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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Top 10 Ways to Extend Your Laptop’s Battery Life

Laptops tend to lose their charm quickly when you’re constantly looking for the nearest power outlet to charge up. How do you keep your battery going for as long as possible? Here are 10 easy ways to do so.

1. Defrag regularly - The faster your hard drive does its work - less demand you are going to put on the hard drive and your battery. Make your hard drive as efficient as possible by defragging it regularly. (but not while it’s on battery of course!) Mac OSX is better built to handle fragmentation so it may not be very applicable for Apple systems.

2. Dim your screen - Most laptops come with the ability to dim your laptop
screen. Some even come with ways to modify CPU and cooling performance. Cut them down to the lowest level you can tolerate to squeeze out some extra battery juice.

3. Cut down on programs running in the background - Itunes, Desktop Search, etc. All these add to the CPU load and cut down battery life. Shut down everything that isn’t crucial when you’re on battery.

4. Cut down external devices - USB devices (including your mouse) & WiFi drain down your laptop battery. Remove or shut them down when not in use. It goes without saying that charging other devices (like your iPod) with your laptop when on battery is a surefire way of quickly wiping out the charge on your laptop battery.

5. Add more RAM - This will allow you to process more with the memory your laptop has, rather than relying on virtual memory. Virtual memory results in hard drive use, and is much less power efficient. Note that adding more RAM will consume more energy, so this is most applicable if you do need to run memory intensive programs which actually require heavy usage of virtual memory.

6. Run off a hard drive rather than CD/DVD - As power consuming as hard drives are, CD and DVD drives are worse. Even having one in the drive can be power consuming. They spin, taking power, even when they?re not actively being used. Wherever possible, try to run on virtual drives using programs like Alcohol 120% rather than optical ones.

7. Keep the battery contacts clean - Clean your battery’s metal contacts every couple of months with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol. This keeps the transfer of power from your battery more efficient.

8. Take care of your battery - Exercise the Battery. Do not leave a charged battery dormant for long periods of time. Once charged, you should at least use the battery at least once every two to three weeks. Also, do not let a Li-On battery completely discharge. (Discharing is only for older batteries with memory effects)

9. Hibernate not standby - Although placing a laptop in standby mode saves some power and you can instantly resume where you left off, it doesn’t save anywhere as much power as the hibernate function does. Hibernating a PC will actually save your PC’s state as it is, and completely shut itself down.

10. Keep operating temperature down - Your laptop operates more efficiently when it’s cooler. Clean out your air vents with a cloth or keyboard cleaner.

1 Comments:

At May 21, 2008 at 1:28 AM , Blogger Madison Mancinelli said...

Thanks for the great tips!! Some of them, I have never given a thought to!! When you spend so much money on a laptop, you want to be sure to take the best care of it that you can!

 

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