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Best use of battery to maximize battery life?

Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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August 19, 2006 3:46:59 PM

I was wondering what the best use is of the laptop battery when the laptop is connected to the power cord for most of the time.

A friend of mine unplugs her laptop every time her battery is fully charged and continues on using the laptop - unplugged - , plugs it back in upon battery-low, charges it again + unplugs it, ..... repeating this cycle ....

Isn't it better to fully charge the battery, unmount it, keep the pc connected to the power without the battery and use the battery only when needed (and thus keeping the fully charged battery in the laptop carry-bag).

Or would it be better to fully discharg it and then put the battery apart from the laptop
Or does the 'friend-method' beats them all.

Any comment is welcome.
August 21, 2006 4:16:35 AM

i would say keep it fully charged and unmount it like u said that way the battery wont build up a memory and hold less of a charge on the rare instances you use it as a laptop. i'm on my laptop right now and i dont know about other ppl but for the most part if im on my bed or whereever i just leave it plugged in and maybe once in a blue moon its unplugged to b taken somewhere or to work to get schoolwork done
August 21, 2006 4:18:44 AM

i would also keep the battery in, incase of a power outage ur computer won't lose any unsaved information
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August 22, 2006 2:38:56 PM

In case you need a second opinion: Leave it plugged in.

I'd imagine the thought behind your friend's plugging and unplugging of the cord is centered around the idea that it is best to drain a battery 100% before recharging it, as some have a "memory" (like the one in a hand-held radio or cell phone) and will begin to hold less charge is recharged before drained.

This isn't something you should really be concerned with on your laptop. To an extent, yes, your battery will hold less charge over time (it'll happen no matter what). You'll just create unneeded wear and tear by using it when not needed.
August 30, 2006 7:41:41 PM

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm

"A lithium-ion battery provides 300-500 discharge/charge cycles. The battery prefers a partial rather than a full discharge. Frequent full discharges should be avoided when possible. Instead, charge the battery more often or use a larger battery. There is no concern of memory when applying unscheduled charges."

Charging and discharging repeatedly simply reduces the life of the battery. So, from a strictly battery-life perspective, don't do this. However, from a data security point of view, leave it in and plugged in.

Most laptop charging systems are "smart" and will not overcharge the battery, which is the most common way to kill a battery. The second most common way (probably more common in laptops) is overheating the battery... so in that case, leaving it in is bad because of the heat load from the other components in the system.

Either way - charging/discharging is accomplishing nothing, other than wearing it out sooner.
August 31, 2006 1:15:13 AM

thats a good question.

I always seem to kill the life out of lithuim ion batteries.
On a somewhat related note i will never buy an ipod again.
August 31, 2006 1:16:23 AM

thats a good question.

I always seem to kill the life out of lithuim ion batteries.
On a somewhat related note i will never buy an ipod again.
September 2, 2006 7:17:58 AM

My view is. Use it when needed otherwise dont use the battery. I dont drive much and use it for waiting for doctors and going to a friend. Or when the power out. For my area snow tends to knock out power. So we use generators and battery backup for our house.

I do once in a while change batterys Just so Both batterys are fully charged. I tend to do this every 2 to 3 months.
September 2, 2006 11:57:53 PM

My father's laptop sits there, all day, sometimes on and sometimes off, but always plugged in.

The result of being constantly plugged in? His battery lasts 3 minutes when unplugged. When it was new you could get 1+ hours out of it. In my opinion, don't leave it plugged in 24/7.
September 2, 2006 11:58:57 PM

My father's laptop sits there, all day, sometimes on and sometimes off, but always plugged in.

The result of being constantly plugged in? His battery lasts 3 minutes when unplugged. When it was new you could get 1+ hours out of it. In my opinion, don't leave it plugged in 24/7.
September 7, 2006 12:32:35 AM

- Run it from the AC adapter whenever possible, NOT needlessly using the battery (as another person mentioned, battery has finite # of charge and discharge cycles, even when not fully drained a lesser % of drain and recharge still counts against the total, just not as bad as a complete drain.

- Don't completely drain the battery. This is almost impossible to do anyway on any remotely modern laptop which turns itself off, EXCEPT if you left it unplugged for months (or shorter time, as battery capacity degrades with age/cycles).

- Don't leave the laptop always plugged into AC when the battery is fully charged and laptop is turned completely off. After the normal battery recharge cycle and a few hours to trickle (if that), continual trickle charging just creates heat. In other words if the battery is fully charged, unplug it instead of leaving it charging all night while you sleep or all day while away at work.

On the other hand, if you become a slave to your battery it's hardly worthwhile. Suppose your battery isn't abused but not treated the best it possibly could be and you get 20% shorter life out of it. Factor that against the cost of a replacement, and that a battery will degrade in a few years even if it isn't used at all, treated *perfectly*.
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