It is the same portable nature of laptops that gives them an edge over the conventional desktop computers. More precisely, its unabridged running even during external power failure or functionality during power absence makes it very handy during odd scenarios. This definitive edge is delivered to you by a cell case under your laptop incorporated with Nickel or Lithium battery for newer models. Of course, these batteries do not last a lifetime, nor do they generally offer a power backup of more than 4 hours. However their utility and efficiency can both be maximised if variables are controlled. Below, we shall look at a few steps to help reduce your battery discharge rate and a few measures that will help your battery last longer.
Newer versions of the Windows OS deal with extremely power consuming graphics and animations. So in order to cut down on these, Windows offers Power Options within its OS that allows users to choose from 3 set power options-’high performance’, ‘balanced’ and ‘power saver’. Turning on the ‘power saver’ mode helps enormously in terms of bringing a longer cycle as physical features are either turned off or down. Power options allow you to customise dim display during idle time, monitors or hard disk turn off time, display brightness, etc. So it is always a good idea to customise your power saver option according to your needs and switch to it whenever unplugged.
Lower The Load
If you ask a person to carry a heavier load, he gets tired fast; if you ask him to carry a lighter load, he can carry it for longer. It is the same for your laptop battery too! The key to a longer battery cycle is to run as low as possible. Whether it be external devices or power con-suming software—shut everything down. Minimising everything and running 10-15 application processes add to the computer’s burden. Similarly, desktop gadgets, search features, RSS feed, iTunes may run idle most of the time but consume a fair share of your battery. Talking of hardware, your graphics card sucks your battery power every second that it is turned on. Other hardwares that eat up your battery include higher display brightness, wifi adapters, Bluetooth devices, USB devices and DVD drives. Until you are working with them, please shut them down and detach all removable media.
Add Additional Ram
This might sound self-destructive because adding more RAM should actually consume more power. Yes it does, so this condition holds true only if the current size of your RAM is in-sufficient. Adding the right sized RAM card will allow you to process more with the memory your laptop has rather than relying on virtual memory. Note that the virtual memory your laptop uses is driven from your hard disk which takes far more power for operation so it is better opt for a new RAM card both for performance and power efficiency.
Defragmentation is always pivotal to an efficient file processing scheme on your PC. Just for the sake of making your hard drive work faster and save processing time, it is necessary that you regularly defragment your hard drives. The faster your hard drive does its work, the lesser demand of power it makes.
Dim & Mute
Most of the laptops today come with the brightness control right on the function keys. If you do not want to switch your power mode just yet due to cooling issues or other reasons but still want to conserve charge then manually lower screen brightness. The same holds true for your laptop speakers; if you aren’t fiddling with the sound engine then better turn that off too. In this context, one must understand that multimedia kills. Using optimum graphics putting your cooling system heavily to work and playing your speakers loud all diminish your battery cycle tremendously.
You might be good at it and that is what you usually do—open your emails, work on your existing documents while you turn to your spreadsheet for a minute and continue creating a presentation simultaneously while pulling files from the internet. This is surely something the computer is designed to do but something that your battery will not appreciate. Do one thing at a time when you’re on battery.
Clean Your Battery Contacts
Turn your battery upside down and you will see the outline of your battery compartment. Unlock the battery lock and remove the battery. There are several metal pins located at the side of the casing for connecting your battery. Also, there are complimentary pins on the laptop. Make sure you clean these metal contacts every few months using a verified cleaning agent or rubbing alcohol. What it does is increase the battery transfer efficiency.
Keep Operating Temperature Down
Your laptop operates more efficiently at cooler temperatures. It also contains a cooler inside its motherboard. However airflow regulation can play a role in the cooling efficiency of your laptop. Clean out the air vents located at the sides and the bottom of your laptop. Also place the laptop on a table of a hard smooth surface where air flow is uninterrupted. Avoid placing your laptop over blankets or too much on your lap. Place it on a cooling pad even if it is not turned on.
Taking Care Of Your Battery
Exercise your battery, use it! Do not leave a charged battery dormant for extended periods. A charged cell should be put to use at least once every 2-3 weeks. Note—if it’s a Nickel battery then discharge the battery completely once every month or two. This helps to prevent the memory effect and your battery will feel new. However, in modern laptops, which run on a Li-On battery, you should never take the risk of a complete discharge. A complete drain out will severely deplete your battery cycle as well as the battery life. Also, if you work on your laptop too much on the desk where power is continuously available, removing the battery physically time and again is a good practice. This will prevent the battery from being overused. However, take note that the battery you are about to remove is neither full charged nor empty; keep the battery level somewhere in the middle.
Source: The Kathmandu Post