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Question about the battery

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Hello


I just bought a new laptop.
I would like to know what is the best for the battery.
Should I use the laptop with the adapter always pluged inm or at least as much as possible?
Or is it better to use it only with the battery and when it's level becomes critical to plug in the adapter?

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Question by:alohadin
4 Comments
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Zac Harris
ID: 22628446
Only use the adapter when you need to charge the battery. This will prolong the life of the battery.
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Expert Comment

by:urgoll
ID: 22628755
Use the adapter when you need it. But most important, use the battery. An unused battery will lose capacity, quick. To keep the battery in top shape, at least once a month drain it to 30% then charge it to full capacity. Note that draining that much isn't needed if you use the battery on a daily basis, only if the laptop if the power adapter is used most of the time.

Also check out the FAQ from laptop manufacturers, as they usually know best:

http://www1.ca.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/batteries_sitelet/en/batteries_faq?c=ca&l=en&s=gen

http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html


Hope this helps.
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:aleghart
ID: 22629812
Best battery life:

Drain to 40%.
Remove.
Run laptop with battery removed.

Every 2-4 weeks, install battery.
Charge and run.
Deplete to 40%.

Repeat.

Keep these in mind:
Each drain/charge cycle reduces battery capacity.
Batteries store longest at 40% charge.
Batteries lose capacity and longevity when running at high temperatures.  Laptop temps are 120-130F.

So, using the method above, you:

Decrease charge cycles to 20-30 per year, 300/yr.
Avoid storing batteries at full charge.
Store batteries at room temperature, not 120+F prolonged exposure.

Just remember to carry your charger on trips, and top it off before you leave.
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Accepted Solution

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rid earned 200 total points
ID: 22636812
It seems there are individuals among batteries.... :) Some die quickly, some last for quite some time irrespective of how you treat them. My suggestion is to have the battery in at all times. Run from AC if you have AC at hand. The charging circuitry in modern laptos is quite well adapted to keeping the batteries healthy. However, it is indeed a good idea to drain the battery once in a while, not to forced shutdown, of course, but down to 20-30%; once or twice a month, perhaps, if you normally run the unit on AC.

Li-ion batteries don't have the odd quirks that NiCd or NiMH batteries have, memory effect and such. Their life is limited, though, by their chemistry to a few years (or some 500 discharge cycles, whichever happens first...). As suggested, a 40% charge level seems to be good for storage. I usually get an extra battery from start and keep it at 40%, stored in a cool place. When I need to spend time in a non-AC environment I top it up and bring it along.
/RID
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