Feeds

Zen and the Art of Laptop Battery Maintenance

Keep your notebook or netbook's power pack in tune

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Mobile application security vulnerability report

We all own more battery powered products than ever before, and in most cases those batteries are rechargeable. Laptops, music players, phones - they all have rechargeable power packs, almost all of them using lithium.

These batteries don't last forever. No matter what you do, their capacity to hold charge will decline over time, typically down to 80 per cent after 12-18 months in the case of laptop batteries.

17in MacBook Pro disassembled

Be nice to your battery and it'll be nice to you
Image courtesy iFixit.com

That's a range, not an absolute cut-off point, so how can we make these batteries last as long as possible? Ignoring the exceedingly rare risk of a fire, is there any way to ensure we get the best performance from our portable power supplies?

Follow some basic rules, and the answer is yes.

The model usage pattern is the mobile phone. Of all the rechargeable batteries we've used, the ones in phones have always proved to retain their capacity longer than batteries in laptops, cameras and MP3 players. It takes a long time, generally speaking, for a phone battery to reach the point where no matter how long you charge it, it goes from full to empty in a very short space of time.

Contrast that with the netbook battery sitting next to us, which although less than a year old will discharge from full in under 20 minutes. That's with the netbook just sitting there, screen on, connected to the internet. It should last eight times that.

The keys to battery longevity are regular usage and making sure cells are recharged before they become empty. Phone batteries typically take a couple of days to run down and tend not to be constantly on and off the charger during that period. Rather than waiting until the phone has so little power it switches off, most handset owners recharge their phones when they get a low-charge warning, usually around ten per cent capacity.

Laptop battery

Store carefully... but not in the freezer

This ensures a steady, even cycle of charge and discharge, and if there's an operating condition lithium batteries respond well to it's regularity.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.