Friday, May 22, 2009

Protect Your Laptop Battery

I'm on my second laptop and I love the portability. It seems that, regarding hardware, the thing to give out the quickest is the battery. While your laptop is still portable without a battery, it kind of defeats the purpose, if it has to be plugged in wherever you go. What fun is a laptop if you can't take it to the park?!?

I realized that it is simple to remove the battery on my new laptop. On my old one, it required a tiny screwdriver, and then there was a gaping hole. The new one is a Dell, and there is a toggle switch sort of thingie (it's a technical term, I promise) on the bottom that I slide over and the battery pops off.

So, I make sure the battery is fully charged, and if I'm going to be leaving my laptop plugged in at my desk, I simply remove the battery. If I do want to switch to battery power, I just pop it back on, wait a few seconds, and I'm ready to go!

I then use the battery until it runs all the way down (sometimes it is over the next several sessions) - whether I am at my desk or not. Once it is run down, I plug it back in, and once fully charged, I remove the battery until I need it again.

As an aside, while I'm at my desk I much prefer to plug in a regular monitor and a keyboard for comfort's sake. I had both left over from my old desktop, and it's nice to be able to get more used out of them. I also use my mouse and mouse pad at all times since the touch pad just doesn't do it for me.

Hope this helps you get more out of your laptop! For more frugal ideas, visit Life as Mom.

And, you can see what I'm praying about this week here.


Kim said...

Good morning, Lenetta!

Great tip! I'll have to see if ours is easy to pop out.

One other thing we learned was that if your battery keeps dying prematurely, it might not be the battery that's the problem. It could be that the charger is to blame. That was our experience, anyway. We replaced the charger and the battery was good to go with a fresh charge!

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

Interesting, Kim! I'm glad it was a simple fix. It would have been pretty easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater there. :>)

Kim said...

We went through several batteries (returning them because they went bad in less than a year) before hubs found out about it possibly being the charger while researching online. I'm just so thankful the problem was solved!

Anonymous said...

Taking out the battery is not a good habit especially with the newer Lithium - ion batteries.

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

Anonymous, thanks for that link. I reviewed it, and am not convinced that my way is detrimental. While I keep reading that the new batteries don't hold a memory like the old ones, my mom has already had to replace the battery on her cell phone because she charges it whenever, regardless of how low the battery is.

Regarding draining the battery until it is flat, I think all new laptops have a built-in protection against that, no? (and cell phones have that annoying beep!) My laptop will go to sleep when the battery reaches a certain level. I suppose if you powered it back up and continued to run on battery it would run all the way down, but I plug it back in at that time.

Back to my initial point, my way is not detrimental. The link you provided says "there is no need" to remove the battery, but it does not say it is harmful to do so. I still use my battery at least weekly, sometimes several times a week. Once it reaches a certain number of charges - it's done, and if I can delay that, I will.

Further, I disagree with the article that 2-3 years is the life cycle of a laptop. Sure, some will poop out then, but with proper care (and depending on usage), I think others will last much longer.

Again, I appreciate your weighing in here, but I disagree with your conclusions from that article. Thanks for the food for thought, though!

donielle@ Naturally Knocked Up said...

Ugh - things I wish I new last year!! We always left our laptop plugged in no matter the battery power. And now my battery is USELESS!!! We get about 5 or 10 minutes out of it. So now it has to remain plugged in at all times. :-( And of course a new one is $175.00. Almost half the cost of a new one.