Originally posted on June 13, 2007 @ 10:44 am
If you’re always on the road with your laptop, you know the problem : after only some months the battery life has tremendously reduced. My last laptop, a Sony Vaio, had after 2 years around 30 minutes of battery life left over. And that was without pushing the engine.
When I bought my new laptop, I made sure to go for a bigger 9 cell battery, but still there are some things to take care of to enjoy your laptop as a real portable device as long as possible.
My 5tips to make your battery last longer.
- Tone the brightness of your screen down.
When running in battery mode, tone the brightness of your screen down. Sure we all love our newest widescreen notebook and its TrueBrightTM,X-BlackTM, TrueLifeTM screen with the awesome contrast. But trust me, the huge, high contrast bright monitor you have is one of the most battery resourceful components on your notebook.
‘It doesn’t look that nice!’ I hear you, but it’s more a matter of getting used too than look nice. Within only some hours, you can get used to the lower contrast settings, why not apply them when plugged in as well. Soon you won’t remember the bright days anymore. :)
- Avoid using the optical drive.
CD and DVD drive are really power hungry and will quickly drain your battery, no matter if your recording or just reading. If you need to save on an external device, use a USB stick. Before offering someone to burn a CD, ask if they have a USB drive or an iPod even. This goes faster and saves lots of energy.
- Turn of Bluetooth.
If you have Bluetooth installed in your notebook, turn it off when possible. The Bluetooth receiver/transmitter scans non stop the neighborhood for present/new devices.
- Turn of your WiFi.
Turn of your WiFi chip when ever possible. Like the Bluetooth module, your wireless device also permanently communicates with the neighborhood and other network devices. Many times you don’t need to be permanently online. Use one of the tools mentioned in previous entries.
Google Gears automatically recognizes when you’re offline, Windows Writer (or MS Word/Open Office) perfectly do the job when you need to type text. Thunderbird will download and upload all your mail at once. Limit your online time as much as possible and synchronize all your documents in the smallest period of time. Google Reader, Thunderbird can run in the background when you upload your texts, letters to Google Docs&Spreadsheets or any collaboration suite.
- Charge your battery when you don’t use your notebook.
Still today most devices are made to use the battery whenever there’s a battery inserted. Even when you’re plugged in, you’ll still use the battery. Batteries still suffer the memory effect. You don’t believe me? They don’t suffer the lazy battery effect anymore? How come that battery manufacturers only provide 6 months warranty, even in countries such as Germany where a 2 year warranty period legally required is?
Grow a new routine in your life : learn to remove your battery as soon as you are plugged even. Put it back when you go to sleep or leave the office. Even if it’s cumbersome. Best even would be to get an external battery charger if there is one for your model.
If anyone else has good tips to improve the battery life of notebooks, please leave them in the comments.
I can think of one more tip, a double tip actually : deactivate unnecessary background services, create hardware profiles for mobile usage. Many background services are not needed. Maybe I might digg deeper in to this subject in a near future. :)