How to Get the Most Out of Your Computer's Battery
Squeeze the most mileage out of your notebook’s battery without harming your computer—or yourself
All hail the lithium-ion battery, that wonderful device that keeps your notebook running when you’re away from the docking station, or when someone accidentally knocks your power cord out of the wall. Where would you be without one? Virtually tied to your desk, for one thing. Much less efficient at your job, for another. So, it’s time to give your battery a little bit of respect for all the work it quietly allows you to do.
There are, of course, a number of things to keep in mind about that wonderful stick-shaped block of metal under your keyboard. It’s not eternal, and like everything, needs a bit of care. But treat it well, and the two of you will get along for years. Here are some ways to keep your notebook’s battery (and yourself) running at peak efficiency:
It’s no secret that a battery’s charge doesn’t last forever—the typical unit, when new, may run for two or three hours (probably less); an “extended life” battery might go for up to eight—meaning you need to be careful with how you use your operating minutes. On top of that, a battery’s capacity to hold a charge declines over time, typically dropping to about 80 percent of normal after 12 to 18 months of service. But you won’t even get that kind of mileage if you’re always hooked up to a charger. At least once a week, work off battery power for as long as possible (burn off at least 20 percent of the total capacity in any event).The more often a PC battery is recharged, the less-effective that charge (and the battery) becomes.
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