The secret to getting more juice out of your notebook battery
With the rise of the laptop we have been able to stay productive, creative and entertained almost anywhere. We are no longer tied to our desks or a certain location – that is, until it is time to recharge.
The way we use our laptop significantly impacts battery life so here are a few tips to help improve overall battery performance:
1) Charge-cycle care
One of the more popular battery-saving techniques is to control how often you connect and disconnect the charger. Its effectiveness largely depends on the type of battery and laptop model you’re using. Many older notebooks feature nickel-metal batteries, while modern notebooks are built with lithium-ion batteries. For the nickel-metal variety, it can help to completely drain your battery until it shuts down, and then fully recharge it. Doing so for lithium-ion batteries, though, has been known to have a negative effect on battery efficiency.
To find out which type of battery you have, shut down your PC and release the battery. On the top or bottom of the battery, there should be a “Li-ion” for lithium-ion or “NiMH” or “Ni-Cad” for nickel batteries.
2) Screen brightness
The brighter your notebook screen, the more power it consumes. To save energy simply reduce your screen brightness. This is especially helpful when using a program that has a light/white background, such as Microsoft Word or Excel.
3) Tools and tasks
Open your Task Manager and check out just how many programs and applications are running on your computer. There’s probably more than a few you didn’t even know were running. These tools and tasks require a lot of energy.
Check to see which programs are currently running using the notification bar on the bottom right of your screen, plus look for any hidden tasks or tools. Switch off the programs that aren’t critical and deactivate any unnecessary ones that run automatically. Your IT support team can help you stop these programs from re-starting every time you boot up.
4) Sleep mode
When you are not using your notebook you can put it into sleep mode to greatly conserve battery power, especially if you expect to be away from your notebook for extended periods of time. You will need to access your power management features to control these settings and specify when you want sleep mode to turn on. You can force your PC to sleep after it has been idle for minutes or hours.
While wireless internet helps us roam wherever we want it can also drain a lot of power. Turn off your Wi-Fi capability if you are not using it as your notebook will continually search for a signal when Wi-Fi is turned on.
6) Get back-up
If you spend most of your day away from a charger then buy an extra battery so you can keep one fully charged in your notebook bag. That way, when your original battery is getting low you can just pop it out and keep working.
Make sure your laptop has a removable battery because many Ultrabook models have fused batteries that cannot be removed. Also, we always recommend buying a second battery that is made by the laptop manufacturer (“genuine”) since cheaper, non-branded alternatives usually degrade quickly.