You are typing away in a meeting or in a classroom when you notice that your laptop is nearly out of juice. Maybe you forgot your power adapter or maybe there isn't an available outlet. But your battery power is dwindling, and you still have stuff to get done. Why doesn't the battery last as long as it used to?Here are some tips for laptop owners.
The following is an excerpt from an article on PCWorld.com, written by Rick Broida.
Does your laptop battery give out a lot sooner than it used to? Are you lucky to get an hour or two of work done before you need to start searching for an AC outlet? Sounds like it’s time to think about replacing the battery.
Get reader for sticker shock: laptop batteries are expensive. Prices vary from one model to another, but it’s not uncommon for new power packs to sell for $100 or more. I’ve seen some as high as $150. When you consider that brand-new laptops now sell for as low as $300, that can be a tough pill to swallow.
Whether you’re already in the market for a replacement battery or just concerned about the inevitable day when you will be, here are three things you should know:
- Most laptop batteries start to fail in 1-2 years. This varies depending on your usage, of course, but the average laptop battery is good for around 400 recharges (a.k.a. cycles). After that, it starts to lose its capacity to hold a charge.
That’s why the battery that once gave you, say, 3-4 hours’ worth of runtime now peters out after just 1-2 hours. And after a few years, you might be lucky to get an even an hour.
- You can extend the life of your current battery. If you use your laptop as your primary desktop PC, you may be wasting battery cycles by leaving it plugged in all the time.
The solution: pop the battery out until you actually need to go somewhere with your laptop. As long as the latter is plugged into an AC outlet, it doesn’t actually need the battery.
Trust me on this: I’ve seen fairly new batteries that could barely last half an hour, even though the laptop rarely went anywhere. When in doubt, pop it out.
- Investigate third-party alternatives. When you do end up needing a replacement battery, you don’t necessarily have to buy one from the laptop manufacturer–paying top dollar in the process.
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