Is a ups battery backup need for a laptop?

Is a ups battery backup need for a laptop, or due to to the fact it has its own battery a ups battery isn’t necessary?
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAsked:
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FOXActive Directory/Exchange EngineerCommented:
The power cord charges the battery that is inside of a laptop.  A UPS would only be needed in the event you may have an electrical power loss for an extended amount of time wherever you are.
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William FulksSystems Analyst & WebmasterCommented:
No you don't need a UPS for a laptop unless your laptop doesn't have a battery or won't hold a charge any more.
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Andy SCommented:
as already mentioned - UPS is not required for the laptop unless the battery is dead, but dont forget that your network / wireless will need to be on UPS if you have a power outage and want to keep the laptop working on a network.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I would say it depends on your laptop, the type of display and the age of the battery.

My ThinkPad X230 with LED display and a fairly new battery will go 3 to 4 hours depending on use.

My (retired) ThinkPad T61p with LCD display and an older large battery is only good for about an hour.

So depending on what you want, you may wish to have a UPS. I have a UPS in the basement for my network and for my desktop PC. The laptop benefits.
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Fred MarshallPrincipalCommented:
A lot depends on "why" one would want a battery backup in the first place.  
I live in an area where power outages are fairly common and equipment failures result.
In that case what one needs is a "super surge protector".  A battery backup does that nicely as long as the computers run off the battery.  

I believe that most laptops run off the battery.  In that case the laptop has such a "surge protector".  But, as has been pointed out, if the battery is dead and gone then the laptop may be running off the power line more directly and there's no protection.  You can demonstrate this by removing the battery and applying power from the power cord.  This is sometimes a good test for shorted batteries where the computer won't run if the battery is installed.

But, if all you want is for the computer to stay running for some time then that's a different matter and more directly the purpose of battery backups.
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nobusCommented:
in essence, the UPS is extending the time it can run by adding a bigger battery
so the question remains - how long would you need it to run, without AC available?
that will decide if you need a n UPS or not
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
A UPS serves two functions:

(1)  It is an excellent surge protector

and

(2)  the battery/inverter provides power in the event of a failure ... generally only for a few minutes to allow a graceful shutdown of the connected equipment.

Laptops clearly do not need #2 ... they have their own batteries built-in and these will provide FAR more runtime than a typical UPS battery will.     However, they generally do NOT have surge protection built in, and the power "brick" can easily be destroyed by voltage transients.     So it's a good idea to plug them in to a surge protector ... and as with any other electronic equipment the better the surge protector, the better the equipment is protected.

Probably the best surge protector you can get is the APC Line-R units => these provide not only superb surge protection; but also automatic voltage regulation to minimize any power fluctuations due to brownouts or power line surges.    Essentially it's a good APC UPS unit without the inverter or battery.    http://www.amazon.com/APC-LE1200-Automatic-Voltage-Regulator/dp/B00009RA60
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
As it happens (rarely indeed) power has failed in my neighbourhood this morning. It has been out for at least an hour. The UPS is running the network gear (I am here posting) and I just started my ThinkPad so it is good for a few hours.

I use both: UPS and Laptop with a good battery.
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
As garycase pointed out the purpose of A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) device is to provide battery backup when the electrical power drops to an unacceptable voltage level a UPS monitors the power line and switches to battery power as soon as it detects a problem. The switch to battery, however, can require several milliseconds, during which time the computer is not receiving any power  
 Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) safeguards PCs and other electronics, brownouts, surges, spikes, sags, and other power abnormalities. Its Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) boost/buck technology delivers a consistent and clean AC power
This is a special technology the UPS have. To kick in if the electric power drops below 110V. this may be because of a brownout which usably will only be for less the a second or an outlet that does not provide enough power Which can be cussed by having on the one bracket a lot of appliance, or other reasons., a laptop battery will is designed to work when there is no power, my quotation is if a laptop battery have the technology to protect when there is power but falls below 110V by monitoring and keep the power above 110V? (A surge protector will only protect against over voltage)

How does APC Line-R units do the job without having a battery, and what is it different then the regular APC/cyberpower/tripplite UPS?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
How does APC Line-R units do the job without having a battery,  <-- I don't see how it could protect from a brownout or loss of power without a battery. It might protect from surges and spikes with energy absorbing circuits.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... How does APC Line-R units do the job without having a battery,  <-- I don't see how it could protect from a brownout or loss of power without a battery. It might protect from surges and spikes with energy absorbing circuits. "

==>  Read the specifications guys.    This is an automatic voltage regulator ... that's exactly what it's designed to do [for brownouts -- clearly it can't provide power in the event of a loss of power].    Any UPS that has AVR does exactly the same thing -- boosting low voltages and trimming high voltages WITHOUT switching to the inverter (i.e. battery power).       To quote from the specifications for the Line-R:

"... Automatically steps up low voltage and steps down high voltage to levels that are suitable for your equipment. "

The specifications show that it will maintain 120v output for input voltages between 85v and 140v.

