half an inch lift. Lithium iun loses about 10 % capacity in a year stored in 25 degrees, while in 40 degrees, which is normal during operation, it loses up to 25-30%.

It makes perfect sense to get a notebook cooler but you don’t really have to buy one, common sense and paying some attention makes a big difference when handling a portable computer. Another thing you might consider to prolong the life expectancy of the unit is to store it half charged whenever you’re not using it.

Lithium-Ion cells hate three things above anything else that you can and should do anything about; heat, being completely discharged and being overcharged. Avoid them and you’ll have an internal power source in your computer that has about 80% of its original performance rather than 40 minutes tops.

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