Tips on Improving Battery Life

Today’s newest laptops can last for hours and hours. Like true work horses, they power for entire trans-Atlantic flights. But these laptops don’t come cheap. As if they have their hands on the next digital-computing Wilt Chamberlain, manufacturers like IBM and Sony know the value of extending laptop battery life. Indeed, battery longevity is possibly one of the most important aspects of mobile computing.

So the rest of us poor schleps, with older version laptops, with far fewer hours of battery power-say, two at most-are left to read the in-flight magazine or the instructions on the barf bag when our batteries konk out, while our computer betters get it on all night long with their notebooks.

Not necessarily. There are several things you can do to make your laptop’s battery last longer. Step one is to cut down on the juice that your hard drive is using. You can do this by taking care of it regularly with Disk Defragmenter, which allows your hard drive to find data easier. Then you can also make your Windows’ page file run smoother. Page file acts as RAM when your RAM is full. Set it to 1.5 times the capacity of installed memory.

Next, reduce the juice that your display is using. You can lower the brightness, which may boost your battery life by an hour. Also try cutting down on the battery-sucking of unused devices, such as your laptop’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, infrared receiver and Ethernet.

Then take care of your laptop’s start-up programs. These are generally annoying little applications that open up every time your computer boots up, without you wanting or needing them. They just add extra work for your processor, and suck your battery dry. You can disable them in the Start/Programs/Startup folder.

Best of all, pamper your laptop battery. If you want it to to perform. So when you first get your notebook, charge it to 100 percent, run it down completely, then recharge it to 100 percent. That’ll learn it endurance! If it’s too late for that, then at least always make sure to charge your battery to 100 percent every time you charge it. And keep it away from extremely high temps. They’ll wilt a battery quicker than you can say Wilt Chamberlain.

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