Laptop computers are extremely convenient, granting us the ability to compute untethered to a wall socket. Additionally, wireless internet networks, when combined with a notebook PC, allow us to connect to the internet from just about anywhere in the world. However, it seems to be a constant struggle to squeeze as much battery life out of your laptop as possible. Without a battery life of at least a couple of hours, the main benefit of having a laptop is negated. There are several things you can do to extend the battery life of your laptop computer.
The first place to start, is with your laptop’s Power Options (>Control Panel > Power Options). You can access this by hovering your mouse over the little battery symbol in the system tray then right click the batteries symbol and select “power options”. The first screen, will allow you to select from several options including Maximum Performance, and Power Saver. Additionally, a small link at the bottom of this window is labeled “Advanced Power Settings”.
Selecting the Maximum Performance setting sets your computer’s graphics, processor, memory, and hard drive processes to run at peak levels of performance, but disregards any power savings or battery endurance. This means you’ll have the brightest screen, fastest processor setting, and constantly spinning hard drive – but your battery will not last long. If you are running this setting while powered by your notebook PC’s battery, you may end up with as little as 2 hours of battery life.
In Power Saver mode, your computer’s settings are configured such that extended battery life is the priority, not your laptop’s performance. Settings such as screen brightness and processor capacity are degraded in order to extend your laptop’s battery life. Although your laptop will not be operating at maximum performs capacity, the tradeoff is that you have suddenly gained significant battery life. This means longer portable computing when traveling on an airplane, when in a public place without access to a wall outlet, or when giving a presentation to customers or clients.
Next, we will go over the Advanced Power Settings. When you right click on the battery icon and select Power Options, click on the small link at the bottom labeled Advanced Power Settings. Clicking here will allow you greater customization of your laptop’s power settings and features. After clicking Advanced Power Settings, you will have the option to create your own custom power setting or edit one of the existing ones. After creating and naming your custom power setting, you now have full control over parameters such as screen brightness, maximum and minimum processor settings, hard drive settings, hibernate and sleep mode control, and much more.
By tweaking these parameters, you can really squeeze a little bit more battery life out of your laptop. For example, we like to reduce our screen brightness to about 8%. Although the screen is dimmer, we can put up with this in order to extend our battery life. Additionally, when configuring your custom power settings, you get to set and customize each one of these parameters for when your laptop is operating off battery power, and separate settings for when your laptop is plugged into a wall socket. This is particularly useful for settings that such as screen brightness, in that you can have your laptop automatically dim the screen when you are on battery power, and the minute you plug back into the wall socket, your screen will go back to its original brightness. Now, you only have to put up with the degraded performance when you’re operating off batter power and there is no need to constantly switch your power options from one mode to another if you create your own custom power settings.
Over time, after repetitive use of your laptop on battery power, laptop batteries do become degraded and their maximum charge decreases. This means that slowly, over time, after numerous recharges, your laptop’s battery life will slowly decrease on its own. Eventually, especially if you keep your laptop computer for many years, you may find your battery doesn’t hold as much charge as they used to and you may have to purchase a replacement laptop battery.There is one more crucial thing that you can do to a further extend your laptop’s battery life. If you do not need access to the wireless internet or to Bluetooth wireless radios. Many laptops come with an external switch allows you to switch and disable the wireless transmitter and Bluetooth radio built into your laptop. Doing so, will extend your battery life significantly. This is particularly useful in locations where you do not have the ability to access wireless internet such as at airports and on airplanes that do not offer free internet service.
If you find yourself in the market today or in the near future for a new laptop computer, consider purchasing an ultra portable device with the latest Intel processor. These new laptop computers range between 13 – 14 inches in screen size, weigh about 4 pounds, and can pack a battery life of between 6-9 hours of computing on a real laptop computer. Check out our selection of the best laptop computer coupons online .