Laptops are great for letting you do your computing when on the go. But you need to be sure you monitor the health of your battery to make sure you can continue with your portable computing for a long time.
How much run time you get out of a battery really depends on how you use your computer. The following is a list of things that will contribute to battery drain:
- watching a DVD or listening to a music CD
- installing software from disc
- burning discs
- playing video games that are really CPU- or video-intensive
- using WiFi
- using Bluetooth
- using the display at the brightest setting
- running a full system virus scan or hard drive optimization
Don't misunderstand me here, there's nothing wrong with doing these things with your laptop while on battery. You just have to keep those things in mind when you only get an hour and a half of life while playing your video games while watching a DVD in a window. If you're computing on the go and you don't need to use WiFi or Bluetooth, turn them off. If you want to watch DVDs, there is software out there that can copy the movie to your hard drive for more efficient viewing.
To maintain the lifespan of the battery there are things you need to do:
Never leave the machine plugged in all the time. Laptops are meant to be portable. Using it as a desktop that never runs on the battery will destroy your battery life.
Cycles are your friend. Never letting the battery complete a cycle will greatly diminish your run-time. Try to avoid charging the battery unless it's drained past 30%. Any time the battery drains past 50% and charges more than 50% counts as a cycle. The farther you let it drain before the charge - the better its overall health will remain.
30 cycles in a year is not a good thing.
Let the battery drain completely a few times a week.
Never let it sit for long periods of time without use. Batteries need to be loved or else they won't love you.
- If you must let a laptop sit unused for a long time, be sure to charge it all the way and then take the battery out of the computer.