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  How to Extend Laptop�s Battery Life 
 
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jack migrade Feb 28, 2013, 04:28am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Laptops tend to lose their charm quickly when you�re constantly looking for the nearest power outlet to charge up. How do you keep your battery going for as long as possible? Here are 15 easy ways to do so.

1. Defrag regularly - The faster your hard drive does its work � less demand you are going to put on the hard drive and your battery. Make your hard drive as efficient as possible by defragging it regularly. (but not while it�s on battery of course!) Mac OSX is better built to handle fragmentation so it may not be very applicable for Apple systems.

2. Dim your screen � Most laptops come with the ability to dim your laptop screen. Some even come with ways to modify CPU and cooling performance. Cut them down to the lowest level you can tolerate to squeeze out some extra battery juice.

3. Cut down on programs running in the background. Itunes, Desktop Search, etc. All these add to the CPU load and cut down battery life. Shut down everything that isn�t Crucial when you�re on battery.

4. Cut down external devices � USB devices (including your mouse) & WiFi drain down your laptop battery. Remove or shut them down when not in use. It goes without saying that charging other devices (like your iPod) with your laptop when on battery is a surefire way of quickly wiping out the charge on your laptop battery.

5. Add more RAM - This will allow you to process more with the memory your laptop has, rather than relying on virtual memory. Virtual memory results in hard drive use, and is much less power efficient. Note that adding more RAM will consume more energy, so this is most applicable if you do need to run memory intensive programs which actually require heavy usage of virtual memory.

6. Run off a hard drive rather than CD/DVD - As power consuming as hard drives are, CD and DVD drives are worse. Even having one in the drive can be power consuming. They spin, taking power, even when they?re not actively being used. Wherever possible, try to run on virtual drives using programs like Alcohol 120% rather than optical ones.

7. Keep the battery contacts clean: Clean your battery�s metal contacts every couple of months with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol. This keeps the transfer of power from your battery more efficient.

8. Take care of your battery � Exercise the Battery. Do not leave a charged battery dormant for long periods of time. Once charged, you should at least use the battery at least once every two to three weeks. Also, do not let a Li-On battery completely discharge. (Discharing is only for older batteries with memory effects)

9. Hibernate not standby � Although placing a laptop in standby mode saves some power and you can instantly resume where you left off, it doesn�t save anywhere as much power as the hibernate function does. Hibernating a PC will actually save your PC�s state as it is, and completely shut itself down.

10. Keep operating temperature down - Your laptop operates more efficiently when it�s cooler. Clean out your air vents with a cloth or keyboard cleaner, or refer to some extra tips by akkus-adapter.com.

11. Set up and optimize your power options � Go to �Power Options� in your windows control panel and set it up so that power usage is optimized (Select the �max battery� for maximum effect).

12. Don�t multitask � Do one thing at a time when you�re on battery. Rather than working on a spreadsheet, letting your email client run in the background and listening to your latest set of MP3′s, set your mind to one thing only. If you don�t you�ll only drain out your batteries before anything gets completed!

13. Go easy on the PC demands � The more you demand from your PC. Passive activities like email and word processing consume much less power than gaming or playing a DVD. If you�ve got a single battery charge � pick your priorities wisely.

14. Get yourself a more efficient laptop - Laptops are getting more and more efficient in nature to the point where some manufacturers are talking about all day long batteries. Picking up a newer more efficient laptop to replace an aging one is usually a quick fix.

15. Prevent the Memory Effect - If you�re using a very old laptop, you�ll want to prevent the �memory effect� � Keep the battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-Ion batteries (which most laptops have) which do not suffer from the memory effect.


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Joshua Marius, LeThe Mar 10, 2013, 08:18pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 10, 2013, 08:19pm EDT

 
>> Re: How to Extend Laptops Battery Life
Good points thanks for sharing. I have two comments:

1. Remove the battery from laptop if you mostly use it while having the charger plugged in.

2. You also have to remember SSDs :) They have lower power consumption in most cases.
If you do get an SSD, pay attention to articles about not defragging them.

Joshua Marius
http://www.letheonline.net
-----------------------------
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
Intel Core i5-2500K
ASUS P8Z68-V LX
Intel SSDSC2CW180A3 180 GB
RAID 1: Seagate ST3750528AS 750 GB
CORSAIR Vengeance 8 GB DDR3 1600
eVGA GeForce 8800 GTS
Dr. Peaceful Mar 11, 2013, 02:03pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: How to Extend Laptops Battery Life
Most of what you suggested are fine. However, here are few of my comments:

jack migrade said:
12. Dont multitask Do one thing at a time when youre on battery. Rather than working on a spreadsheet, letting your email client run in the background and listening to your latest set of MP3's, set your mind to one thing only. If you dont youll only drain out your batteries before anything gets completed!

Don't multitask?! You got to be kidding me. Multitasking is the whole point of having a computer. Not only it's impractical for most people to just do one thing at a time in a computer, but also multitasking often may not have significant impact on battery / power consumption. It all depends on what hardware resource the tasks utilized. The example you used: playing MP3 audio, that of course consumes more power because it utilizes the audio card / chipset. For normal work tasks consist of word processing, spread sheet, email, web browsing, normal files read / write, etc., it's unlikely to have significant impact on power consumption. In addition, by doing one task at a time, it will make you use more time to complete all the tasks. The longer you work with the computer, the more power it will consume.

jack migrade said:
14. Get yourself a more efficient laptop - Laptops are getting more and more efficient in nature to the point where some manufacturers are talking about all day long batteries. Picking up a newer more efficient laptop to replace an aging one is usually a quick fix.

That should be the first in the list. It doesn't matter what you do, if your hardware is inefficient in power consumption and/or your battery pack is insufficient for long use, you can not extend the laptop's battery life beyond the limit of the hardware.

kOrny Mar 11, 2013, 03:26pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Mar 11, 2013, 03:27pm EDT

 
>> Re: How to Extend Laptops Battery Life
Joshua Marius, LeThe said:
Good points thanks for sharing. I have two comments:

1. Remove the battery from laptop if you mostly use it while having the charger plugged in.

2. You also have to remember SSDs :) They have lower power consumption in most cases.
If you do get an SSD, pay attention to articles about not defragging them.

These really need to be at the top of his list. Removing the battery when not in use can add years of life to it, and in addition, it's always good to let the battery drain completely before recharging it again.

Adding a SSD can add about an hour to any laptop's battery charge.


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