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Getting the Most from your Laptop Battery

Jan 21, 2008
Laptop computers have become a part of our everyday life. They make us more efficient by providing information at our fingertips when we are away from work or home. But just when we get in the groove of our special project the battery indicator starts blinking and we scramble to find they power cord. Why does the battery seem to never last as long as it should? Or how come the battery use to last for hours and now it only takes minutes to run down?

There are several steps you can take to make sure your laptop battery lives up to its potential. With more and more computers running more and more programs and peripherals, these tips can come in handy next time your away from a wall outlet.

Tweak your settings.

Most new laptop computers are set to the standard setting. By checking your Operating System resources your can determine how to change your hardware settings. Make sure the screen brightness is set to the lowest level that lets you see the screen comfortably. Also, set your system to hibernate after a few minutes so your computer doesn't sit and run while you're away. Some systems even allow you to change how long the hard drive will run. This particular setting will allow you to free up even more battery life.

Unplug peripherals.

Leaving cameras, USB drives, and speakers plugged in when not in use is one of the biggest power consumers. When you're done with a file on a thumb drive, go ahead and remove it. If you aren't using the CD in your disk drive, remove that as well to keep the disk drive from running constantly.

Is it really a "lap"-top?

Have you ever noticed the vents on the bottom of some laptops? Some sources indicate that using your laptop in your lap causes the system to heat up rapidly because these vents are blocked from releasing enough heat. In this case, your cooling system will begin to work overtime. If you notice your computer getting pretty hot, try to use it on a completely flat surface so the vents around the bottom have room to breathe.

Condition the battery.

Here is the key to success! When you receive a new battery, make sure you charge it all the way up at least twice and run it down to about 5% at least twice. This will allow the battery to reach its full capacity and last as long as it is supposed to. Some people also suggest to do this complete discharge/charge cycle about once a month so the battery continues to remember its full life cycle.
About the Author
Bobby George is a technical consultant at Low Cost Batteries Please visit the sight for more battery information or e-mail bobby@lowcostbatteries.com
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