Putting Your Laptop Battery on a Diet
This entry was posted on July 29, 2010.
Batteries are an essential laptop element. The technology available today, and the vast amounts of power spots make batteries an under the radar risk. However, if you are in a car ride, or an eleven hour plane ride to Japan a battery is what you need. Of course, everyone knows the basic tips. Stuff like, dim your screen, minimize processes, disable the wireless and so on. These tips can help get that bit of extra playtime on your flight, but there are more.
Processes eat up a chunk of the processor, which in turns eats up battery life. However, what some people may neglect to realize is that the hardware is one of the biggest components to battery use. Power management utilities can help reduce the impact of internal hardware on the battery life. Some ways to optimize your hardware is by disabling unused ports and components such as VGA, PCMCIA, USB, or Ethernet. If you are on a plane or car ride, disable the wireless too.
The process for disabling these components is right in the Device Manager. Another technique is to create hardware profiles that you can switch to in certain scenarios. These profiles will remember which processes and hardware ports to shut off when selected. These profiles can be set up to turn off selected components to optimize your battery life. Third party software can also help in this type of function. An additional feature of some software is turning the display off instead of going to a screen saver.
These techniques help out for each charge, but what about the longevity of the battery itself? Damaging the battery means a shorter life span. Two things hurt a battery more than anything, wrong amperage on the AC adapter, and heat. Overheating can be a major problem, and can reduce the battery longevity severely. To avoid the heat, use a cooling pad for your laptop. Avoid keeping the laptop on fabrics or any surface that blocks the cooling fan. Another factor to overheating is dust. If the fan is clogged, the laptop is not being cooled.
Keeping a neat workspace can reduce the amount of dust that attacks your system. Room temperature is the ideal setting for batteries. Try not to store the battery in areas where the temperature gets above eighty degrees Fahrenheit. If the battery is not room temperature, let it return to room temperature before using. If you are using an AC adapter, consider taking the battery out while doing so. Also, remember to clean the contacts periodically with rubbing alcohol. All of these techniques will help keep a healthy battery for longer.
If you are in the market for a new laptop, you can consider certain upgrades to maximize your battery life. When buying, look for ultra low voltage processors that use less power. Solid state storage devices have less moving parts and require less energy. Finally, an LED display uses less energy than the traditional LCD screens. If you can help it, go for a smaller screen, smaller equals less power used, and more battery life. Finally, make sure you purchase a good battery. Knowing your batteries will help you choose a good battery.