hi. ill be receiving a new laptop within a week and was wondering how long i should initially charge it to maximize its life. Im reading conflicting claims regarding newer batteries. If anyone here knows anything about laptop batteries, any input would be greatly appreciated. By the way, its a Lithium-ion battery.
Li-ion(and new li-ploy) batteries like those in laptops do NOT have the memory effect of older battery chemistry and in fact can NOT be overcharged(because they would explode). They have a self controlling charger that will stop when the battery is full and charge it no more. Some companies say you should discharge them a few times a year as well if you use then very little.
Ni-MH have much less effect from being used before charged, but should be killed from time to time as well. This kind of battery can also be overcharged with high rate chargers. Most chargers now are smart enough to shut off either with a timer or control system.
Older batteries like Ni-Cad had to be fully charged to avoid the memory effect and it was best to discharge them rather low to maximize the lifetime. overcharging will damage this battery type, but it is only used in cheap cordless phones now days for the most part. This is why despite what the manual says, the batteries will work better over the long run if the phone is not ALWAYS on charge.
Short answer, charge it until the charging led goes out
leaving it plugged in will do no harm either.