Notebook computers. At this point in the 21st century, they have become an indispenable part of many people's everyday lives. From the commuting business executive and the busy college student, we all want to be mobile with our computers. The big drawback of that is the fact that there is not always a plug around when you need one. A notebook computer's battery is its life-blood. Without proper care, your notebook battery could fail much earlier than anticipated. By following a few simple steps, you can expect to get the greatest amount of usage possible out of your notebook battery before a replacement is needed.
1. Upon purchase, charge the battery to full capacity.
Whether you have purchased a new computer have purchased a new battery for your laptop, charging it fully as soon as you open the box is the best recommendation. This allows the battery to reach a full capacity before you begin to use it "unplugged". Most batteries come with a partial charge, enough to get you going if you absolutely had to. Giving that battery a full charge when it is brand new will help set the charge capacity for the battery at its highest possible level.
2. Once you reach a full charge, leave the computer plugged in for at least 2 hours.
This action lets the battery "rest" at a full charge for a fairly lengthy period of time. At this point, the battery is not drawing power from your wall socket to charge, and it is also not supplying any power to your system. Letting your battery rest for a time after a full charge helps to "lock-in" that full charge capacity.
3. Unplug the computer and drain the battery.
It might sound silly, but now that you have gotten that battery to a full charge, you need to drain the power almost completely. Again, this will help determine the charge capacity of the battery. Leave your computer unplugged and use it until you get a warning telling you that the battery is almost completely discharge. Then save whatever you are working on and power the computer down. Plug back into the wall socket for a fresh charge. Then use the computer at your leisure.
If you follow these steps about once a month, your notebook battery
should last a nice long while. Not to say that you will never have to replace it, but at least it will be a long time before you need to.
Short note about the author
Michael Paul is the host/producer of the TechCast Weekly podcast, a popular weekly show dedicated to providing computer help, tips, and tutorials for the average computer user. Visit http://www.techcastweekly.com to hear the latest shows and get more great tips to make your computing life easier and easier to understand.