That's what an "automatic voltage regulator" circuit does :-)    No battery involved -- even on a UPS.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... and what is it different then the regular APC/cyberpower/tripplite UPS? "  ==>   A UPS has an inverter (to convert battery power to A/C) and a battery ... so in the event of a power loss will switch to that within a few milliseconds so the connected equipment will continue to run.

Any good UPS unit will also have AVR (automatic voltage regulation),  which does exactly the same thing with regards to correcting brownouts or high input voltages as the Line-R.     [Some of the low-end UPS units do not include AVR circuitry -- you do NOT want to buy one of those]
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
That's what an "automatic voltage regulator" circuit does :-)    No battery involved -- even on a UPS.  <-- Of course, but a voltage regulator will only correct with limits.

An outage (loss of power) will prevent a voltage regulator from helping, so that is why I always use a good UPS.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
A few examples …

This is a low-cost UPS that does NOT have AVR circuitry:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842101311
I would NOT recommend a UPS in this class … during a brownout condition it is likely to switch back-and-forth between the line and the inverter repeatedly  (this is not good for modern electronics)

This is a much better unit that includes AVR:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842101421
Note the specifications indicate that “… Automatic voltage regulation maintains healthy voltage conditions without using battery power.”
Note, however, that – like virtually all units in this price range – the output voltage from the inverter is not a true sinewave … it’s a “stepped sine wave” approximation.    They work fine; but are not as good as true sinewave outputs.

This is a high-end unit that includes AVR and has a pure sinewave output from the inverter:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842301290
If you want the best, this is the kind of unit to get.

These are a couple of CyberPower unit with AVR and a pure sinewave output – they’re not as expensive as the APR units in this class:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102131
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102134

Enough – you get the idea.   To get back to your original question – you do NOT need a UPS for a laptop, but it IS a good idea to plug it into a good surge protector => and the Line-R is about as good as they get with both surge protection and automatic voltage regulation.    Note that APC warrants any equipment that’s protected by a Line-R for up to $25,000 in surge-related damage.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... but a voltage regulator will only correct with limits. " => Of course.    But with regard to your earlier comment "... I don't see how it could protect from a brownout ..." ... it easily does that.

"...  An outage (loss of power) will prevent a voltage regulator from helping, so that is why I always use a good UPS. "  =>  Me too.    I have 8 UPS units scattered around my home (and two Line-R's).    But this question was "Is a ups battery backup need for a laptop?"  ==>  and the answer to that is clearly NO.   But a good surge protector is still a good idea ... and they simply don't come any better than the Line-R units.
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Abraham DeutschIT professionalAuthor Commented:
Thank you garycase for this voluble information. After using dozens of UPS I never know that not all UPS have AVR and some UPS may even to harm by switching back-and-forth between the line and the inverter repeatedly I usually go with http://www.amazon.com/APC-BE550G-Back-UPS-8-outlet-Uninterruptible/dp/B0019804U8/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1446483182&sr=1-1&keywords=ups+battery+backup  for lower end computers and with http://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-CP600LCD-Intelligent-600VA-Compact/dp/B000OTEZ5I/ref=sr_1_10?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1446483182&sr=1-10&keywords=ups+battery+backup for higher end computers (not servers, but desktop, according to your information I would do better with http://www.amazon.com/APC-LE1200-Automatic-Voltage-Regulator/dp/B00009RA60. Is there a reason you choose this particular over other Voltage Regulator?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The Line-R is simply the best unit I'm aware of and is very inexpensive, so that's what I use when I don't need a UPS.

But for most of my systems I use a UPS with AVR, so I have both the voltage regulation and battery backup capability.

If you want a low-cost UPS that has AVR, this is a good choice (better than either of the units you've been using):
http://www.amazon.com/APC-BR700G-Back-UPS-6-outlet-Uninterruptible/dp/B002RCNX8K/ref=sr_1_12?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1446485260&sr=1-12&keywords=ups
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