The battery in your laptop is important. It provides you freedom and mobility. People make buying decisions just on battery backup time. A laptop battery lasts anywhere between three to five years or upto 500 charging cycles.
Basics of a battery
Battery is a device which holds charge and releases power to your gadget. Batteries follow a charging cycle. A full charge and discharge constitutes one charging cycle.
All batteries have a finite number of charging cycles. Also important point to note is that even if you charge your battery to say 50% and then use, it still is one charging cycle gone.
Keep your laptop plugged in
Laptop advertisements show people working with all kinds of comfortable and relaxed positions. However that is not a good idea. In fact from health point of view, sitting on a work table ensures correct posture and plugging in your laptop means that you are not putting your battery to unnecessary use. Whenever and wherever possible plug in your laptop.
To keep your battery in most optimised condition, at least once a week make your laptop go through one charging cycle i.e. discharge the laptop battery till 10% and charge it again upto 100%.
Plan for mobility
What’s the point in buying the laptop if you are not mobile. Find out the availability of a charging point in advance and plan the charging activity when your laptop is down to at least 20%. Do not rush to plug in your laptop every now and then.
Keep the temperature under check
Batteries heat up the most while charging. Ensure adequate air flow around the laptop even for a fan-less design. If surrounding temperature is too high, wait for the laptop to charge before you use it again. Using the laptop while battery is charging generated maximum heat. High temperatures is not good for any kind of battery.
While on battery avoid overloading your laptop
The three most power hungry components of a laptop are the processor, screen or display and the ports. While on battery cut down all activities which will draw power from the battery. Reduce the brightness or set it to automatic settings. Keep the laptop settings in such a way that there is minimum or no animation at all. Avoid connecting devices like pendrive or DVD writer unless absolutely necessary. Resist the urge to multitask, more the number of windows open, more workload on the processor and hence battery drain. Keep the WiFi disconnected till you need. Switch off bluetooth permanently if you are not using it.
Shutdown v/s Sleep
There is an arguable debate between shutting down the laptop or putting it to sleep. In case you have to resume work within the hour, sleep is the best choice. It avoids putting the laptop battery through unnecessary process of booting. Leaving the laptop in sleep mode for a longer time will drain the battery because the background processes are still running.
Avoid custom or fast chargers
A laptop works best with the original charger supplied. Compatible chargers or equivalent chargers are risky for the laptop and especially for the battery.
Office work, video playback and gaming
Any activity which loads the laptop processor will drain battery life too. While gaming laptops are a rage today, it is never a good idea to play a laptop game on battery. Laptops will graphics cards are so power hungry that even the charger gets hot while playing. Similarly for playing videos. For all these power hungry applications make sure that you are always plugged in.
It is a raging debate on as to how much savings dark mode gives us in terms of battery life. OLED displays where the pixel is actually turned off gives better savings in dark mode. Besides it helps with the eyes too. So if there are no other issues, dark mode can be enabled on your laptop and apps.