Feeds

Zen and the Art of Laptop Battery Maintenance

Keep your notebook or netbook's power pack in tune

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

At 25°C, you're looking at a 20 per cent capacity loss after one year. Since your working environment is likely to be less than 25°C, the reduction will you see will be a little less than that, and by making sure the battery is used regularly and evenly, you should be able to delay the point at which the battery has only 80 per cent of its starting capacity to 18 months or more.

Mac OS X System Profiler - Power

Cycle logical: check your battery's recharge count in Mac OS X

Hot-running laptops will have the reverse effect, so if your notebook's like that, consider buying a cooling stand to help draw heat away from the machine and battery. Don't keep your laptop in a hot car cabin, or in direct sunlight.

If your laptop's going to remain unused for a long period, keep it cool. Never freeze it, but sticking the battery in the fridge, for example, will prolong its life. Battery manufacturers recommend storing batteries with a charge level of 40-50 per cent.

If you do refrigerate a battery, don't start using it as soon as you take it out again. Leave it several hours to warm up to room temperature first. Rapid warming could cause condensation, and you don't want moisture forming inside your battery pack or laptop.

If you have a spare battery pack handy, keep it cool and charged to 40-50 per cent of its maximum capacity until you're ready to take it on your travels. At that point, charge it up and use it as often as you use the other battery, so they both undergo regular charge and discharge cycles. ®

Charge Cycles Explained

Battery longevity - how long the battery lasts rather than how long it'll power a device from a full charge - is typically measured in cycles, with one cycle being a discharge from full to empty.

This doesn't need to happen all at once. A cycle is reached when 100 per cent of a battery's potential capacity has been taken, even if it's charged up in the meantime. If you drain a battery by half one day, charge it back up, take 25 per cent the next day, charge it up again then drain it by a quarter on the third day, that's one cycle: 50 per cent + 25 per cent + 25 per cent.

That might suggest the best way to eke out cycles isn't to discharge the battery too much, but don't forget, lithium-based batteries like to be used, not left on 100 per cent all the time.

Laptop makers typically say a machine's battery capacity will have declined to 80 per cent of its original capacity after 300-odd cycles.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.