Laptops are undoubtedly very useful gadgets. They are versatile and provide the freedom of working while on the move. As technology improves, the computing prowess of laptops also becomes better.
Laptops are becoming slimmer and yet more powerful than before with each passing day. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the battery backup provided by laptops.
Recent developments in computing technologies and processor architecture have enabled the creation of better laptops. Many laptops nowadays have superb processors and graphics cards built into them.
Some of them can even rival certain desktop computers in terms of sheer performance. Laptops can now handle graphics intensive applications like games with ease. However, more graphics and intensive apps translate into poorer battery performance.
There are a few tips which can be utilized in order to maximise battery output.
1. Proper charging is a must
It is always advisable to charge the laptop’s battery for around 12 hours before running it on battery. As time passes, the duration of charging will have to be increased in order to receive the same level of performance as earlier.
Defragmentation helps in arranging the data in the hard disks in a more efficient manner. Therefore, the pressure put on hard disks to read data is lessened. This means that the power needed by the hard disks is decreased which in turn increases the battery’s longevity.
3. Freeing up resources
Every computer tends to have multiple processes that run in the background even when it is in idle. The same applies to laptops as well. Just shut down the unnecessary programs by opening the task manager. For example, the firewall can be safely shut down when the laptop is not connected to the internet.
4. Stopping scheduled tasks
Scheduled tasks are those such as auto-defrag and scans initiated by the antivirus programs. It is better to allow those tasks to run when connected to a power supply.
5. Removing screensavers
Screensavers look really cool but nonetheless, they have a negative impact on the battery life.
Instead of removing the screensaver, you could use a minimalist screensaver. This not only helps improve batter performance but you can also become more productive with a minimalist screensaver.
6. Disabling unnecessary sounds
Unless multimedia functions are being performed with the laptop, it is better to disable all sounds.
7. Disabling all externals
External devices such as external hard disks use the laptop’s battery as their power source. Therefore, all important files should be transferred into the laptop’s hard disks.
8. Emptying Optical Disk Drives
It is advisable to remove any disks left inside the optical disk drive. These drives use up a lot of power.
9. Increasing RAM
Increasing the RAM is a great way to reduce the demands made on the hard disks.
10. Reducing multi-tasking
Running more applications and programs at the same time will put a greater strain on the battery.
In order to know if you are knowingly or unknowingly running multiple (unnecessary) programs, check out the task manager periodically and end unnecessary tasks.
11. Switching off all special effects
The default Aero Theme in Windows may look cool but it uses more power. All themes except for the most basic Classic Windows theme utilises more power. These themes and other effects utilized by the operating system are best left turned off in order to increase battery life.
12. Using the latest drivers and updated software
Although this might seem like a minor improvement, it is still better. Since newer editions of drivers and software are designed to be more efficient than the last version, it might just put a little less strain on the battery.
13. The memory effect
A battery will lose its charge more easily when they are recharged for multiple times after being incompletely discharged. This is known as the battery effect. It is seen in the older Ni-MH batteries.
Completely discharging it and then going for a full charge is the only way to combat this nuisance. The newer Li-Ion batteries d not have this problem.
14. Correct adapter
It is always advisable to use the original adapter provided by the manufacturers. A wrong adapter can seriously impact battery performance. It may even cause overheating and overloading which can damage the battery and the laptop.
15. Keeping it cool
Heat can decrease the longevity of the battery considerably. It is best to keep laptops and their batteries away from heat sources and also prevent them from getting overheated.
If possible, use the laptop in a cooler environment like an air-conditioned room.
If that is not possible, you should consider using a cooling pad in order to avoid over heating of your laptop. Also do make sure you do not block air flow at the bottom/sides of the laptop by placing it on pillows or other blocking material.
Many people prefer to use the Sleep mode when they step away from the computer for an extended period of time. In this mode, the display and the hard drives are shut down.
However, the CPU still keeps on running although at a much slower speed. This does use up battery power. In hibernation, the current state is backed up and saved by the computer which then shuts down completely.
17. Reducing brightness
Reducing the brightness to the lowest acceptable amount can go a long way in conserving the battery power. The brightness can be changed using the shortcut keys provided by the laptop. It can also be changed from the display settings options located in the Control Panel.
18. Turning off all accessories
A laptop nowadays comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a host of other accessories. While all of them are useful in their own way, they are a considerable burden on the battery’s life. The track pad is a more energy efficient option than a Bluetooth mouse.
19. Cleaning is a must
A laptop is bound to attract dirt and dust over and over again. This will lead to blockage in air vents. This in turn will cause the laptop to heat up faster.
As mentioned before, heat is a major enemy of the battery. Regular cleaning of those vents will ensure that blockages do not form. The spaces around the air vents should be open so that air can move around freely.
20. Power options
Power Options are located in the Control Panel. There are some pretty nifty and helpful options which can help reduce the strain on the battery. They come which advanced power management features like turning off hard disks after certain intervals and so on.
Current laptops are very powerful with only one shortcoming. That is their battery life. Bad battery life limits the versatility of what is otherwise a wonderful gadget.
These tips will help you improve the battery life of your laptop and make it a versatile and wonderful gadget.