T Nation

Maximising Laptop Battery

i supidly bought a 17inch screen laptop last year for uni and i barely get 2 hours out of the battery. the 15.4inch guarntees 4 hours :frowning:

i have it set to the powersaver setting, the screen is set to the lowest brightness. only have programs i need loaded.

i have messed about with limiting my processer to 30% and things like that but it doesnt seem to make any difference to speed or battery life.

are there any other things i can do to maximise my battery life without buying a bigger battery?

i will probably need 3 hours out of it for uni this year, as i have more classes through the day that require a laptop. i do bring along my lead etc. but it gets annoying having to plug it in etc and sometimes that involves moving seats and my groups get pissed at me.

Scott

What is the brand/specs? I broke down and grabbed an extra battery that can be put in place of my dvd drive. Try some of these ideas:
http://www.livedigitally.com/2006/08/13/10-tips-on-maximizing-laptop-battery-performance/

http://www.fujitsu-siemens.com/home/products/notebooks/amilo_li_18xx.html

pentium dual core 1.73ghz
2gb ram
160gb harddrive

shitty graphics card. (anybody know how to get the most out of a shared graphics card? i think it is 180mb shared pci express.)

i read that. fixed the hard drive thing down to 1 minute. also found that i can change some stuff in the graphics section which should make it run for longer.

would changing my colours down to to 16bit from 32 bit make a difference aswell?

Scott

are their any external batterys you can buy?

that are just a little box (like a external harddrive) and then a lead coming out of them that you can plug into the laptop?

Scott

Good thread. I stupidly got an AMD processor machine then later found out that it sucks batteries dry.
Though, you’re running a pentium.

less than 2 hrs on power saver and it will be dead. I basically leave it plugged in all the time now, which I know isn’t good for the battery, but the battery sucks

Reducing colours is unlikely to help - The drain is from the extra couple of inches of TFT, more specifically the back light.

If you can work with it, many laptops allow you to reduce the intensity of the back light therefore saving a bit of power.

cheers for the link renton.

looks like the exact thing i need. the webpage doesnt give very much info…

is there a enough to give my laptop a full charge?

Would i be able to plug it into my laptop while they are both in backpack. ie recharge on the go?

i think im right in saying that many laptops use differnt cables. my lead doesnt fit into my mates sony or my other mates dell. does this come with enough attachments?

Scott

looks good to me apart form the bit that says:
Rechargeable Li-ion battery without memory effect; 5 level battery power indicator; 500 charge - discharge cycle life

does that mean you can only charge and use the product 500 times?

Scott

Don’t listen to music or watch any videos unless absolutely necessary. Turn off the wireless networking AND bluetooth unless necessary. If you are going to be typing something, turn the screen off entirely, you will make some typos, but you can fix those later.

The less the fan turns on the better, so if you can keep the computer running cool, that should help a bit.

Surely in your class schedule there must be 10-15 minutes of break time you could use to charge your computer.

Also, on a personal note… do you really NEED the computer for 3-4 hours at a time? I have a hard time believing that a class that required the students to have a computer would not also provide the students with power outlets. If you don’t actually NEED it, figure out where you can do without it and prioritize usage.

[quote]thosebananas wrote:

looks good to me apart form the bit that says:
Rechargeable Li-ion battery without memory effect; 5 level battery power indicator; 500 charge - discharge cycle life

does that mean you can only charge and use the product 500 times?

Scott
[/quote]

Yes. All lithium ion batteries have a finite lifespan, and they degrade over time. It is part of their chemistry. That being said the 500 times claim refers to complete discharges and complete charges. If you just use it for a while, it won’t count as a ‘cycle’… if I remember correctly.

[quote]Malevolence wrote:
Don’t listen to music or watch any videos unless absolutely necessary. Turn off the wireless networking AND bluetooth unless necessary. If you are going to be typing something, turn the screen off entirely, you will make some typos, but you can fix those later.

The less the fan turns on the better, so if you can keep the computer running cool, that should help a bit.

Surely in your class schedule there must be 10-15 minutes of break time you could use to charge your computer.

Also, on a personal note… do you really NEED the computer for 3-4 hours at a time? I have a hard time believing that a class that required the students to have a computer would not also provide the students with power outlets. If you don’t actually NEED it, figure out where you can do without it and prioritize usage.
[/quote]

i prob need it about 4-5hours a dat but half if not more of that i do have access to a poweroutput. its just the inconvence of having to carry one. ill be bringing books, laptop and gym kit to class everyday this year. so the lighter the better and it leaves more room to carry food etc.

some of the classes are held in lecture halls and are usually a lot of group work so if i need to go to a powersource the whole group has to follow. gets annoying sometimes.

nearly all my classes are group work orientated and it is complusary to have and bring a laptop to all classes.

Scott

It won’t give your battery a full charge, just use it as an extra battery/power source until it runs out.

Malevolance does remember correctly about the effect of partial charge cycles on LIon batteries.

Having said that, 500 complete charges/discharges doesn’t seem too bad. You think your laptop battery will be in any better condition after a year and a half of cycles?

im starting to think of just bringing my lead… whole lot less hassle lol.

i have however head rumours that the big companies able to make batteries that are small and would be able to last for days and not burn out. but decide against doing so.

Scott

If you’re using linux by any chance, give powerTOP a try:

http://www.lesswatts.org/projects/powertop/

You can’t just sell the laptop, use the money to get a smaller laptop, maybe one with an LED backlight and a compartment for a spare battery?

I have a 14", and you can pop out the optical drive and slide a second battery in. With the two batteries, I get about 16 hours of battery life.